Monday, January 5, 2009

The Christmas Cake

Being a 22 year old consultant to clients with professional work experience of more than 32 years and being addressed as ‘sir’ by some of them, Akshat had already been in awkward situations many times.

But about a month ago, his patience was put to litmus test by one of the clients, Mr. JD.

After explaining a particular not so difficult (but a bit lengthy) process nine times to Mr. JD, Akshat had already surpassed all his previous records for not allowing his temper to blow off. Yet it happened…for it was almost inevitable...Mr. JD asked him to explain it again. Akshat explained him yet again but at the end of it, made a sarcastic comment about the intelligence of Mr. JD, which Mr. JD could not understand (simply because had he been able to understand it, he would have understood the process itself much earlier.) Ignorant of all this, Mr. JD was flashing his ‘show all your teeth’ smile. And since Akshat knew Mr. JD since the very early stages of the project, he knew that the smile was not fake…rather it was an innocent smile, smile of a person who did not even understand the sarcasm directed at him…but Akshat had lost good portion of the day just for one silly process when several other important issues were to be addressed by the day end and therefore even that innocent smile kept pushing his temper to its limits…but somehow Akshat kept his unprofessional behavior in control and walked out of the room by giving some excuse.

Few weeks passed. All through this time Akshat kept avoiding Mr. JD for the fear of losing a good portion of the day on some silly process…yet again.

Time went on and before Akshat could become aware of it, just a few days were left for Christmas. His schedule had been very hectic all through this time.

Mr. JD, a Christian, went to his hometown for Christmas. (Here, Akshat worked on Christmas Eve too)

Mr. JD came back a day after Christmas and brought a cake. But even before Akshat could smell it, the other members of the group had gulped it down and were grinning. Akshat just jokingly complained to Mr. JD about not being able to get the cake.

The very next day when everyone went for lunch, Mr. JD asked Akshat to follow him to another room. And Akshat could almost sense the loss of the rest of the day…

Mr. JD did not ask to explain anything. He just took out a box from his bag and handed it over to Akshat and said, “Sir, I brought it from the best shop of Kemps Corner, especially for you.”

And even before Akshat could open the box, the redolence told him that it was a cake…a Christmas cake…and the man standing before him, oblivious of Akshat’s embarrassment, kept flashing his innocent smile.

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