Posted August 6, 2009on:
It was a hot day in Chennai as sun was piercing through the glass buildings of the IT Company. Employees were swarming in and after their regular duty of swipe-in, they all marched towards the otherwise-quiet Food Court.
Amidst the crowd and the noises of recorded voice announcing the token numbers, Raja was doing his duties diligently. He was a man in his early thirties and was wearing his usual Blue & White uniform. Though the ambience was colorful, he had no other option. Yes, he was one of the Housekeepers. An example of his perfection in duty is that after he cleans the floor, one can see his/her reflection on it. His other jobs include cleaning the tables & chairs, mopping the floor, washing water glasses etc. And once the breakfast schedule is over, he will move chairs and tables to the corner of the food court using a mini-fork-lift.
Despite his job being so regular & monotonous, there was a peculiar joy with which he worked; He loved his job, worshipped his duty.
However, money was his constraint always. Having two children to raise and to run a family in Chennai with this meager income is no joke. But still he never vents his personal emotions on his work.
Now he had moved all those furniture’s safely by making several rounds on his mini-fork-lift. So he too went to a corner and opened his Tiffin-box, which his wife packs for him. Though he has many friends, he likes to sit alone. While munching his food, he was thinking about the morning events which happened in his house.
Just like any other day, he had woken up early morning and got ready for office briskly. Before leaving, he usually hugs his 6-year old son, who would be sleeping innocently on his bed.
But that particular day, the child was awake. He pulled his dad’s shirt and shied away on to bed. Raja was bit puzzled at his son’s reaction and enquired him what was the matter. The innocent kid replied to him saying he wanted a cake – that too full size. Raja was quite surprised. He did not know that his son had seen his neighbors’ birthday celebration and was attracted to it.
Though it was month-end and Raja was running his family on temporary loans, he did not show any negative reaction to his child. He just promised the kid he will bring home a party cake that very evening and left for office.
Suddenly some voices were heard and Raja returned to his senses. A mini crowd of around 10 people had gathered at a table few yards away from where Raja was sitting. They were fluently speaking in English and pranking jokes at each other. It seemed they had flocked for celebrating their colleague’s birthday. In next few minutes, the birthday boy’s face was fully drenched with cake and snaps were taken from various angles. After spending some more time, the group left the place.
Closing his Tiffin box, Raja washed his hands and immediately took his broom and the mop-stick in his hands. He not just cleaned the cake pieces and the cream spilled all over the floor and the table but also the tears flowing from his eyes.