A Merciful Banker

A Merciful Banker

9 mins

“Hi Manohar, what’s going on?” Kapil asked, stroking his pointy beard with his left hand. He was looking fatter and taller, his waist size was large due to his inflated stomach, but looking younger and softer, might be in his mid-thirties.

Manohar was busy in doing his office work and looked up from his seat and drew a face of comical and said, “Nothing, the same work and the same routine,” his lips puckered in a snarl. Interestingly he had a big head and his lower body was thin and straight. He had thick combed black moustache and withered face.

In this bank office, he was called an indigent fellow, because he never wanted to go for weekend parties with his friends, he never wanted to go for costliest hotels to eat the Chinese and Eastern food items, he never wanted to go for big shopping malls to purchase branded shirts like Tommy Hilfiger or Lewis. Manohar, are you a fool to live a life like a mendicant?

“I don’t think so, you must be playing rummy or chess, isn’t?” Kapil said loudly, slapped slightly on his shoulder. His huge eyes were grinning at him weirdly as he stood behind him. Teasing others was his first priority in the office and he had relished this stunt for years.

Manohar was surprised and panicked by his blunt accusation. His worry was shot up because the other employees were casting an impudent look at him. Not to say, this is the fastest world revolving with WhatsApp and Facebook, and in a flick of second this incident would have captured as video and shared with millions of people. The worst part was that his manager’s cabin was just a couple of feet away from his cubicle and he could see him from the side glass panel. A salty and fresh sweat beads popped out of his cheeks. And he swallowed a thick lump down his throat as he looked at him bemused.

“Low your voice man. People are watching us,” Manohar hissed at him in a minimal voice that could be deciphered by his friend only. His long thin hand beckoned at him to signify it.

“Hey Manohar, why are you hesitating, tell the truth, no?” a bald man said. His broad yellow stained teeth were revealing.

“What to tell?” Manohar raised up his face out of innocence.

“That you are bunking the work to do mischievous things,” the lady said, who had a heavy red lipstick. She sat opposite to his cubicle and combing her fingers with her hair.

There was a thundering laughter erupted from all around the corners. There were at least twenty people working in the big room, all were sitting in adjacent to each other in separate cubicles. They always found a reason to smack him with their laughing fit.

“Anyway, how is your new born baby? You don’t even invite us for naming ceremony, eh?” Kapil said, as he screwed up his eyes. Yes, a girl baby was born on two weeks before but he didn’t invite anyone from his office. In fact, Kapil’s heart was skipped to function for few seconds when he knew that he wasn’t invited him.

“Um, doing good,” Manohar flashed his trademark thin smile.

“What’s her name,” the lady said, without seeing him but typing something on the keyboard.

“Vasundra devi,” he said.

“Huh, what kind of name is this? Are you mad or something to give an old name like that to a child?” she mocked, tossed her free flowing hair on her back. You could see some brown mahendi shades in it, to hide her grey hairs.

“That’s my grandma name. She was kind and loving person, she taught me many things in my earlier age, that’s why I wanted to give that name to my daughter,” Manohar briefed, everyone in the office elbowed their hands on the armrests of the chairs and listened with vehemence in their hearts. They wanted to come and pound their hands at him; you could see Kapil was grating his teeth while locked his eyes at him in a furious gesture.

“Oh, you haven’t grown up man. You are still behaving like a child. Open up your eyes and see the world, learn things from us how to deal with the life,” the bald man said. He ran his hand over his skull to pat the remains of twenty hairs sticking on it. The parachute coconut oil was glimmered on his front head.

Manohar put down his face. Whatever he did, he was blamed by someone. That moment he felt like he had done a serious crime by naming his daughter. A deep embarrassment brushed though his upper face as he clenched his teeth.

“If boy was born, what name you could have selected, eh?” Kapil said and smiled snobbishly.

“Bhishma or Ravana??” a big fella from other table crooned and everyone laughed once again.

“Hey, come on buddies, don’t insult him. It seems, he is going to cry like a baby now,” the lady said and nodded at him for a brief time and plunged into her work.

Yes, Manohar really felt like crying. His eyes glistened but he fought to not pop the tears out of his eyes.

“I forget to ask. Do you still ride in that slender useless motor cycle? What did you do with your bonus money, eh?” the bald man asked.

“I….I…yes…I am driving with the same motor cycle,” Manohar said, after lapsing the words. His big face bobbed hither and thither as he answered them, as if he was in the ring of the court.

“I know, I know, there is no wonder why you are a stupid fellow to not take a good bike with the bonus money,” the old man chided him with his puffed up chest. He shook his head frantically, as if Manohar had done an unforgivable act.

“What are you doing with that money? Going to sleep with witches in the city or what?” Kapil said, his mouth went up to laugh like a mad.

Manohar didn’t say anything, but stayed aloof with drowsy thought.

“Come on tell us, uh, what are you going to do with that money?” the lipstick lady roared her voice, as adjusted her red sari on her flat stomach.

“I…I…don’t know,” Manhor said quietly with a perplexed voice. His hands and fingers were found a cosmic seizure for a fraction of seconds. He flicked his eyes harder to adjust his thick spectacles. Their bellowing voices was hunching over his ears and making him lose his patience and guts to tackle them.

“I haven’t seen a stingy fellow like you in my whole life. See, you don’t even wear stylish goggles to look fascinating,” Kapil made an audacious statement to further damage his reputation in front of others.

“Forget about stylish and fascination and all. I mean, how ridiculous is his thick stone goggles. I hate that man,” the old fellow bawled, as spread out his hands.

The lady shook her head and spread the lipstick evenly on her lips by pushing her tongue out and said, “That’s true, it’s terrible to see him.”

Manohar thought of spring down from that place immediately and jump out of the window. Their each word was like a poison, dripping into the pores of his skin and making him so vulnerable and nasty. He didn’t know how could stop them from hurling their jibe of comments over him. For three years his repudiating situation hadn’t been changed at all, in fact it was getting worse and worse after each day.

“See, still he didn’t tell that I would change it. I tell you he is really a badmash to work with us,” the lady chided him with an ugly look.

Manohar sprung out of his seat as snatched a tiffin box from his table and went down to the canteen to have his lunch. He knew there was nothing could bring him a pinch of happiness in this office, than his roasted chapatis and tasty dal. It was waste of time for him to argue about things that they were not at all interested to consider about. He had a tremendous experience with them on these matters. He sat serenely in a canteen green chair and dipped the piece of chapati into yellow runny dal and put it into his mouth, the taste was good and his embarrassment was drowned immediately. He felt eased.

In the evening Manohar had returned to home and had his small daughter in his arms and carefully nudged her with his fingers. He pinched her little nose and spoke to her in child’s voice to mimic and let her smile. His wife was stood behind him and rested her face on his shoulder and smiled. She was happy and floated in a different world after her child’s birth. Why not? It took them three years to get a baby. Suddenly a telephone rang besides to the TV, Manohor had handed his child to his wife and scurried across the room to speak. He hooked up the receiver and listened. Kapil was on the other side, and his voice was breaking like splinters, only his breathing was echoed back.

“What happened Kapil, is something wrong?” Manohar asked in a serious tone. He knew very well that Kapil had never been in a trauma state like this before, and he always was very fluent and funny while talking with him. But, now he was completely held up with awkward silence and different monologue.

“My…My…,” Kapil’s voice halted.

“Come on tell me, what happened?” Manohar barked.

Kapil thrust a thick lump down his throat and said, “My child Vineeth is admitted in hospital,” Oh God, he was sobbing now. A big man like him was sobbing here, Manohar couldn’t believe this.

“Cool down Kapil. Don’t worry. Is he fine now? I mean how does this happen,” Manohar asked, perhaps with curiosity.

“No,” Kapil roared with chilly emotional note, “The car had hit him while he was walking in the road, his back of the skull was little fractured and he needed an immediate surgery,” he said, it looked like he was screaming over the phone.

“Oh, God, that’s real tragedy. I couldn’t believe it. How people could do such harsh driving to kill others,” Manohar moaned himself.

“I need one help from you, will you do it?” Kapil asked, the tears were soaking his cheeks.

“Please let know.”

“To do this surgery, we need seventy thousand more. I had asked all our employees and no one had money to help me right now…” Kapil said, as his lips trembled.

There was an immediate interruption and Manohar said in a ferocious sight, “Tell me where I should come with the money.”

Kapil was shocked and speechless. The tears were flowing down his neck and wetting his shirt. He never thought of Manohar would help him with a single rupee, but his perception and rapid decision about him was proven wrong. He felt like someone had slapped him on his face with sandals. What a blunder I had done in my life by treating him maliciously in the office. He is the person who has a merciful heart to help others. How snobbishly I had acted to wound his heart all the time, he thought. A huge shame and undeniable embarrassment had spread on his face as he ended the call.

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