Sunday, March 18, 2007

For want of a dustbin (2004)

My first job after I graduated from MS was in a small start up company in Hyderabad called Danlaw. The DSP group in that had all of six people and two of them worked in another office. As can be expected, we bonded into a close knit unit. Within a month of my joining, one person left for USA and that left three of us in office. Ritesh, Madhubabu and yours truly. We did everything together, coding, lunch, even the short tea breaks. Our boss was Reddy, a singular individual. If he needed anything done, he would call an engineer up to his office, describe what needs to be done in 5 minutes, and spend the next two hours explaining the social and economic situation of India and specifically the state of Andra pradesh. The poor engineer would take a good half an hour to recover from this mauling and come back to his senses, by when it would be time for lunch. After lunch he would have two tasks at hand. The first is to get the task done and the second is to crouch under his seat or jump out of the window whenever Reddy sir is in the vicinity. If he fails to do so his punishment would be another two hours with Sir discussing the art of living and the key to a happy and prosperous future. Whatever the case, sir would expect the task to be done at 6, failing which the engineer would be subject to another two hour lecture on the values of time management and punctuality.

That bitter pill called experience taught us that 3 O clock in the afternoon is when Reddy sir becomes restless and comes looking for a lamb to slaughter with his words and we got into the habit of taking a long tea break at close to 3 ' O clock. So there we were, Madhu, Ritesh and me, at the terrace one day, looking down at the road below, talking about how good we had become at time management and punctuality by taking this half hour break. I was the first to finish my tea and I looked around for a dustbin. Dint see one, but I did see a dustbin down below on the other side of the road. Confidence personified, I wrapped up the tea bag in the tea cup (to give it some weight) and threw the tea bag right across the road into the bin. Next came Madhu. He asked me where I threw my cup and I pointed to the bin. He looked unsure "Will it go that far?" "Dude, I just threw my cup" "Alright then! here goes" .. and he threw the cup. But the cup dint fly, it only floated. He had forgotten to wrap the tea bag. A strong wind would have brought the cup right back to us .. but where is wind when you need it .. where is anything when you need it. Darn you Murphy .. I'll get you one day. All three of us leaned over the parapet to see where the glass would land. There was a poor innocent soul down below. Well dressed, tie, polished boots, the works. He had parked his bike and was intent on adjusting his dress and hair, fixing up any minor glitches. Looked really chic too. The glass landed upside down on his head with the last drops falling on his shirt. Madhu and I disappeared in a flash but Ritesh was still there, frozen, a foolish grin pasted on his face. I don't know what followed, as Madhu and I ran straight into Reddy sir and got a fitting punishment for the next two hours. I will however say that, since that day, whenever we went up for tea, Ritesh would bring a small plastic bag with him for us to keep our cups .. just in case there was no dustbin around.


Pratibha said...

What!!I dont believe it...Nikku who talks all about US and actually even preaches me all good about it,forgot Manners!!!!!!!I mean US manners :)....U knw wht this proves u do belong to THE third world country :D hehehe

Jayson Joseph said...

Interesting.. :)

Ms Cris said...

What really happened to Ritesh I wonder. Hmm!