Thursday, February 12, 2009

Shoeshine boy

[These pictures taken at Dadar station within minutes of each other elicited two totally different reactions in me. Here are the stories I would like to think they told.]

Shoeshine Boy - I

Who does that Navin Srivastava think he is? Coming into the company with his fancy degrees and upsetting everything. ‘Call me Navin’, he says, and now, even the chaiwalla doesn’t address me as Saab.
I was all set to become the Asst Manager when Khaporkar retired- after all, haven’t I been in this department twenty years? But that bloody Srivastava wants to inject fresh blood into the organisation.
I wish I could quit, but like the wife keeps taunting - who will employ me?
For five minutes a day, at least the shoeshine boy makes me feel like a lord.

Shoeshine Boy - II

Every action of his is like poetry. A quick swish to get rid of the dust. Rubbing in just the right amount of shoe-polish, polishing it vigorously with a brush. The final work with the rag to get that perfect sheen.
There was a time when people took pride in their work. Now they either demand advancement without merit, or want to start right at the top.
When I retire in October, the people I will miss most are these shoeshine boys. They are of the old school. Theirs is the work ethos that no longer exists in organisations today.
Drabble (n) - an extremely short work exactly one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.
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