Opening Gambit4 mins 273 4 mins 273
In a game of chess like book writing, the opening is important. That is why it is considered that white is at advantage vis-à-vis the black since the white can decide the opening moves. Same goes with the book or a story, in which the writer has to captivate the reader in the opening lines. For example, the famous Dickens opening “it was the best of times and the worst of times” in the Tale of Two Cities. That leads me to wonder how would one describe 2020 AD?
A vast majority would say it was the worst of the times. But for some people it has been a blessing too. I am going to tell their tale here.
They were a couple with the man having become a senior citizen. They were hopping from temple to temple pleading to powerful deities to bless their son and their daughter-in-law with a child, ‘Santanam” he would say to extend his lineage. Gods it seems were pleased with their prayers and they announced theirs’ soon to be grand parents’ status. They managed to fly off-shores in the nick of time and now grandparenting their grand-daughter. A would be, Kamala in the making hopefully to keep the nation’s flag high even off-shores. One might say that this is a mundane story in so far as conservative Indians are concerned. At some point in time in their life they crave to be grand- parents.
How about a story of a divorcee woman in her late fifties getting remarried to a widower few years older to her? The heroine of this story is living with her mother in a senior citizen home taking care of her mother. While the hero is too living in the same complex. Imagine that the couple are spotted by another senior citizen living in the same complex who thinks the hero and the heroine would make a great match and takes the initiative. Soon enough the guy meets gal and like each other and decide to marry. While the older relatives from both sides readily agreed it was their children who were opposed to the idea of the couple entering into wedlock. As things today some thaw has taken place. The complex became a heaven as they say marriages are made in heaven in so far as the couple is concerned.
That bring me to the last case in question. News media is full of job losses because of COVID. But here I write about a case where a job change happened. The princess in question was working in the travel industry when COVID struck. This sector was the first one to get struck and would perhaps be the last one to recover. So, the company asked her to take leave without pay and the situation seemed to continue. The appeal of the “God who Walks” fell into deaf years as it was not a mere matter of hand clapping or lighting the lamps. For companies, it was about survival and keeping their cost down to the minimum.
She began to apply and was shortlisted for a face to face interview. Her father drove her for the interview and waited till it got over. She breezed through the first round of quantitative objective questions, a set of 15 to be answered in a rush. Then a round of group discussion which once again she sailed through. There was facing her final round and the man (would be boss) was seated across the table. He pointed out things on his table and asked her to make a sales pitch of any object on the table.
The princess chose the mobile stand that you keep in the car. The dialogue between the two went as follows:
P: do you like driving?
P: do you drive a lot in Bangalore
P: Do you know all the streets of Bangalore?
P: do you then use google maps for directions.
P: do you keep the mobile on your lap to view google maps?
P: isn’t it dangerous to take eyes off the road.
P: Won’t it be better you use the mobile stand and drive safely>
The boss offered her the job of the business development executive in his company. You would agree with me that COVID has been the best of times for such people as above.