The Looked After 

Storming up the stairs, rushing through the corridors, opening and closing the doors of the bureau comes a man, wet with sweat, pacing heartbeat, clumsily handled bag and haywire clothes. As usual, he is late but fortunately, his boss is about to arrive. He settles in his cubicle, adjusts his tie and clothes and sighs of relief. 

Accustomed to his routine, he whispers a few words of prayer glancing at the God’s picture and lets out a groan when he sees his beloved sister, Sanghamitra’s picture on the desk. 

She had passed away prematurely a year ago and her brother, Aditya had ever since become somewhat dull. 

Aditya hears his boss coming in. On her way, she talks to the peon and tells him to wish his daughter a very happy birthday. Then suddenly, Aditya hears, “The peon’s daughter worked here as an intern, right?”

 “Yes, my boss has a sharp memory, she remembers all the birthdays once registered in her brain!” , replied Aditya. 

“Aditya, I want the report on my table by tomorrow morning, I hope you remember,” says Boss. “Ma’am but it’s not possible…” , replies Aditya in chaos and tension. 

“I don’t care what you do, whether you come tomorrow or not, I want the report latest by tomorrow morning! And besides it’s not a big task, it takes hardly 2-3 hours to make a report.” , yells the Boss back. 

“Just 3 hours, what a joke! ” mumbles Aditya , and feels stressed once again.

“What happened?” said the voice .

 “Look at this pile, it needs to be rectified and now the report! I wanted to buy Isha a present for her birthday tomorrow. What will I do now, Sanghamitra?!” , cries Aditya.

 “This pile won’t take long and the report will take another three hours.” , retorted the voice. 

“Really, just three hours? I know you, my sister, were an expert of this field, so it seems like my Boss was right about the time consumed in the report.” , says Aditya. 

The voice replies,” She might not be the expert in our field but she is your boss. She ought to be the jack of all trades even if she’s a master of just a few.”

 “Maybe you’re right.” , says Aditya. 

The voice inquires, ” So what are you planning to gift your wife on her birthday?” Aditya replies, “Well, I don’t know, I had actually planned to take her to the mall this evening and let her buy whatever she wants, but this report! Urghh!”

 The voice retorts, ” Stop complaining! Look around you, people are so happy!” “They all plan to go out all the time and their deadlines never seem to bother them, and I am here working all day and yet burdened all the way through!” , replies a disappointed Aditya. 

“You can still take Isha to the mall. Get these piles done by lunchtime and after lunch, try to finish the report by six and leave for home.” , advised the voice.

 “Alright, let’s get to work!” , said Aditya. 

“That’s the spirit!” , retorted the voice. 

After the lunch break, Aditya looks for the folder he has been looking for the past week to get started with the report but doesn’t seem to find it.

 “Go ask your boss, where’s the data?” , said the Voice.
” She is going to yell at me and I even wanted to ask for a half day leave for tomorrow, I don’t know what to do!” , stresses out Aditya again. 

” Just go to her and ask her! You’re stressing unnecessarily!” , exclaimed the voice. 

Aditya goes to his boss’ cabin and asks, “Ma’am, I am unable to find the data for the report.” “Okay you go, I’ll send it to you through email.” , replied she. Aditya gasps a word or two of relief and also looks a little surprised by his boss’ reaction. 

When he downloads the files from the email he finds out that those files already existed on his computer that too, on his desktop! 

“So, it was right here?” , asked the Voice. 

“Yes! I don’t know what I was doing and even more surprising is that my boss, in spite of knowing that, still calmly sent it to me again.” , replied Aditya.

“It’s because you made the efforts of actually beginning your report! And about the half day, just write an application and get it signed via the peon.” , said the Voice. 

“Yes!” , exclaimed Aditya.

At six in the evening, the peon arrives with the approved application and Aditya organises his report for submission. 

Happily, he returns to his desk after submitting the report and hears the voice again, “So, done?” “Yes, I had been whining all these days and you helped me out. Thank you so much, Sanghamitra!” , thanked Aditya. 

“Don’t thank me, thank your boss, she freed you from the shackles of your laziness!” , mocked the voice laughingly. 

Aditya giggles and exclaims glancing at the calendar, “That’s partially true, I am surprised she even approved my half day leave; it’s a peak time of the year for work!” 

When he looks at the calendar, he realises that he was supposed to submit the report the day after tomorrow and not tomorrow. 

The Voice inquires, “Well, does your boss know Isha?” 

“Yes, they were friends in school, I had seen pictures of them, why..??” , Aditya stops midway. 

He tries to recollect and reflect his entire day at work, takes his bag and leaves the office in amazement.


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