Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dwarpal - The Door Keeper

Here's an old article I had written based on the experience of one of my colleagues. Republishing for your reading pleasure

Predicaments come in various formats. Some predicaments do end after a short duration. Some come in just to stay with you, eternally. But how would one explain predicaments that seemingly end every moment, only to pop up the very next moment!!!

One such predicament is that of my colleague, Dipankar. And the predicament faced by him is no small one. It assumes gigantic proportions at times and ceases to be even a bother the following minute.

Ours is the cubicle that is present right as soon as one enters the door to our floor. It is indeed a fantabulous place!!! Fantabulous, because no one can really escape our notice while on their way to their cubicles. Not to mention also the privilege of getting to know any news as soon as it bursts open on our floor, be it somebody announcing a special event in his/her family or distributing sweets to celebrate the occasion. We are never left out!!!

Now amidst such a marvelous place, what could possibly go amiss for Dipankar? Lots!!!…. according to Dipankar.

This door of ours requires a proximity card swipe to even get out, something that is not anymore in vogue. But then the whole parody lies in it. And our floor is full of people who keep coming in from other branches of the company and it is obvious that they lack the access rights to come in or go out.

Come in, they surely do, courtesy the security outside. But, go out…. How do they do that? Some do knock on the door to grab the attention of the security outside. But to the majority of others, Dipankar is saviour incarnate. Being the guy who sits closest to the door, they turn to him to grant them access to get out.

Time is 9:00 in the morning. Dipankar is checking his mails. “Excuse me!!! Could you please let me out?” a lady’s voice pips. Our guy flashes the best smile available in his repository, gets up from his chair, swipes the card and opens the door for the lady. “Thank You”. Another bright smile from Dipankar and back he is in his seat. Time ticks by… At 9:15 a voice booms, “Can I have your card, please?” Our guy looks up and hands the card to an elderly gentleman. A Sardarji is next to seek our saviour’s help “Excuse me, Can you please give me your card, so that I can go out. Actually, I do not have access rights for this door, but will soon ask the concerned authorities to grant me the same. You know I was transferred here only yester……” the voice goes on. Dipankar has already opened the door for him and the Sardarji is still showering accolades on him for his munificent gesture. Yet another good turn for the day by our man of the moment. Then there are others who do not even openly ask for the card. They tap Dipankar’s shoulder and put up a face that portrays their helplessness. The very look on their face conveys to Dipankar their requirement. And he gallantly hands them the card as though he is bestowing on them the Param Vir Chakra. You must have a look at the panache that he does it with. Old timers too are his “clients”. They just have no time for all the niceties. They have asked for the card so many times that the request that they make has literally got etched on their face and shows up as soon as they spot Dipankar.

The process has been fine tuned to such an extent that our guy’s hand involuntarily gropes for the badge as soon as he sees a person approaching him.

Now, pray what might it be that turns the whole process into a predicament! It’s the “attitude” of certain people as I have noticed it. There are individuals who just demand “Hey man, open this door”. They just extend their hand in a fashion that reminds one of the mannerisms of a “Supari Killer” who asks for his payment before carrying out the assignment. Our guy opens it but then I can see a look on his face that talks of his displeasure over their behaviour. The look on his face clearly says “What do they think I am sitting here for? Is it just to open the door for them every time they feel an urge to get out? I will surely ignore all these people the next time……” And he reseats himself with a steely resolve.

But then the very next person, who requests him for the card, does so in such a sweet manner that our hero is in a quandary. The big question that hovers in front of him is this…”Do I open it or do I pretend he doesn’t exist ?”

His magnanimity at heart rules the roost!!! So magnanimous that he forgets all the bitter episodes and is back to business. Not an iota of pain on his face!!! “Here you go gentleman!!!” and out he lets the guy.

Amazing Guy!!! So much so that our cubicle guys have christened him lovingly “Dwarpal”. And he loves every crumb of attention that we shower on him!!! And on rainy days it’s the experiences of our Dwarpal that keep us engaged!!! Long live the Dwarpal!!!

1 comment:

Deepak Othungot said...

Vijay sir,

Hope u remember me: the summer trainee from IIMK. Just googled my way into ur blog. Gr8 blog; never knew u were this active in blogosphere. So how r u? how r things going? :)