[ poetry - january 07 ]
Nowadays ladies having big, big postings. 'Laddas' getting
the bamboo. Nowadays young young pretty girls becoming
boss ladies and telling me I am not speaking impeccable English
so how to service new customers? So I am counter telling.
With swollen heart, I am telling: 'You give me promotion.
Take me up, up the pecking ladder, and then I am picking up
'peck-able' English, automatically.' But who is listening?
See here, I am almost retiring, many years doing clerical job
in banking. My wife of forty years is now grandmother,
only daughter married, two sons working.
Why to worry about modern day 'womens'? I am self-respecting
man, I cannot become a burden to anybody. So
I am still working. I am having digestive problems, but I am still
servicing first time customers, even NRI customers. You know,
all these foreign return Indians, they are making their money outside
and coming back inside India, like lords from the 'British Raj'. Mind it
I say, making money is good. But why to lose your heritage?
Why to wear low cut blouse? This NRI lady is bending
in front of my table, she is seeing my file; sweat from my brow is falling,
and I am mistaking my numbers. But I am not losing
my heritage. My right hand is putting one finger down
the honey jar with very narrow neck. Is honey jar made of
the sponge, why it is so soft? My finger is not stopping, I am
closing my eyes. It is mental only; I am keeping my heritage intact.
And, NRI lady is still bending. NRI lady is having
very fair complexion. Is she using make-up there also?
Many numbers I am now mistaking. Mistake, mistake!"
Boss lady is shouting. Then she is snatching
file. NRI lady and boss lady are leaving. They are
Going to boss lady's cubicle. See, the door is closing. Now
They are tea drinking biscuit eating, what not. They
are talking, talking. My throat is drying. I am drinking
water. My hand is trembling. I am thinking
here I am sinking, sinking drinking water. I, respectable man
never touching 'whisky-soda', never touching 'bidi-cigarette',
only 'paan'. And, after becoming grandfather, and coming
into grand old age. Now! 'Hey Ma Kali'! What I am thinking?
Why I am not sinking into the underground of this office?