Live Life King-Size
by Sudha Chandrasekaran
(Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India)
“Good morning Ma’am,” said Sunil, as he entered the huge building of a software company, Alok and Sons, headed by Alok Mishra… After introducing himself to the receptionist, he took his seat in the lobby where there were already 15 persons waiting for their turn to be interviewed. With anxiety writ large on their faces, people were seen moving in and out of the room. The lobby was bustling with activity.
“Mr. Sunil, please proceed to the room, “called out the receptionist.
On seeing the elegantly dressed, handsome and pleasant mannered Sunil entering the interview room, said Sunita, “Wow, what a handsome guy!”
“Welcome Sunil… I am impressed with your resume… multi-skills and fantastic experience too… By the way, may I know you why returned from the US even though you had a very successful career and a handsome salary?”
“Well, I thought, enough is enough in the US… I would like to use my skills in our own country…as I am always a proud Indian at heart…”
“That’s interesting now… Finally our MD would like to meet with you… Kindly wait for 30 minutes.”
Said Sunil, “Sure, I will.”
Having done his MS and PhD in the US in the ivy leagues there, Sunil decided to return to his motherland to take care of his parents and to bring up his children in his motherland…
“Mr. Sunil,” this way please said the receptionist in a soft tone… On entering the room he saw the panel of judges…consisting of Sunita, Alok and Company adviser Viswa. Viswa and Alok appeared to be in their late 40s…
“Come on in Mr. Sunil…Your bio-data is very interesting and highly impressive and speaks volumes about your intelligence,” said a smiling Viswa.
“Thank you Sir.”
The employees of this company need to put their heart and soul into making this company a leading one in the field. As such they may have to put in unlimited number of working hours. You must be ready to head an important project… You would have probably read about the company before attending the interview…
Continued Viswa, “Mr. Alok is a very good friend of mine. He started this company with just four friends of his who soon parted ways…He worked day and night and struggled hard to bring up this company to this level and started branches in the metro cities of India..This company today is the fruit of 20 years of Alok Sir’s untiring efforts. He competed with several companies. .His next plans are to expand this company in the overseas market as well. All this is because of Sir’s intelligence, business acumen and unstinting hard work. Several guys are willing who are willing to work in our company… We are continuously interviewing people and trying to get the best candidates possible.”
‘Yes, that’s what we are looking at,” acknowledged Alok.” What is your package expectation Mr. Sunil?”
Sunil told him his expectation.
The three of them on the board had a discussion.
Said Alok Mishra “Well, Mr. Sunil, we are agreeable to your package… We once again reiterate Mr. Sunil; you may have to continue the culture of working relentlessly… Ok? Your appointment order will be ready soon.”
“Sorry Sir, I would like to put across certain points before accepting the order.”
“Sir, I am 35 years old… have a wife and two daughters…My family is my priority… next is my job Sir.”
“What exactly do you want to convey?”
Continued Sunil, “Sir, as per law, we have to work for 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. What others do in 60 hours, I can finish in 40 hours Sir… I have trust in my abilities…If there is something more to be done, I will work from home… Please do not expect me to come in by 9 am and work up to 11 in the night… I would love to spend time with my family Sir. The satisfaction and happiness that is derived from this is unparalleled. I will be able to come in by 9am and wish to get back home by 6 in the evening…”
Remarked Alok Mishra,” You will be working only 5 days a week… You can very well spend quality time with your family during the weekend…Is it not?”
Sunil went on, “Sitting in the same place all the 5 days of a week; munching short eats from the canteen; drinking a cup of tea or coffee now and then; and at times skipping lunch in the afternoon… leads to ulcer; tension rises many a time, ultimately causing high blood pressure. Then returning home around 11 pm and dashing straight to bed without any dinner and being dead to the world to 8 am in the morning….Then again the next day morning rushing to office without breakfast… reaching a bit late…
swallowing the harsh words of the team leader and working without a break to complete the project.. The same story repeats every day till Friday… Then wait eagerly for the week end…not for any outing or relaxation but to take rest at home as we get burnt out by the time we hit the weekend. Hmm Sir, this is the reality, “finally stopped Sunil after this long explanation.”
Sunita looked at Sunil with a smile and asked,”
What is it that you expect now?”
Continued Sunil, “We must have some aspirations in life and plan our lives accordingly…”
“Do you not have any goals and ambitions in life,” intervened Mr. Viswa.
“Sir, I definitely do have, but I look at it from a different angle”
“Are you not thinking about achieving some target…do you not have some specific desires?” asked Sunita.
“Studying well; getting degrees from Ivy leagues; working in reputed firms with fat salaries; going on vacations to exotic places with people close to us; etc.. are not at all easy.. Hard work is the bottom line to fulfill all these desires of ours.”
“You are still working hard to achieve your goal … Am I correct?”
“Yes,” Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods”, said he
“I am yet to achieve my goal of making a name for myself … but I have fulfilled majority of my needs and aspirations. I put in all my efforts for a foreign based company and in turn lost my good health. I am well versed in my field of work and know of the latest technologies… I will not be very much concerned if I am not offered this job…”
After a short break, he further continued…” My intelligence is my investment…I will somehow find a good job… My focus now is on keeping my family comfortable and happy…”
“Now, if I may ask you a question… What is the gift which you would be giving to your family, children…?”
The three of them looked stunned.
“Well, it could be jewels, sarees… for your wife; dresses, toys and computer games for your children… no but these are not the gifts…”
All three together echoed, “what are gifts then?’
“Your good health is the best gift that you can give them… some people work, work, work without any focus in sight… That’s the reason why people get caught in health issues and go from pillar to post seeking good doctors and therapists…the companies help the employees in seeking the help of these professionals…” Sunil continued, “All this is the result of avariciousness… The companies brain wash the employees and make them feel their jobs are inseparable and that jobs are their identities… “.
All the three board of directors were shocked on hearing all this…
Sunil went on, “Earning beyond one’s needs and that too not in an ethical manner makes a person lose his sleep and good health… To achieve the target set by you Sir, the employees will have several uninvited guests in them… blood pressure, cholesterol, heart problem…. and many more such problems… Whatever may be the salary offered by you, can you offer your employees problem-free and good health?”
On hearing all this, Alok, started to sweat profusely. He drank a glass of water and wiped his face with a towel and started clapping his hands…
“Well done Sunil, I could see your truthfulness, never-say-die attitude, integrity…..all in your talk…In this young age, your attachment to your family is really very appreciable… at the same time, your not wanting to risk your health..puts forth the idea that -We have only one Life and we need to live Life King Size and not waste it…We appreciate your straightforwardness and honesty… You are a gem, who knows to balance ‘Life, Family and Work….’you are appointed…you may work according to your terms…”
“Many thanks for your patient hearing and for giving me a chance to put forth my views Sir,” saying thus Sunil left the room after thanking each and every one of them in a humble manner.
The moment Sunil left the room, Alok recalled every word of what Sunil had said. Alok breathed business, talked business and walked business and entered matrimony at the late age of 40 years. Even after marriage, he never had time for his wife and children. His children shied away from him and his wife had sent a divorce notice to him month ago and his family had left him…These things made him lose his peace of mind and lead to several health complications. ‘I have failed to gift’ good health’ to my family…Yes, Life is to be lived King Size… My family is my priority from now on.” Thinking thus he drove his car straight to his parents-in-laws’ place to bring home his beloved family….*****