Sunday, January 18, 2009

For Eternal Memory

There are some who learn in a day what others may learn in a lifetime.There are events that memory won't allow you to erase.Someday in the future one might cast a cursory glance at one's reflection only to view an old,discarded version of themselves.So it dawned upon our protagonist 'X' after a certain day in his life that he would forge eternally to his very selective memory.

It was his first day of work.Six years of prayers muttered in resignation,mule like determination and one successful job interview had landed him there.As a teenager in Bangalore,he had gazed longingly at those buildings with darkened glass exteriors and the seemingly indomitable people who sauntered out of them with badges hanging round their necks.The building he entered was one of a multitude that swarmed the premises of a technology park.There was a prayer on his lips and a tie around his neck that occasionally suffocated him.He didn't care about asphyxiation.He remembered the tears in his mother's eyes and his father's grim blessing as they wished him well on this auspicious day.

He entered the lobby clutching a briefcase.He wore a crisp cotton shirt which would probably never crease,glistening black shoes and a tie that epitomized elegance.His hair was carefully oiled and combed painstakingly to one side.There were others waiting with him but the fact that he was the most dapper of them all gave him a sense of a competitive edge.What struck 'X' the most that day was what came next.

The 'freshers' were ushered into a board room designed to be aesthetically and acoustically pleasing.They were welcomed by a representative from human resources,a man without a tie.Of course there was no sin in not wearing a tie,perhaps this was the kind of place that was a little more relaxed.There were other employees who followed; directors,managers,a vice president and several others.'X' was now the most crestfallen with an impending sense of alienation.He imagined that they looked askance at him every time they saw him.Here they were; stalwarts in jeans and t-shirts and there he was, a fawning fresher in an uncomfortable outfit complete with a tie.

The lunch hour came quite soon as it usually does on the first day of work.'X' cringed every time he placed food on his plate.He wished he could pile food on his plate as inconspicuously as the veterans without looking like a conspicuous glutton.He was introduced to his new team after lunch.He felt like 'Forrest Gump' as he looked from his patent leather shoes to the sneakers his new manager was wearing.The informality put a bad taste in his mouth.He felt like he was culling himself one blow at a time every time he forgot to call his manager 'sir'. He could not recline in his new chair for it was too comfortable.He could not touch the bag of stationery he had been given,he wasn't accustomed to being given things without asking.He could not laugh at the jokes and participate in the afternoon banter between teammates,he wasn't familiar enough.All in all he felt like the caricature of an alien from a comic book nightmare.

Later that evening,he smiled blissfully when his parents asked him how his day was.He used the word 'awesome' to describe it to his college junior.He put his briefcase and patent leather shoes away.That night as he ran over the events of the day in his mind,it occurred to him that he wasn't alone.He finally rolled over to sleep and decided that perhaps the tie was a little too much.

1 comment:

Gammafunction said...

very well written.Captures the first day experience very succinctly. Kudos!