At the root of life there is contradiction. Sometimes, don’t dig deep !
At the stroke of midnight her eyes opened and she realized it was all but just a dream. The same one for the last 5 years.
Earlier that day…
Nishika Roy had just spent her 35th birthday sitting at work meeting yet another deadline. Staring blankly at the screen saver. Her hair kept falling on her face every time the air conditioner vent swiveled. She had given up trying to fix both.
Somewhere in the distance a fax machine cried out loud for attention, somewhere there was a lonely clock chiming to be noticed and somewhere the ambulance siren would cross fade every now and then.
Nishika was in her own world. A small world. Very few people had access to that space. Always in control. She had spent well over 5 years in her current role and was in reaching distance to get to the Director level. Life had taught her to keep on the guard at all times, never let anyone in…
Yet the only one who forced into that little world was Aashni Iyer. A newbie in the company and she had already got everyone talking. Quite the opposite, she exuded a magnetic personality, natural charisma and poise of a queen. She was a lethal combination of beauty and brains. Deep black eyes, sparkling skin, just the right curves, and in the same breath, a Harvard degree to boot. Pedigree.
‘I’m Aashni – and it means lightening’ Nishika recalled her first words.
Aashni Iyer had joined as the new Manager for business development. The otherwise white and grey office suddenly seemed colorful. The otherwise sedate people suddenly had a fillip in their strides. The smiles were brighter and the perfumes stronger.
Over time, Nishika had gone from indifference to dislike and finally today, it had graduated to hatred.
‘Ok guys let’s meet up in the conference room for a quick meeting – there’s no big agenda, so just hop in’ - the boss announced. Everyone looked a bit puzzled. Something in Nishika’s gut was telling her it was not good news. After all an agenda-less meeting was never a good idea at work.
‘Team I’ve been wanting to say this out for long but couldn’t for some very binding reasons, but now am free to share – I am here to announce a promotion. Please join me in congratulating Aashni Iyer to Director business development’.
Suddenly Nishika felt all eyes turning towards her with various emotions – sympathy, victory, mock and even indifference. Cheers and claps filled the room while blocked tears and a lump in the throat greeted her in full flow. Her hands struggled to clap. Her facial muscles fought to bring a smile. The position she was gunning for the last 5 years had been given to Aashni.
Hurt turned into rage and she typed her resignation letter in protest. In the letter she pointed out all the reasons why she was a better fit, and what goof up’s Aashni had done in spite of her so-called “pedigree”. She had articulated every missed deadline, every missed forecast or failed campaign and tied it to Aashni’s input or work. In short all her stored hatred for Aashni poured out in that one email.
Her palms were sweaty and fingers trembling before she hit the sent button. The index finger was itching to click on send mail when suddenly a serene, calm voice echoed her name.
‘Hey Nishika – what are you waiting for ,come lets go together – boss has called for a meeting – now don’t work yourself up meeting deadlines dah’ling – you’ve been sitting here for the last 3 hours blankly staring at the screen. What’s the matter hon?’
‘You know these agenda-less meetings are always suspense filled dramas isn’t it sweety? Someday I will change this, but for now let’s go – people are waiting – send your emails later -Aashni urged.
A little later that evening…
‘Team I’ve been wanting to say this out for long but couldn’t for some very binding reasons, but now am free to share – I am here to announce a promotion.
‘We have never received such an overwhelming positive feedback about anyone’s promotion till date – I’ll be honest about that.’ Boss commented.
Please join me in congratulating Nishika Roy as the new Director for business development’.
‘Nishika – you’ve got some really strong well-wisher’s in this room – and one person in particular – Aashni Iyer – she put together a presentation of your achievements and collected anecdotal feedback from a 360 degree point of view, which I presented to senior management - need I say they were mighty impressed? Congratulations once again'.
Suddenly she felt all eyes turning towards her with various emotions – sympathy, victory, mock and even indifference. Cheers and claps filled the room while blocked tears and a lump in the throat greeted Nishika Roy in full flow. Her hands struggled to clap. Her facial muscles fought to bring a smile.
As she struggled to come to reality,she remembered the email waiting to go – and ran out of the room.
A true fire-freeze moment.
Gyanban Thoughts -
Gyanban Thoughts -This was a true fire-freeze moment isn't it? Please don't ask for a sequel - that's for another day. Sometimes in our race to be ambitious we tend to lose sight of the present- and the well-wishers along the way, even if sometimes they come across differently.It always helps to keep an open mind and have the tenacity in spite of not getting what you want when you want.These are the true hall marks of a leader.To keep going. It also helps to be objective and not assume that everyone is your adversary.Sometimes we do get pleasant surprises as well.
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