Just in case you didn`t know, I am 32 years old. Considering all the bullshit I deliver on Ouchmytoe, you probably thought I was a stud bull. Unfortunately, I am just another old man, who in 20 years time will get an ICICI loan for his daughter`s marriage to a US-based Software Engineer.
I wouldn`t have realized that I was old if I hadn`t had a 30 minute session with four of the interns in my office – three of them pretty and one handsome. They had completed their six months in ibibo and Uma Iyer and I were telling them how they can`t remain interns for ever and will have to branch out to different departments like Sales, Marketing, Project Management etc…of the organization.
Just to ensure, they didn`t feel any pressure I said: “I want you to understand that we want you to branch out and grow because ibibo cares for you, and not that we don`t need you anymore.”
“Yeah, we understand.” They said in unison.
“You trust me, right?” I asked.
While the handsome intern remained silent, the pretty ones let out the killer statement: “Jammy, we aren`t worried. You are like a father figure to us!”
Their statement hit me like a lead bullet…penetrated me, and left from my back leaving a wide wound. But I didn`t let my guard down…after all I was a true-blue professional.
Back home, I asked my wife: “Do I look old?”
“Not very,” was her response.
I looked into the mirror. I wasn`t balding. At least, not yet. My hair wasn`t graying. But I had dark circles around my eyes, thanks to long hours in front of my laptop. Wrinkles had only started camping at the corners of my eyes – but the dark skin was helping camouflage it. I smiled at myself, just to be sure that my smile didn`t betray a few wrinkles – they didn`t.
What could be wrong? I asked myself…why was I being considered a father figure…and why not a buddy?
We Rajans believe in cross checking everything. A practice, my father ingrained in us…while trying to investigate the crimes me and my two sisters committed as kids.
“Are you sure you saw Sumathy (the younger sister) use crayons on the white-washed walls?” he would ask us. If one of us answered in the negative, Sumathy wouldn`t have to wash her own clothes that day. Though we made sure, she always did.
“All girls in the right age group consider me to be a father figure. Why? Why me?” I asked Mohak Gambhir (no relation to Gautam Gambhir), a male colleague in office.
“Hmm…tough question. But I can keep a watch on you and get back with answers.” Mohak is a man with solutions…so I decided to wait for his answer.
Two days later, he got back with his analysis. He had a flow chart ready…which looked like this:
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