Office has just started. Omar, my most dependable office assistant is standing in my office across the table. He looks very worried but not for his own sake but for me, as he suspects that something bad has happened to me.
For last ten years, I am serving in a multinational company giving service to the destitute. From the very first day in my job, I got Omar as my assistant. He has been serving in the same post for the last fifteen years. My job is related with the analysis of effectiveness of poverty alleviation programs based on the motto ‘Help to help themselves’. I and my team select a target group, educate them to arouse awareness about themselves and enroll them for our program. We also carry out assessment about the effectiveness of each program.
Now we are working on a special project. I have to sort out and categorize the statistics collected by our Field Officers and then for verifying those I have to visit target area every day.
Having checked the official letters/applications in the morning I go out to visit the field till evening.
As such, perforce I need to do all office works in the evening. My Assistant. Omar also work with me with a smiling face in the office almost every evening.
As per job agreement, he does not have any scope of promotion in this job besides getting yearly increment. I never heard about any complaint from him regarding promotion. Because this job is a dream come true for him as he said many a times.
He has five children and whole family is dependent on his salary from this service. Omar was brought up in a family of step mother. His own mother died before Omar was even two years old. He only inherited about six decimal of land from his father. His eldest son reads in class eight. Other children are also school going. He has one daughter after two sons. She is the main concern for Omar. He thinks that if his daughter would have been eldest, then she would be reaching her marriageable age by then.
All of his children goes to free govt. school. His only aim in life is to make all his sons to pass Secondary School Certificate.
-I got this job as I have a Secondary School Certificate. Omar used to mention this particular aspect whenever there were a discussion regarding education of his children.
Omar gets distrait while discussing about this aspect. He has a peculiar emotion for enabling his sons passing Secondary School Certificate.
I have requested Omar many a times not to remain in office till that late at night with me.
But that did never work.
He conceives a strange mental makeup about his job. He and his family has no other alternative for survival other than this job, this aspect is well understood from his discussion. Omar say that he could marry and have children only for this job.
He and his wife kotow in front the statue of God every morning and evening in gratitude. If he had not got the job, his life story would be completely different.
Office is about to start in few minutes and Omar, it is very unusual that my office Assistant stood in front of my office and received me as I got down from my vehicle. He
looked perturbed. Not for something relating to him but for me.
As Mitchel, in charge of our office called me in his office this morning which was very unusual. This incident surprised Omar and it surprised me too.
The reason of Omar’s concern was that he apprehended something wrong might have happen to me.
Omar informed the same to me as I entered my office.
Michael’s attendant came this morning to inform Omar. Michael is a Frenchman, in fact he organized this office and has been here from the very inception.
Our office starts at ten in the morning but Mitchel usually comes much earlier with almost without any deviation. He goes round the walled complex including garden, lawn, offices etc. He exchanges pleasantry with anyone found working. Michael knows all by their name, even he knows about their family members.
Omar comes to the office much before me. He does the dusting and cleaning works of my office. He opens all the official letters, make necessary entries and put up on my table with necessary remarks.
Omar meets Michael every morning. Michael likes him very much for his sincerity and devotion. Michael always exchange pleasantries inquiring about his children.
Omar did not meet Mitchel this morning. It is an exceptional event but Omar was totally taken aback when Michael’s Attendant came few minutes before the office hour and informed about my meeting with Michael as soon as I arrive.
Michael was strolling in his office absent minded. His body language betrayed distress. He stopped strolling as I entered. I found him holding an envelope in his hand.
-None else knows about it.
He heaved a short breath and said – Omar is a very honest, dedicated and old employee in our office. In fact I recruited him. His whole family is dependent on his job, please let me know after inquiry.
Michael handed over the envelope having heaved a sigh- it’s a complaint against Omar, human beings are so vindictive!
I returned to me office. Omar almost rushed in gasping as I could barely finished reading the letter.
-I’m sure, nothing is wrong with you Sir?
My Assistant, most faithful colleague of mine, Omar is worried about my wellbeing. He thinks that he is yet to see a good human like me. Since we work sitting in the same office for hours together especially at night, we talk a lot regarding life and living.
One day Omar told a story during our normal talking. I quite did not understand the meaning of the story then.
Omar was in tenth standard then. His father could not afford his Board Examination Fees. He went to his father with lachrymal eyes. His father candidly expressed his inability and helplessness.
Life for Omar stopped that day. He was heartbroken. Omar went inside the nearby jungle and sat in a clearing in total abstraction.
Jungle belonged to Zamindar. For safe keeping, Zamindar made his barn house deep inside his jungle so that his paddy remains safe from poor mass around.
It was a hot sultry noon, not a single leaves was moving. A few middle aged women were guarding the paddy spread for sunning, sitting under close by tree shade. They made some sounding device of bamboo and connected with a slender rope stretched up to their shelter so that they can scare away the rogue birds stealing their corn.
Though they were dutiful but their overworked physique gave up and slipped into slumber lying under the cool canopy made by the leafy branches of trees.
One hungry bird took full advantage of the situation and quietly alighted on a spot of huge stock of paddy. The bird took a quick look around. Not for any pang of conscience but safety for life, had few picks and flew to the nearby tree and sat on a branch with a beakful of paddy and then flew to her close-by nest.
Her chicks chirped in happiness knowing about the freshly brought food. The nest was clearly visible from where Omar was sitting. The mother bird fluttered her wings while putting the food into the beaks of her chicks in an aura of heavenly pleasure.
The mother bird repeated the venture for couple of times without the notice of the guards. That was a huge heap of paddy, seemingly inexhaustible and a few corns taken by hungry birds won’t make any difference indeed, like taking few drops of water from the ocean. But these few drops could very well save some lives.
Few human bodies were asleep tired in the process of maintaining the ocean like treasure of Zamindar. They don’t have any iota of dodging mentality but completely succumbed to natural demand.
The mother bird is also succumbed to natural demand of hunger for herself and her chicks.
None had any sense of guilt- neither human nor bird. What they were doing, was as per the dictates of nature, as such they were not delinquents in the eyes of nature.
What a spectacle! Omar thought.
They were all thespian of the episode written by the nature. Ever enigmatic nature don’t explain for her enigma. Nature is averse to explain things in terms of mathematics. That’s not His language but language created by human for mundane need. Perhaps mathematics were created to make the transcendental work of ever enigmatic nature intelligible to human.
The acts of livings as ordained by nature when measured in terms of human made mathematics then the livings have to suffer for the enigma of nature. Because all visible acts of livings are measured in mathematical terms.
The human guards would surely lose their job if caught by Zamindar though they all acted as per natures dictate and if the birds act were witnessed by human guards then the birds
might have lost their lives and might even ended up losing their nests.
Alas! In the face of all-powerful trans-mundane act of nature what else mundane beings can possibly do other than simplify those in mathematical way?
-The meaning of the story narrated by Omar becomes very clear to me at this moment today.
-The allegation brought against Omar through an anonymous application is true to the letter, I understood without any doubt. How a man can pass the Secondary School Certificate Examination when he did not have the opportunity of attending it. I thought.
The job Omar was doing is for Secondary School Certificate passed people. But that did not do any iota of harm to the company for last fifteen years. To the contrary, Omar considered his job as nectar from God and kotowed in front of his God incarnate statue every morning and evening and carried out his official responsibilities as solemn duty to God.
Omar sprinkled holy water around his clay made statue of God and immolated his everything taking his clay made statue as imperishable.
But now, today a drop of worldly water will surely melt his clay statue and what would happen to poor Omar and members of his family, human beings in flesh and blood.
What should I tell Omar for his anxious query, “I’m sure, nothing is wrong with you Sir”?
I had a long career in Army. I was trained to follow orders, instructions and set rules, taking those as axiomatic. That strayed me a bit from free thinking as happens with all technology users. Basically I am a free thinker always and now in search of some basic truth in my own way. ([email protected]).