Author : Manoj Sadasivan
Company : Infosys Ltd.
I am sitting on a verandah, near a roadside shop. The shop is at a little distance from the busy road connecting two vantage points in the city. It would be around 6 in the evening. The day was sweltering hot all through and heat is just subsiding. I noticed that vehicles are not moving. Seems like a traffic jam is just building up. I peeked into the glitzy-Whitzy cars that is competing with each other to find a little space to inch forward. Drivers are restless and honking. Passengers in the car varied from one another. Some of them are very young and dressed up. They should be working in IT companies or some new generation banks. There are elders in some others. Some has foreigners and some has business executives. They seem be not bothered about their surroundings, may be they are on their computers or mobile phones. All of them seem to be in a race to win something
This was not new to me. I see this every day, everywhere. It took me to my old days; the days when I use to be part of the same community that I see on the roads now, determined to poise forward, clinch every opportunity that I got, make more money, meeting new people every day. I use to own a car- I don’t remember which one that was. I was working in a private company that has setup its office newly there. Getting a job there was my dream when I was studying the nearby college. My joy knew no bounds when I received the offer letter from them. I worked for over 15 years in there. I had to put over time, week days and weekends. They grew their company in many other cities in the country. I was paid well and had no worries. I use to be just like the folks who are on the road now. I did not have time to gaze out and look at the world we live, smile at other people, enjoy the birds that flew by or to spend time with my mom, dad, wife or my kid.
I remember the day when somebody told me that company is going to cut down on the jobs; thanks to economy – it’s on the downward spiral I am told. I was confident about my position, but was one of the first few who were shown the door. I was over 35 then and nobody seem to be in need of people at that age. They only need young talents who have just stepped into their twenties. I kept my job loss a secret from my family, but I had to open up after a while. They only had questions, somebody made a joke at me, some of them were pitiful. None had a job to offer. Losing my job was painful, it was more hurting losing my family trust and support. It did not took a long time before I lost my house, for I defaulted on my loans. My “family” left me because I am not a bread winner anymore.
Somebody applied a sudden break. The car’s squeaking sound brought me back. I just realized that someone ordered a tea for me and has placed it before me. My beard has grown too much and I am a little itchy here and there. My clothes were torn and all I have is a bag full of rags that I picked the whole day. They call me “Mad Man”.