Lunch Money-Afterthoughts

I can’t believe I have been working so hard that I didn’t get time for consolidating the afterthoughts of Lunch Money. I guess bosses at home and work are exploiting me, I couldn’t get my mind straight for keying down the part2.

OK so after that unfortunate lunch that day, my mind hovered back to the lunches at work when I was working in my dear own India. I had worked almost 6 years over there and never ever witnessed such an incident .There you are spared of such inane things to spoil your day.

Back there, first of all I would never go for lunch alone. The whole group always went together. Someone made sure all were asked for lunch and people absent from their desks were also called to join for lunch. The members were pulled out of the smoke-rooms and meeting-rooms (if possible) to join for lunch. Sometimes somebody asked the group to wait so that he/she can finish a piece of work/finish a meeting and the group did wait. Of course people having meetings immediately after, went ahead but at least one member waited for that guy. And as this lunch procession headed towards the canteen, it also stopped for the restroom-goers on the way. It was a small get together, some chit-chat, lots of leg-pulling in the lunchtime, after all, we were with each other 8-9 hours everyday, a major part of the wakeful time;and after all humans are herders, this race is not those of loners, then why should each one go and get his/her own lunch. And after lunch we would have gone for a little stroll together, unlike the solitary joggers you get to see here. I don’t want to these draw invidious comparisons but am forced to do it everyday.

So my co-workers back in India would have made sure that I would never have to go to the canteen alone for lunch. But still assume, I did land up in the canteen alone and also assume that I didn’t have any money in my pocket. So assume again that I am at the mercy of the canteen staff. The good old bhaiyya behind the counter would never have smiled at me. He would have a stolid face, might also seem grumpy at times (unlike the American plastic smile).He would never in his life have bothered to say “How do you do”. That is not his job.

But still I know it deep inside that if he spotted me fishing in my wallet for some money to pay him, he would have surely said –“koi baat nahin,baad mein de dena” without the slightest hint of smile and without pausing to hear my weak “Thank you”, he would be busy with the next person in line .After all I am not a thief, who would just not pay the small lunch money debt the next day.

And thus without my asking for help, he would have offered what he could do. That is what Indians are about. They don’t go into superfluous How-do-you-dos and Good-Mornings but they are there for you when you need them, to do what they can for you. They are made of the real substance-the human substance. I can imagine very well if I ask a fair skinned one for help in case of any emergency, the answer would be “Call 911”- that’s called the programmed robot substance.

Every person here it seems walks around with a gas chamber around his head , this is made of a material which is impenetrable. His smile cannot be pierced through, his expression is like the artifacts in a museum labeled “Please do not touch”. It seems that all the courtesies and niceties like How-are-you, Thank-you, Sorry are just rubbed onto the skin, failing to reach down into the blood.

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