Face The Sun

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I've spent a little less than two months exploring jobs in the most crazed city for techies. What I saw there, I wanted to share it with everyone I know. Life is not all smiles and cherries. It takes a long history of sorrows to start appreciating the joy in everything. I like to believe experiences like these make humans humble and more grateful. And I hope this touches your heart, because it broke mine.

He had a borrowed bag containing his portfolio slung over his shoulder. He didn't want to use his bag because it didn't look nice enough. The signature sky-blue shirt and black trousers seemed to hang over his body too. Sweat soiled his freshly pressed shirt. He tried to look at himself in the Lamborghini's showroom's impeccable glass window. Two kilograms gone in two weeks, he judged.

A salesperson inside smiled at him. He broke away from his chain of thoughts and stole a look at his watch while he boarded a bus. It was two hours to the appointment.

He had missed his breakfast, as always. The conductor gave him a ticket to his destination and he stole a look at his wallet before stuffing it back in the bag. Stealing looks wasn't his thing. But there wasn't much in his life now. He had a total of three-hundred and something rupees left. His bank balance read five-hundred something.

He had never been aware of money. But now that he was chasing it directly through job interviews, he realized how crazy it was. He knew the pang his father would have felt all his life while parting with his money. He was ashamed now. He had come of age. There is a limit to what you can put your parents through.

He wiped his forehead on his sleeve. And when he stole a glance at the sleeve, he realized it was somebody else's. He turned away and muttered a quick sorry. The man stepped on his shoes in exchange. That is when he realized how badly his feet were hurting. He had been walking in cheap leather shoes for ever. They were bound to go bad in the heat.

At his stop, he found himself out of the bus with the crowd. He forged through and rested against a pole. He stole a quick look at his watch again. Now he was ten minutes late for the interview.

He looked around him. He could easily count fifty job-seekers on road at that instant. The tragedy was, not more than five of them were going to the same company. If you want to see engineers from the field of computer science looking desperate, you must visit the silicon valley.

His stomach grumbled from lack of nutrition as he limped across the scorching road to look for the address. He didn't care call for an autorickshaw. They overcharged. His thoughts went back to the list of friends that were toiling away in their respective air-conditioned offices. He had never imagined he'd become so needy to do that himself.

It was almost noon. His day was going to be long. One more session of discussing his candidature for the job. One more painful reminder of what he was and how he deserved to be treated better. One more blow to his self-esteem as prepares to kill his dreams and settle for a contractual slavery.

A tear sprung free and trailed down his face as he climbed up the stairs of a dingy complex. The elevator was out-of-bounds for job-seekers. He wiped the sweat on his face. Sweat, tears, blood, who cared? He shrugged as he came face-to-face with another tired company representative. He extended his hand to the security guard and pulled a smile out of nowhere. It had become sort of robotic now.

The guard asked for his identification proof, matched it to a name in a list he had stuffed in his back pocket and asked him to stand near a wilting plant. The only good thing about Bangalore, he felt, was the weather. Otherwise, the city was as good as shit. In fifteen minutes, the guard snapped at him and urged him to go inside.

He cracked his knuckles and made for the door. The cool wall of air curtain hit him as he pushed them open. Several heads glued to dimly lit monitors turned to face him. He felt ashamed and conscious of himself. In his hurry to leave this feeling behind, he let a zipper toy of the bag hook up with the door. His portfolio fell open, sprawling certificates all over the floor.

The guard came forward, bent down and began stuffing them in the portfolio haphazardly. He'd had enough. He pushed the guard away. Half of the valuable papers were already ruined with angry folds all over now. He picked the rest up one by one. He wanted to cry now. People had started undervaluing people. This taken-for-granted attitude broke him. And he made the decision right there.

He pushed his portfolio in his bag and got up. He turned back to the door, gave the guard an angry look and started descending the stairs. He didn't need their abysmal job. He didn't need a job at all! He wiped his face on his sleeve, spotted a bus and got in without checking the route number. When the conductor asked his destination, he muttered, last stop. He craved peace. He craved solitude.

. . . continued in Face The Moon.

5 comments:

  1. Oh it's really very good. After read it i realize coincidance of job seekers.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, Ajay! I know, job-seeking is a tough business.

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