Malhotra just stopped short of pulling his hair out. They were already thinning anyway. The Time!
He had arrived here just a few days back. Last month, when he came to know that he was being posted to the IT Division of his company he was very excited. His creative juices had started flowing at the prospect of getting a chance to do something innovative and constructive.
Though he was not an IT professional he understood the way IT had touched people’s life across all spheres by bringing about fundamental changes in the way we work or play or entertain or even look at the world. With IT at your command only imagination was the limit!
He was excited that he will be proud of many innovations that he would have helped bring about by the time he leaves this Division.
But, everybody did not share his enthusiasm, as he came to realize soon after his joining at the Division. Not only that the environment lacked zest and energy — quite surprising given that fact that the Division was staffed mostly by a younger lot – just out of the College – but it had a laid back quality which suited more a Retirees’ Club home than the youth filled IT wing!
Or was it that times had Changed? Only future will tell…
The incident that had agitated him now was an interaction with the IT expert, Sankar. He had swept aside all his ideas by one single line, ‘This is technically not possible, Sir!’
‘But how could it be? This is such a simple task?’
‘Maybe it looks simple on the face of it, but with the advent of new technology, this is not possible to do, Sir!’
What infuriated him more than anything else was the nonchalant way with which the statement was spoken rather than the prospect of disappointing his Boss who had assigned him some task, for which Malhotra had called Sankar.
He stopped the surge of anger rising in him, and keeping his voice as soft as he could, asked Sankar to go back to his seat and carry on with his work.
Last night Malhotra received a call from the CMD of the company. He was dozing off after having taken the dinner while he was supposedly watching the TV. But he did not know when the tiredness overtook his senses and he drifted off to a world lying somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, where the characters from the TV soap were hopelessly mixed up with real life situations.
‘This is a call from the CMD Sir’, his wife Saroja was telling him, all the while making gestures with her hands asking him to wake up quickly.
Only half comprehending what Saroja had just said he caught hold of his mobile and mumbled, ‘Yes Sir, Good Night…Good Evening, Sir!’
‘Ah, I can see that age is finally catching up with you!’, Boss said in half jest, ‘Already feeling sleepy? Where is that Malhotra who was fresh like a peer even at eleven 0′ clock in the evening!’
Malhotra noted how the word ‘evening’ had been used jokingly. By now the sleep was completely gone from his eyes. He peeped at the watch. It was quarter past nine.
‘Malhotra, I was just chatting with Mathur, you remember the guy who is heading our Frankfurt office? He wants access to our central database. Over the ‘net. So that they could take some critical decisions in real time. OK?’
‘Yes, Sir, I am getting it’, said Malhotra though it took him a few seconds to mentally revise the terms that were still new to him – access, database, real time. But he was getting used to them.
‘Malhotra, I think he makes sense. It will help grow our business. Fast decision making is extremely important these day, as you know.’
‘So,’ Boss said on the other end of the line, ‘See to it that we are able to provide him what he wants. I will wait for a call from you to know how much time it will take. Shouldn’t take much, I think. Considering that now we are able to send a rocket that is visiting each and every planet of the Solar system, eh? Quite unthinkable a few years back! OK, Malhotra, think over it. Good Night!’
‘Good Night, Sir.’
With a soft click the line went blank.
The sleep was now completely gone from Malhotra’s eyes, and he was deep in thought. Then he noticed Saroja who was looking at him with questioning eyes as if asking, ‘Is everything fine?’
‘Yes, yes’, he indicated with a reassuring nod.
Then he added a reminder in his mobile to talk with Sankar the next day. He could not help but not forget the allusion to the planet hopping rocket.