As I walked into the corporate office 8 long months after being deputed at the customer location, I saw a gentleman approaching with a big smile on his face.
With the company dress-code being made very flexible in the recent past, he was pretty much neatly dressed for it – a tucked-in collared t-shirt, blue jeans that seemed last washed in August and a branded pair of sport shoes. While he walked
along besides me towards my bay, I could sense the green tag around his neck ending up safely within the insides of his t-shirt pocket.
As I took my designated seat in the bay, he seemed all prepared for an uncalled chitchat session as he made himself comfortable at my desk right next to the monitor.
He: “Hey dude, long time. Where had you been? Oh right, you were working out of that client location. Is that assignment done?”
Me: “Hiii, yes I was at the customer location and I’m back here from today.”
He: “Good good, your client was S***** right…heard you had a great time over there?!”
Me: “Don’t know who gave you that information of me having a great time, but yes you got the customer name right!!!”
He (laughs): “No one did, I was just making small talk…Haha…ha!”
I smiled, as I saw him get himself all well settled with his back now being rested against my desk dashboard.
He: “So have you got into a project or what?”
Me: “No, not yet…”
He: “Aish hey yaar…enjoy your time while on bench, for once you’re tagged to a project it’s gonna be tough. Just look at me, for instance!”.
Me: “Yeah right! You seem to be very busy these days!”
I say that, as I take a look (stare??!) at his t-shirt pocket. I see a ball-point pen with “Nayantara’s photograph” on its handle.
He: “Stop staring at my chest yaar.”
Me: “Err…I was just…”
He: “Haha…Ha…just kidding yaar. You can stare as much as you want to!”.
Me (Ewww, in mind): “Err…well, no…I was just wondering who you…I mean how some of you…anyway, where did you get that pen?”
He: “Ah! So you were staring at this pen-ah?! It’s a long story, will tell you during lunch time.”
Lunch time?! Oh no…he was getting more than comfortable now with his legs swinging in the air, for every word he said, for every move he made while his eyes gaze around checking out the fairer junta.
Me: “Oh that’s fine. I’ve a team lunch today. I’ll listen to your pen-story some other time.”
He: “Team lunch?! Whom you trying to make a fool out of, man…you’re on bench no, you just said yourself!”
Me: “That’s correct. What I meant is that my ex-teammates have all come over here and they’ve called me to join them for lunch!!”
He: “Hmmm…So you got married some 2 years back right? Any issues?”
As I wonder what he meant by “issues”, his phone rings “Aa ante Amala…” in decibels exceeding the normal acceptable limits.
He: “Apologies…I gotta take this, an important call!”
Thank god, for it saved me from getting into an awkward topic.
He: “Sorry boss, wrong no.
I’m in a meeting right now, please don’t call me during office hours.
Yes 9-6, but I reach home only after 7:30 ok-wa?!”
He: “So where were we?!”
Me (in taunt mode): “Was that your wife on the call?!”
He: “Hey! So you think I got married without telling you-ah?! What man you…”
Me (now in guess mode): “Oh, but I thought…”
He: “Yes yes, I had a girlfriend. She had a boyfriend, but it was not me. Girls are tough to understand man. Big mistake I did, in trying to assume things. Long story, will tell you sometime.”
Me: “Sorry, my bad man. It’s ok.”
He: “No, it’s not ok. You write blogs no, this could give you a good storyline.”
Me (in scary mode): “You read my blog?”
He: “No, I’ve not but I heard that you do. You must teach me how to, man. Maybe I could find someone I like, you know?!”
Then after some more senseless exchange of sweet-bitter nothings, he got down my desk to eventually take leave, with a promise to get in touch(??) again.
As he left, I asked the colleague sitting next to me if he knew who that guy was. My neighbour who was all the while a silent partner in the conversation laughed, stating “You so wished his ID card wasn’t inside his pocket, isn’t it?! Me too!!” 😀