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Friday, August 24, 2012

A very short story

I saw her for the first time when she interrupted my conversation with my colleague as she called out to him in the elevator, ‘Hello Chirag!’ Chirag avoided looking at her directly and squirmed uncomfortably, nodding half-heartedly. Later, I discovered that she had an interview scheduled with him and he was trying his best to pretend that he didn’t know the candidate personally. Chirag soon realized his mistake of making personal favors when her take-home salary was a lot more than her teammates, but her contribution to the team was less than zero. She not only seemed uninterested in her work, her attitude was morally calamitous to her peers. The complaints mounted, Chirag tore at what was remaining of his hair each day and regretted: ‘I should have never given her the job!’

Now, I am chronically inclined to see the silver lining in everyone, even if I have to tip my toe to the point of falling on my face. I tried to console Chirag saying, ‘Maybe it is just a phase. We should watch her performance over the next quarter.’ But even in my optimistic heart, I knew there was slim chance of her waking up one day and completely transforming her work ethics.

Then she got pregnant. Usually, women take a couple of months off from their jobs for maternity leave. But she was absent for eight months and then we heard that she had a miscarriage. When she got back to office, she came back with a worse mood- picking an argument at the slightest provocation. I think she sensed that Chirag was intending to sack her, so she applied for resignation with a notice period of 3 months. It was her way of getting back at everyone because those 3 months she did nothing but incur a cost to the project. We were relieved when she finally said goodbye.

A few months later, Chirag pinged me on Gmail chat asking if I remembered her. Bile filled me up from inside and I started complaining about what a headache she had been, and I offered, ‘She must be working for her husband’s firm now- nice and cozy.’ By then I had come to know that her husband was a corporate honcho at a consulting firm.

Chirag kept quiet for a while and then typed out carefully:
‘She died in an accident last week…’

I was taken aback, expecting everything but this. Now I was feeling guilty of having spoken ill of the dead. I wanted to share this with someone but did not know whom to share it with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Get it published :)
Happy that u wrote it and more for the way it came out..
terse and touching