Should we take birth signs in the Zodiac at its prescribed value, or its alleged influence over our life- capable to propel us and to knock us out? Some say yes and some a stern no and nonsense. Personally I do not care much as the veracity is humbug and the whole matter a mambo jumbo. But I have had a fair experience and knowledge of what some people can do to an unpretentious zodiac sign. There are a few in the particular birth sign who have given me much discomfort and trouble. However one fellow stands out as the enfant terrible of the constellation. And this guy is a Sagittarian. Mercifully I last met him in 1995.
That takes me way back in time to 1982, when I was posted to Cochin after a six months stint in New Delhi. I was raw and just out of college and a push over of sorts in an organisation, irrespective of the position .After all I was a trainee and being inducted over a period of two years. And this guy began all he could from the moment I reached Cochin to mellow me to his whims. Since this guy, let us call him Mr.S , as S being the first alphabet in his name that denoted holiness. In fact he was the name sake of the Hindu God and his consort in the mythical Ramayana. But in real life an antithesis!
It was after putting up with him that I learned that he had an attitude and that was not his fault, but the result of his limitations and the awareness he has of his limitations and drawback. And such people need a fig leaf to cover that. And he had to have many fig- leaves, but yet there was no limit to my annoyance with his idiosyncrasies. Being my co worker, I had to put up with him.
He was short about 5 feet 3’and that compounded his inferior complex. He was a veteran and came up to an extent from a very low level in the organisation. And his years in the Company saved him continuity on the roll. That tells everything.
Besides the annoyance he was adept in creating, the innuendos and dual games he played on ones back and at work place used to simmer in me and anger was always waiting to erupt .The quality that I detested the most was his servility to senior managers. He stooped miserably low and crawled when he had to bend. It was nauseating.
When we had the review meetings and conferences, which were held in five star hotels in various metropolises, he was at his most ridiculous self. I have seen hotel staffs who man banquets, lunch and other breaks during our meetings laughing and smiling mockingly with amusement at his conduct. The worst was always reserved for the evening cocktails and dinner, when he went clownish over spirits and is a derisive figure of his own self.
I could live with all this personality of his. But the worst of his attributes I loathe was his act of shoe string tying and the sudden vanishing act to the loo. He was not exactly a miser but was artful in living upon others while he ensured safety of his wallet. He used to drink like a fish and eat like a famished Rip Van Winkle. Once during a dinner session when kebabs were served, referring to his clownish conduct someone observed loudly,"arey kebab mein haddi kaissey” (How could there be bone in the kebab)?
The shoe string act was always reserved for the end of evening get together to which he always tagged on like a limpet, even uninvited. But when the check comes for payment, Mr.S’s midget figure does not show above the table. Either he is fumbling with his shoes strings or has vanished in to the wash room, only to resurface after we paid the bill. He then enquires in earnest tone about the damages for the evening and slides like an eel towards his vehicle in the parking lot.
Why do I write this memoir on Mr.’S ? It is because I had a dream and he was having Kebab all by himself, caring not a hoot for me standing near, smacking my lips and drooling uncontrollably.
I felt the pillow damp when I woke up to my senses and could even smell the kebabs.