CUT to the Year 2000!!Fresh out of college and just joined the “first-job” of my life. No worries, no commitments, no I-supported-you-till-now-now-you-support-me parents, no loans, no credit cards, no girlfriend/wife to please, and life, presumably, one silky-smooth ride. After a harsh 16 years of studies, I believed, that my moment too had arrived. No more pocketmoneyworries, no more papa-please-buy-me-this and no-you-useless-fellow-you-will-make-me-go-bankrupt tensions!
As with life, my heart too was soft and as infusible as a 3M sponge cleaner. Testosterone flowed, as if the dam which stopped its flow abruptly burst. Life was inspired by the teachings of Osho and Buddha. Zen was the norm of the moment. Life was mere moment one lived.Nothing more nothing less. True and only Happiness came in living in the moment. Worldly desire was the mother-in-law of suffering. And Greed was its first cousin.
The moment I walked into the office my eyes searched for anything pretty-in-a-drape.
“Okey,Manoj. Welcome to XYZ Ltd.Being your first day, take it easy.we will start with Induction tomorrow. Just get familiarize with the place and people today. Mini, Please show him around. Let me know if you need anything! ”
My boss said, pointing towards the prettiest thing I had seen in at least a week’s time. Mini,that was her name: My boss’s executive secretary.
I muttered to myself with a sigh, “Aah, what a life. Is this what is work-life that most people blot?This is wonderful. Too good to be true.What a boss, what a beautiful colleague, what an office”.
“Come Manoj.We will show you around and then we will get into your job details.” Mini said directing me to follow her. I fought to keep the pace with her. She sprinted as if she was on engine powered skating wheels.She showed me around as if she owned the place and had been around all her life. I realized that all pretty things in drape are not the potential-for-romance types.She turned out to be the first person I got acquainted with in my professional life and also the type with whom I liked to keep a distance.
In the process of getting to know my colleagues I met Nayan and Sharan. They had rented a 3 bedroom house near the office and invited me to join them. I was staying with an Uncle and had wanted to flee ASAP.The invitation sounded godsent. At the next available chance I moved with them.
The house was an archetype of luxury, at least for the lesser mortals that we were then;The out-of-college-ness and under management training stipend. The house consisted of Three large rooms with attached bathrooms. It was after years that I had the whole bathroom to myself, a stark dissimilarity to our 1-for-50 hostel bathrooms. Blue tiles, a hand held shower and a bathtub, finest European style WC-Aaaaahaa, finally I was living my toilet dream.An escape from the routine and waiting for my turn to use the toilet. The feeling of utter helplessness when one has to wait outside the loo with 10 ATM pressure building under the tummy and the only wish in life is to ease the pressure as if it was some death wish came rolling into my memory. What an ultimate luxury.Really, small things like a personal toilet does matter in life when one knows what it’s to stand for minute after minute, with such hellish pressures in ones stomach.
It was the second day of my moving in and I already had a feeling of Bonne hominess. Nayan came with a bottle of Bacardi and the couch in the Hall became our makeshift Bar.2 pegs, 3, and then 4 and finally the bottle was only air filled. I was drunk! Not pissed drunk but drunk! We looked at each other and out of my drunkenness everyone else looked stone-sober.I pretended To be equally sober.
More about it later…….