Helping a friend can actually put one in trouble. It can prove to be one with a huge price tag. A case of being “overcharged”! To be a good friend or not to be? A million-dollar question then lingers in the mind for long. But what’s the use of being a friend if you can’t be of any help?
Too oblique a start? Too many baffling questions, leading nowhere? Ok, let me share what happened a few days back to get you the right perspective.
I had an annual sales meet to attend on that star-crossed day. Rather I should call it “rain crossed” day. Why blame the stars always when its someone else’s deed? The heavens had opened the flood gates and rain Gods had decided to get my part of Earth drenched to the bone!
Metro city of my residence boasts of ‘never letting anything stop it’. Life just goes on and on, whether crawling, walking, running, sailing or flying whichever way that suits it. This spirit had rubbed on to me as well. On top of that it was the day of annual sales meet! How can I, the leaf level sales staff, the most important they label it (just for the sake I believe, from the star rated treatment we folks are meted with); dare to get late to the office, even in the distant dream? To make it worse, I recollected that I have specified “swimming” as my hobby. I am thus morally bound by the declaration on my CV to swim if the roads are clogged and they offer waterways rather than the roadways to reach office in time… am I not?
With this sense of urgency, I was about to step out of the house. There he stood, rather lying on the floor, in the corridor. I was saved and so was he, by few inches; else would have almost stamped him. Retreating a step back, I attempted to gain my balance. I was shocked. As he lay motionless, I feared the worst. He appeared enervated, exhausted. Dawned to me that he might have been attacked as well. It was an emergency. On a closer look, I saw the signs of life. I was relieved. I had to save my friend.
Leaving the pressing need to proceed to the office at the doorstep, I tried my best to bring my friend inside the secured confines of my drawing room. Brining him inside without hurting him further was momentous. Once successful, I rushed to the small green patch of my balcony. I picked up some leaves that had fallen into the soil in the pots.
Yes, leaves, you read it right! Earthworm eats leaves that fall on ground and are decomposing. Have we not learnt it in primary school? Apart from earthworms, there are few other friends as well who show up especially in monsoon. The centipedes and the snails are my other favourites of the season. That day however, the earthworm alone had paid the visit and that too in a flaccid state.
I couldn’t have asked him to have tea or coffee to perk up, you see. The rains had already traumatised him by making him flee his house and lead a life of refugee. Finding a shelter in the concrete jungle is no mean feat for the poor creature. And it had crawled all the way up to 10th floor where I stay or may be had slithered down from 25th floor…you never know and he won’t tell! Refugees have no documents most of the times. One thing was sure, he knew that he had to knock on the friend’s door. So, there he was.
Coming back to my rescue efforts… I waited anxiously, till it wriggled. All this while, I had scouted for a perfect rehab for it in one of the money-plant pot from the balcony garden. I transferred my friend to the place that he would find similar to his native. Asked him to give me five. He had got too busy in exploring new camp so I left him at that that. Believe me what a sense of relief, I felt! It was short lived though…sigh…
A glance at my wrist watch, gave me a scare. Coz all I could see was the red face of my boss, his wagging tongue and not the face of the watch! The rescue operation had taken away precious twenty odd minutes from my tight schedule. It was sure to ruin my next twenty months at least! ‘The satisfaction of having pulled a friend from “gone too soon”, to life is far more rewarding than any reward at the annual sales meet’ I consoled myself. ‘But…who said you are going to get a reward at the meet? Or have they instituted a reward for late comers?”, doubted and sneered the other me.
What happened at the office later? You are wise enough to guess… (or else read the first few lines to gauge the intensity of what might have happened…)