Remember those good old school days when you had to prepare for class tests and half-yearly/annual exams in the good old fashioned way. You had to regularly attend classes, read chapters, understand the meaning of what you read, listen attentively to your favourite teacher explaining you the subtle nuances hidden between the lines and reproduce the same on answer sheets. Yes! I am talking about my all-time favourite subject – Literature – a discipline which transports me to a different plane all together!!
However, this post is in a lighter vein. So, let’s not delve into the deeper realms of the subject. I’d rather tickle you with that evergreen joke of an average boy mugging up a series of essays on expected topics. Unfortunately, what he learns by heart does not appear in the question paper. So, he has to write on “The River” instead of the essay on “The Cow” which he has so painstakingly prepared. The result is somewhat like this:
“Our village has a river which runs through the meadow. The meadow is covered with grass. The grass is very green. So, the cows visit the meadow every day for pasture. The cow is a gentle animal. It has four legs, two horns and a long tail. They are white in colour. Cows give milk which is very good for health. I too have a cow at home. Her name is Meena. Every day I take my cow to the fields ….”
And that is how a mediocre feels happy tricking life accosting an unexpected turn!
Coming back to the present, gone are the days of writing essays, passages, précis, letters which have been taken over now by e-mails, blogs, FB posts, Tweets, Smses.
If you ask me I can still fill up pages on any subject, be it the cow or the river, without mooing a protest. However, given a choice, no brownie points to guess the topic on which words will gush out in torrents without a pause to think. Simple! It is “My Boss”, the ultimate discordant note hyphenated between composure and commotion in a pen-pusher’s eventless life. Right?
No! Don’t let your memory cells pan on that (in)famous ad on Hari Sadu. Every boss may or may not be a Hari Sadu. Yet the clan has the enviable ability to endlessly add woe to a subordinate’s servile existence, sometimes by torment and sometimes by passivity. To this the boss has every right to bellow, “Not every subordinate is as docile as you portray them to be.” Agreed. There are those exceptionally bred employees who have the caliber to drive the bosses up the wall. I salute them. Alas! The percentage of this breed is so miniscule as to have next to nil impact on the Body Corporate’s contribution to market share or the GDP.
Bosses are bosses! You cannot image a parallel adequate enough to define them. They can give chameleons a massive inferiority complex when it comes to changing colours and our homegrown netas a run for their money when it comes to defection. Having had the privilege of serving under the worst of the clan, who could put the most formidable celluloid villains to shame, I implore to all my readers not to harbor a second’s doubt on the authenticity of my vouch safe. Much before SRK could break the mold of the stereotypical good-guy-next-door-hero, the bosses had already ushered in the era of the protagonist flaunting definite shades of grey. The true-spirited amiable ones are just exceptions to prove the rule.
Having had such vast experience, I feel it’s my moral duty to share the same with my esteemed readers. There were those (read bosses) who made it quite clear, at the very outset that it’s the junior in grade who had to slog and the cherry on the cake was for them to relish. There were those who would make the poor subordinate toil hard to be told in the closing hours of the day that s/he had done nothing at all. There were those who knew by heart which angle the head was to be turned and which direction the accusatory finger to be lifted when trouble seemed to be brewing in the horizon. And then there were those sharif ones who did nothing, relied heavily on the poor fellows down the line, appreciated their work loudly in public and flogged them (verbally) as well when anything went wrong, that too in full view and audibility of the public. Last but not the least, there were those unique ones, who held their subordinates in utter contempt because who would know better how to (un)do a job than the boss himself? And of course those who do not know Newton’s Fourth Law of Corporate Existence, for them here it is – bosses are always right even if they are wrong and if you are naïve enough to point this out to them it is you who is the epitome of incompetence and ignorance, the one who needs immediate counseling and a course in efficiency and mind application.
With such an illustrious career, (having handled and suffered all of the categories described above), one may assume that I must have by now pocketed all the tricks of the trade to survive in the corporate jungle.
Yes! I have so to speak. The worst of the specimen taught me to learn what I abhorred the most and unlearn what I held dear to my heart. It was hard to compromise, no doubt, harder to follow the herd and hardest to be me in the face of rising pressure brought down to smash the core to pulp. My well-wishers tell me that I have been naïve and to some extent imprudent. I believe wisdom lies not in exhibiting bravado but in showing boldness with a generous scoop of intelligence. I don’t know whether I have passed the exam. But it will be wrong to presume that the battle is without. The war is very much and will always be within till the last breath perhaps. And the fact that I have not given in to the will of the power be and yet stayed afloat adds enormous credibility to the adage je shoi shei roi (s/he who endures is the one to remain).
Shaking off nostalgia, I’d go with the jingle “har ek friend zaroori hota hai”. Likewise, “hare ek boss zaroori hota hai”. Otherwise, during those chatpata aao-behen-let’s-chugli-kare sessions wherefrom would we get the lip smacking ketchupee food-for-gossip but from the latest karnaamaa of the respectable boss?
And God forbid if he overhears that……………….
Shhhhhhhhh…………koi hai kya………………………?