The last drop..

Deb said “Bye” to the cab driver while getting down outside his housing society at 5 am, after grilling 8 hour shift.

As Deb walked away, driver said “Ma’m, you don’t speak to anyone in the cab and always sit at the end. Why so?” while looking at the lone female passenger of cab.

“We are not in the same team, we don’t know each other. And I don’t like talking to someone who’s not like me” she said.

“OK, please don’t get angry. I just asked casually” said cab driver and there was no response. She got down near her house in next 5 minutes and quietly waved at cab driver without saying anything.

Next day after picking up all four by 6:30 pm, cab driver said “Starting tomorrow I will not be coming for 1 week, visiting my village to attend a cousin’s wedding. Vendor will send some other cab.”

“Ma’m, as yours is first pick-up so you might get a call from the new cab driver tomorrow, to guide him on the route till your place” he added.

Adi, Deb & Rajesh looked at each other and Adi said “Ma’m!! Which Ma’m? Are you trying to be funny!!”

Cab driver surprisingly said “Ma’m sitting at the last seat. The one who gets the last drop, after Deb Sir. Shonali ma’m, who else?” while slowing down the cab at a lonely stretch as it was getting dusky outside.

By that time Deb was furious and shouted “Hello, are you on some dope. It’s only three of us in the cab. And it has been only three of us in the cab who travel everyday in your cab for past 10 months, since the day when after dropping me early in the morning our cab met with an accident just 500 meters before Shonali’s house. Cab was hit by a truck being driven at very high-speed and she died on the spot. Poor cab driver lost his right hand and got paralyzed. So keep your mouth shut!”.

Cab driver was shivering while pointing his finger at the end and three of them looked at the last seat of cab in horror…..

“Workarounds” are not that bad…..

It was 8:15 pm on a Friday and entire floor was buzzing with youngsters who were eagerly looking to log off in next 30 minutes as they were looking forward to have a weekend finally after 5 hectic work days. Parties, movies were on their mind and last-minute mails were being sent out; calls being wrapped up.

At the same time, a worried and upset Abhimanyu was looking at his laptop’s screen for quite long but doing nothing except for checking his wrist watch every few seconds. While everyone was so excited as day was about to end, he was the only one who was asked by his Manager to stay back till 4 am for a client production support. Last minute leave by one of his team member led to this. A train ticket of 2 am to his hometown “Bhopal” was mocking at him while lying at the desk. He is supposed to attend wedding ceremony of his childhood & best friend. Initial plan was to reach Bhopal 3 days in advance and be part of all wedding rituals; party with friends all those days. But his leaves were not approved due to an important project deliverable, so he was left with no other option except for reaching on the wedding day itself.  He explained the situation to his Manager, but request was rejected by saying “If it’s that important, then you should try to reach Bhopal anyhow but after your shift ends at 4 am” with a smile. He was already pissed off and now being asked by Manager to stretch at the last moment made him insanely mad. This is one wedding he cannot afford to miss come what may,  otherwise he will be killed by Rohit (his friend getting married).

All of a sudden, there was sound of emergency siren on the floor, and security guards rushing on the floor asking everyone to evacuate as there was some emergency. Even before anyone could realize what’s happening, they started to rush out of floor by taking stairs quickly. Most of the people were not able to pick their stuff (laptops, bag etc) and gathered at the assembly area. It was still not clear why exactly they were asked to evacuate the building. About 2500 people from all companies working out of the campus were at ground and staring at the building, few trying to check with their respective Facility team what’s happening.

“There’s a bomb in the building. A call was made at about 8:20 pm” someone shouted and within few minutes every single soul present there was aware of this. Everyone was so excited “Oh wow, can’t believe this is happening with us!” and calling up their friends & families to share this.

Within next 30 minutes many police officials (including top officials) and the Bomb Disposal Squad reached the building. As everyone was asked to go out of the campus boundary, Abhimanyu was following all the action with a smile on his face and heart beating a bit faster. He got a call from one of his team member to reach around the tea stalls near exit gate, as their Manager is gathering the entire team there. On reaching there, his Manager asked “Abhimanyu, where’s your laptop?”.

“It’s at my desk Sir, couldn’t bring it down with me in that rush” said Abhimanyu.

“Oh God, now what happens to production support till 4 am? Police has sealed the building till 5 am in the morning to check each and every floor.” Manager said while dialing his phone. He asked one of the team member at Gurgaon location to drop a note to onshore team about all this and be available for production support till 4 am” While listening to his Manager’s conversation Abhimanyu’s eyes shone. He checked his watch, there’s still time to catch the train.

“Guys, those who take cab should reach at the Cab assembly area and take your respective cabs. Others can also leave as we can’t do anything here. Check your mails tomorrow in the morning for further instructions from Facility team.” said Manager and turned to leave. As he turned, he saw Abhimanyu carrying his travel bag and said “Now, from where the hell you got this bag of yours but missed picking your laptop?”

“Sir, how could I have missed carrying this bag? You only said that I should try to reach Bhopal anyhow” Abhimanyu said with wide smile and a wink in his eyes………..


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