Friday, July 1, 2016

After All Life Goes On..

Struggling to close his teary eyes, he leans back on the chair. He gets up few moments later and strolls down towards the exit.
“Here is the end of a long tumultuous journey”.  He looks back at shelves laden with old files and table fan screeching aloud in the corner.
His weary looks are far cry from the occasion. It was 35 years back when he joined the bank as an officer. He was an ambitious young man back then. It hasn't been easy for him to find purpose in life after losing his family 10 years back.

“Nair jee, you have been a great inspiration to me” – said an intern hugging him. He tapped the shoulder of the young man and asked for his name. He probably remembers the name “Is he the same guy who asked about my motivation to work in the bank? Is it Nivesh?”
“I’m Nivesh Arora, an intern in Liability department”. He could see his own younger-self in Nivesh.
“Nair jee, I asked you a question sometime back about your motivation to work day in and day out. You didn’t reply it then”, Nivesh said clutching his hands, “I thought about it. It can’t be just money, right?”
“Well, it’s different for everyone son” he said with a smile, “Life is a long journey. Money may motivate you for some time. It may be growth other time. We spend most precious of our times at work. You need to figure your motivation yourself”
“It has to be money to me. It’s the wealth creation which motivates me. Any rationale human being would strive to live a life of comfort. It’s the money which could get me one”
“Money may give you a comfortable life but will it give you a happy life?”
“What is comfortable is what is happy. I see you in your office before anyone comes in and leave after everyone has left. You have enough money to retire to a comfortable life. What is your motivation?”

He had no answer to this question. He doesn’t know what drives him. He rushed away from the discussion. He doesn’t know what has been driving him all these years.
It’s a strange feeling. Life will not be same anymore. It’s his last time driving from office to home. He stops at the tea stall on his way back to home.

“Nair sahib, please come. I’ve made a special cardamom tea for you” said the Tea seller,
“And I’m not going to charge you for this. You have not just been a great customer but a great guide to me to manage my finances.”  Nair acknowledges the appreciation and sips his tea slowly. “What’s the hurry? There is no one waiting for me at home.” he thinks.

He decides to take a detour and meet one his old client. Kumar owns a large textile shop at a prime location in the market. He had applied for a loan 5 years back but bank declined the application citing his credentials. Kumar would have gone broke if loan was to be denied.

“Nair Sir, I wanted to attend your retirement ceremony but couldn’t do so. It is such a pleasure to see you here in my shop. All this wouldn’t have been possible without you” Kumar says lunging out of his chair to hug him. He knew about Kumar’s entrepreneurial abilities when Kumar approached the bank for loan. Kumar had a fantastic business model. It was Nair who presented the case again and arranged for approvals. Kumar has the largest textile shop in the area today. He & Kumar go back in the memory lane during their conversation.
It was 9 in the night and he decides to take leave. He pushes the key and rotates it furiously to start the car. The engine switches on but dies down immediately. His car has been giving him troubles lately but he didn’t find time to take it to the repairing shop. He calls up the repairing shop and 15 minutes later the car pickup truck was at the spot. 
“Nair sahib, I’ve been telling you to sell this old car and get a new one. I’ll get you good price” - quips Ram, the owner of repairing shop, “What will you do with all this wealth, Sahib.” Ram has helped him buy this car 12 years back before that unfortunate incident. This car reminds him of the first drive to Ooty with his family. He recalls his wife almost banging this old couple crossing the road while learning to drive. She somehow managed to stop the car at whisker of distance away.
“Too many memories Ram, can’t let this old pal go away”

It’s close to mid-night when he reaches home. He is still thinking about Nivesh’s question. Probably there is no drive for him. Probably job was his way to help the people and society at a large. Or probably it’s the work which allayed his pain and sufferings.
He lies down on the bed. He doesn’t know what life entails for him tomorrow morning. May be this new uncertain life will help him find a purpose to be alive and keep moving.

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