‘Has the last train gone?’
The question came from behind. I was standing in a remote station of Maharastra, broadly Pune, the station quite empty, only some tea-stalls still opened, some coolies preparing to lie down in benches and two street dogs running aimlessly. A sharp, bit cold wind blowing at intervals to declare the arrival of November.
I looked front. A guy in specs standing before me.
‘No..not yet..may be late’ I said.
‘Nothing is going right!’ The guy said smiling.
‘Quite so, the world is in disorder.’
‘I am Ankit Deshpande.’
I introduced myself and then asked, ‘Where from you are coming so late?’
‘I had an interview in a call center..these call centers often stretch it to extreme..’
I looked at the guy with observant eyes.
‘Hey, you thinking that I am quite old for a call center..you are right buddy..I am 30+ ..’
I smiled. Just to avoid my embarrassment.
‘You are right, he said ‘I am a new bird in this industry, lost my earlier job in printing industry..you know why?’
‘Why?’ I have to ask. The guy loves to talk.
‘Because I am a part of the exodus. The drop of sensex..the depression in world market..the changed political pattern of U.S…any thing can be the reason..I just got the pink slip..and what about you?’
For a moment I thought I should lie.
But then looking at the innocent face of the guy changed my mind. Instead of all his troubles, the guy is holding a smile in his lips as it is the shadow of his life..as if these troubles are so funny to him..a thing to smile.
Thus I disclosed myself.
‘I am in IT but at present almost in a same scenario like you, for six months out of any project, and in bench without salary!’
‘What competency you are?’
The guy thought for a moment and then from his purse brought out a card and gave it to me.
‘You can contact this person! He is a kind of relative to me. He can be of help to you I hope!’
I was really amazed. Can’t help asking, ‘Why you are not trying it for yourself?’
The guy said after a pause, ‘I am a simple graduate buddy.Don’t have that technical core!’
The next moment breaking all the silence of the night station the last train arrived. And one of my friend Arjun, who is new to Pune stepped down from it.
I came to receive him here.
I looked at the guy and said ‘Thanks!’
And then shake hand.
The guy started running.
I forgot to ask one question.
I shouted, ‘What about today’s interview..got the job in call center?’
Ankit, the guy jumped into the running train and then shouted, ‘No Man, I don’t have the desired US Accent, you know..!’
And thus he went away with the train.
Leaving with me some moments of unexplainable amazement and paradoxes.
May be that can be the end of our relationship but one day as my condition became more desperate I went to try my luck and met the person Ankit reffered about and then only through two rounds of interview I got the job.
I searched Ankit all over. Couldn’t find him. I asked Mr. Gupta, the boss, he also was not able to give any news about him. Sometimes thus when I am alone I thought of that night..the station..the guy..who without knowing me even selflessly helped me. A person who himself needed job badly and engulfed in all sorts of problems, a person who is nothing but a simple graduate..suppressing all his pains and tensions with a smile hand me over a link to a big job!
How? I asked myself.
But I have no answer.
Just found that the guy whom I met that night in the silent station was not ordinary but special..very special. Sometimes I recollect his smile among his dark face.
It appeared to me as if….
the root to lost humanity..
in these days of terrorism and demoralized values.
A face which I would remember throughout my life
As nothing but
The Face of God.
(Based on a true story..an experience of my friend.)