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T & T Story Writing Contest 2019-20

The Bravest Thing to Do

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“ Get up soon Rohan”, out cried an already late Mr. Tyagi, who finds waking up his fourteen years, three months and nine days old son , the most rugged chore of his life. An otherwise punctual, disciplined and virtuous Mr. Rakesh Tyagi, who is far-famed for his ethics and prescript, both in his professional sphere and among his kith and kin, always has to despair before his son and usually finds it very difficult to reach office on time since he has to drop Rohan in school and then rushes towards his workplace.

Ultimately, his better-half Shalu for his better time management, waked up Rohan and helped the latter to gear up for school as she was aware of her husband’s vexation and reverberations, “ C’mon son , I know, you can finish your bowl in time ,” encouraged a compassionate mother who was not ignorant of her husband’s solemn and diffident temperament. Everyone in 9/11, M.K. Road, were agonized about Mr. Tyagi’s fidelity towards rules and regulations, and many a times his exaggerated drooling over asceticism and etiquette made life quite pugnacious for all the inmates of ‘Gurudas Tyagi Villa’, which was named after his deceased father.

But that Wednesday, Mrs. Tyagi could smell out something queer and oddish since she noticed some usualness in Rakesh’s demeanour. The previous night Shalu witnessed Rakesh joining his hands and having a pause before the deity in her worship place and she was absolutely oblivious of that kind of gesture by Rakesh in her extendible sixteen-years of wedded life. Furthermore, while she was presenting breakfast, Shalu peeped over Rakesh’s head to instantiate that he is going through the horoscope section in the newspaper.

Both these two contagions might have some causal relation with any enigma and so Shalu in a very genteel tone, asked Rakesh, “Is everything alright? Do you need any help?” But as anticipated, Mr. Tyagi replied in his wonted verbosity, “No, thanks. It will be kind of you if you can quickly fetch my lunch box.”

Shalu returned from the kitchen with the stainless steel tiffin box and bade goodbye to her husband and dear son but Rakesh’s weird activities kept her thinking for a while on the door step and after taking a deep breath she began to finish her left-out house hold chore. Mr. Tyagi dropped Rohan at Noble Samaritan School and warned him, “Don’t purchase eatables from outside. Have the snacks given by mamma and don’t indulge in any feud with your friends.” And then headed straight towards his office, but what last Saturday happened in Omkar Press , where he has been employed for the last eighteen years, has shooked his hefty and inviolable noises and he decided to extemporise an act which he could never imagine to do in any vicinity.

“Good morning, Sir. Shall I give an advertisement for appointing a new office boy?” greeted and asked Mr. Sahni as soon as Rakesh stepped inside his chamber and chaired himself on his red revolving rocker. Last Saturday, a consequential file containing probative documents went missing in the Press and after a considerable search operation conducted by everybody employed therein, it could not be traced and as a result, a prodigious tender went to some other company and Omkar Press countenanced substantial loss in the third quarter of the financial year.

Mr.Rakesh Tyagi perched quietly on to his chair and asked the latter in an ‘unconventional’ polite tone, “Would you please get back to your desk? I have some important documents to compile?” and then started to explore the drawers and chests of his table and finally settled for a stick-file where curriculum vitae of all employees along with their photograph were tucked in together. After a rigorous and vehement inquisitor, Rakesh landed up with the statement he was searching. That finical piece of paper contained the details of Charu Kumar, the office boy whom he pink-slipped after that prodigious file went missing since Charu was the person who was entrusted to deliver it from the accounts department to Mr.Tyagi’s enclosure.

Rakesh promptly noted the address provided by Charu during his adjunction to Omkar Press and ultimately drove his car to Purani Galli where after a good deal of orison, found Charu mending the fence around his ratty-tatty dwelling. Charu stood up and welcomed Rakesh to his shabby but an otherwise speckle entrance, “Sir, please step inside,” and then rushed in to inform his family members about the appearance of his previous chief. Rakesh obstructed Charu to go in and instead requested, “Look Charu, I’ve some important things to disclose and so you should accompany me to the Press. Is it okay with you?”

Charu, who was in the habit of habitual obedience to his ex-boss readily agreed and put on his many times mended ‘chappal’. But at the same time a gothic thought also lingered in his mind that what else is to be taken away from him since he has lost everything in the form of his job. Both the men got inside the car and Rakesh drove his white fiat in a euphuism to which Charu was quite oblivious and they reached Omkar Press in no time. As the duo entered inside the robust iron-gate, starting from the sentry at the entrance to Mr.Sahni and Miss Rosaline, the typist, all were taken aback, astounded and astonished to see them together and kept on guessing what score was left with Charu, that he had been made to come over to the Press to further satiate the wrath of Mr. Tyagi, the dandy prefect and puritanical authoritarian.

All were overeager to know the reason behind Charu’s re-appearance after his deplorable dismissal, but only Miss Rosaline gathered all her accumulated valour and valiance and solicited Rakesh, “Sir, is Charu back to work? I hope the file could be found.” She exhibited immoderate nerve but was also fear-stricken whether she would be the up-to-the-minute defendant for breaking rules and regulations of Mr.Tyagi. But to all of their utter amazement, Rakesh smiled and nodded his head in affirmation and declared , “Yes, you are right. I have re-appointed Charu and he will be working in the Press as earlier.”

Charu’s face beamed with contentment and bonheur and he bowed down to touch Rakesh’s feet but the latter obstructed and took Charu’s hands in his own and held it firmly. He alike Miss Rosaline took the path of immense courage and chivalry to undertake ‘the bravest thing’ and said ‘sorry’ in an all lamented and pensive androglossia, “Sorry, brother as I misjudged you. Forgive me if possible. You can join work from now itself.”

Mr.Rakesh Tyagi who had never committed any smirch and smear in his life and neither he had to apologise nor extentuate before anyone althrough his adolescence and adulthood and may be childhood also, began to subvent ‘the bravest thing’ in his life and he could scarcely envisage that to conjointly vocalise ‘those five letters’ of the English alphabet and too addressing someone subordinate is so herculean and arduous. But Rakesh not being a bad sport, delineated sheer spunk and began to rhapsodise what had happened last Saturday, “When I reached home after dismissing Charu, I was pretty confident that the file had been lost in the Press but after having dinner as I was searching for Seth’s book in my shelf, it fell down on my feet and from then onwards I was trying to trace Charu and could find him today.”

Rakesh, the disciplinarian moralist and martinet, then turned towards Charu and finally wrapped up the ‘bravest thing to do’ in his life and uttered those five adoring letters together and then quietly descended back to his sepulchre, but not with a heavy heart but a mind full of contentment, dignity and self-regard.

Sushmita Joardar

Sushmita Joardar is an amateur writer who takes writing as per passionate hobby. She writes in English, Bengali and Assamese. She has written many short stories, sonnets, real-life experiences and travelogues. She holds Masters in Economics from Gauhati University, Assam. She is a housewife and habitual reader of best-seller books.

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