Only six months prior to my retirement, I was dismissed from service. I might have committed suicide the same evening, but my experience as Accounts Manager came to my rescue. I returned home, recovered from the pit of humiliation and am surviving to tell my tale.
While returning home on that fateful day, my mind was like skies overcast with darkest clouds. Thoughts pierced like lightning and my body trembled with shock. How shall I face my wife ? What shall I tell her … that a young upstart simply fired me from service of 26 years.
Thank God ! my wife does not look that beautiful and graceful now. It will be easy breaking the dirty news to those wrinkled eyes and sunken cheeks. She may understand another failure and take it in her stride. After all, she has seen so much in life. I felt grateful to my children for having shifted to bigger cities for better prospects. The news will trickle down to them in time and shall lose its bite with time.
Despite economic constraints, my father had sent me to college for higher studies.But studies were never a priority for me. I wasted golden years and precious money pursuing nothing. Ultimately, I settled down as Accounts Clerk with a local firm for a meagre salary. Soon, I learnt all tricks of the trade and was earning double the amount of salary in shape of underhand deals, tips, commissions etc. My conscience must have cried, revolted, squeaked and then finally fallen silent as I made innumerable adjustments for my employer’s and my own benefit. But damn that conscience, I did not know that it was alive and angry like a villain and shall make a last try to reassert itself. So it happened like this :
My Boss (now the owner’s son) called me to his office and ordered some accounts adjustments. I refused explaining the consequences and complications of the intended action. He was not in a mood to take no for an answer and insisted that I do the job. It was then my conscience awoke from the deep slumber. I was like a rock and did not budge from my stand. My boss then ordered me not to come to the office from the next day.
How I lost my temper and insulted him then. The pent-up anger built on years of humiliation found words and my tounge stopped only when he asked the security to throw me out. I picked my bag and returned home, listless, dizzy, shaken like a man in a dream, walking in slumber, regretting nothing, appreciating nothing; just thinking of my wife and wasted years.
Today, I am a spent force. How well did I live my life? I do not know. When I look at my sons and daughters placed comfortably and happily married, I feel pleased. But my own journey with that tough woman called my wife who could never boast of 10 sarees and 4 gold bangles till she turned fifty, leaves me dejected, unhappy and retired hurt.