Rahul couldn’t quite digest the fact that he was out of a job.
This morning, as usual he left home at 7.15 AM in his office cab which promptly dropped him off at office at around 8.00 AM, and as was his normal schedule, he went straight up to the 10th floor cafeteria and ate his standard breakfast of aloo poha drowned generously in the sambar that Ramu Anna served. And after the breakfast, he went up to Ganesh, took the piping hot filter coffee and walked up to the smoking area in a secluded corner of the floor. Taking up his usual spot right next to the 4 ft tall steel cylindrical ash-tray where he balanced the coffee cup, he lit up his Wills Navy Cut cigarette. Given that he was the only male associate in the 8 AM shift which comprised of 4 other colleagues, Rahul’s mornings were spent in relative solitude unless he came across one of his other smoking friends once in a while.
Today was yet another lonely day when he had an opportunity to think about his last few tasks of the previous day and gather up enough momentum mentally to prepare him for the day ahead. Since it was the middle of the month and all the dashboards and reports relating to the previous month had been completed and published, today was not going to be an especially hectic day for him. He therefore decided to revisit one particular Excel Macro which he had been working for quite a few days now, which would enable him to retrieve data from the database with the single click of a button, which would save him approximately 25 odd mins on at least 3 days a week. It was simple innovations like these that enabled associates to stand apart from the crowd in competitive times like these.
At around 11.15 AM, when Rahul returned to his desk from his first cigarette break for the day, he noticed that his manager, Shankar Sir had pinged him on the instant messenger asking him to come into his cabin. Now, the fact that Shankar Sir was a sweet person who was also a straight-shooter who did not believe in either sugar-coating or exaggerating anything he said endeared him quite a bit to all associates who reported to him, and Rahul was no exception. In fact so much so, that Rahul treated Shankar Sir almost like an elder brother whose words and advice he would never reject.
But today when he went into the cabin, he saw something completely unexpected. Shankar Sir was taking his personal belongings one by one and was putting them into a cardboard carton which was kept next to his chair. When he saw Rahul walk in, Shankar Sir motioned him to close the door behind him and then sit on the chair.
“Rahul, I have some bad news for you. Without beating around the bush, I want to get straight to the point. Our company has decided to close down its Indian operations with immediate effect, and we have all been informed that today will be our last working day.”
Rahul was stunned and didn’t quite know how to react. Swallowing hard, he barely mumbled “But why, we seemed to be doing well. Just the other day you were telling us about our robust pipeline of work.”
Realizing that Rahul was on the verge of an emotional breakdown, Shankar Sir asked him to accompany him to the 10th floor cafeteria where he bought him a coffee and took him to the smoking area. Here, he narrated the incident of the flatulent Farsi.
(Two days before Rahul lost his job)
Their company Phoenix Inc had been founded by 32 yr old Darius Treasurywalla purely due to the fact that he was from a wealthy family which could fulfill his every whim and fancy. During the five years that the company had been in existence, the Indian operations had been running only due to the untiring efforts of its small Sales and Business Development team which was led by an ex-Infoscion who had used all his contacts and industry networking contacts to bring down business for the company.
However, the recession and overall market downturn had hit the Treasurywalla family hard and they were more than a little hard-pressed in terms of cash flows right now. In fact, their only hope in retaining their wealth and opulence (and more importantly Phoenix Inc) relied purely on Darius’ impending marriage with Princess Christine of Lichtenstein.
Darius and the princess had been going around for around 6 months when she had decided that it was time for him to meet her father, the Royal Highness, the King of Lichtenstein, so that they could formalize their engagement. And Darius was sure that when news of his ‘royal engagement’ would get around, banks and other people would make a beeline to him to lend him money and by virtue have a ‘royal connection’.
Given that Christine was the King’s only child and she seemed to like Darius quite a bit, the King spared no expense in organizing a lavish banquet to announce their engagement. And Darius being the garrulous over-enthusiastic spoilt rich kid he was ended up gorging on the buffet which included more than its fair share of beans, cauliflowers, asparagus, and as if this wasn’t enough he ended up eating more than a few Punjabi aloo samosas which the King had specifically ordered in from an Indian caterer for the event.
When the King stood up to make an announcement and the crowd fell silent. He went on to declare that the banquet had been organized to announce the engagement of his daughter, the lovely Princess Christine with young Indian tech wiz kid Darius Treasurywalla and asked the couple to take center stage. Christine led the way and bowed gently to the crowd but it was when Darius bowed that the trouble started.
His gastronomical exploits of the last two odd hours finally exploded (for lack of a better word). He had farted, right there in the middle of Lichtensteinian and European royalty, and as if once was not enough, it ended up being a series of farts.
Not one to take insults easily, a clearly embarrassed Christine immediately called off the engagement, which among other things left Darius Treasurywala almost penniless as he was pretty much living off the reputation of being a ‘royal boyfriend’ for almost a year now.
Net result, as Shankar Sir was telling Rahul, was that Phoenix Inc had to be shut down as its owner and sole promoter, the flatulent Farsi was bankrupt.
It was only then Rahul realized that the consequences a simple fart had purely depended on when and where it was unleashed.
This post is written for WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts where the idea is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided.
Today’s prompt was “Think Global, Act Local. Write a post connecting a global issue to a personal one”
All images used in this post have been sourced from Google Image search