THE LONG ROPE
Pic.: Nicole Gubin
My dad was a very nice man, very loving… His boss, too!
The thing that my dad’s boss – a well-educated and a pious Muslim gentleman – loved about my dad was that he was very skilled and honest. The thing that my dad’s boss hated about my dad was his excessive drinking. Drinking was my dad’s huge weakness. He would drink every day but within his limits. But, on Sundays and social occasions, it would be a complete knock-out scenario. And because of his excessive drinking on Sundays, he would, invariably, skip work on Mondays… or go late. Often, he would skip work for many days in a row… He would, also, spoil work!
But, because my dad was a skilled lathe-machine worker – even more than that, because his boss was a kind soul – he managed to survive in that workshop for so long. Any other boss would have thrown my dad out, long back!
Yes, like all kind souls do, my dads’ boss, too, gave my dad a long rope to hang on to. He counseled him like his true well-wisher… At times called my mom to the workshop and asked my dad on his face, “You want to put her and your five sons on road? At least for their sake, give up your drinking.”
Patience had its bounds. Countless times, my dad’s boss was compelled to send dad back home, just the way a concerned teacher would punish a student with the hope that it would help the student…
But, in my dad’s case, it didn’t. He continued to be a good soul, loving, honest, gentle and fun-loving… and, he continued to drink more and more…
Then, one Monday noon, my dad came home for good. It was the end of the long rope his merciful boss had provided. My mom was the most affected one. Her five sons hadn’t started working, yet… and she was wrought with anxiety!
My dad couldn’t work after that. Heavy drinking and smoking had taken its heavy toll, too. Then, on one Sunday morning, he quietly died of a massive heart-attack. It was 2nd Jan. For two days in a row , he had drunken like a fish… So, that Sunday morning, he had come to the end of another long rope proving by another Master… an all-merciful and all-caring Master.
“Enough,” the Master, too, had come to the end of his patience!
Why am I saying all this, today?
I am the Hon. Chairman of our housing society. Today, as I was coming out of our gate, I told one of our security guards, quite intensely, “My friend, we have given you a long rope… and, it seems, you have come to its end.”
This security guard has been there under this security agency for quite some time. He has been very skilled in his work and honest, too. But, like my dad, he, too, suffered from the same weakness of drinking. He would remain absent for three or four days in a row after his pay-day. Recently, our new Managing Committee called the security agency and asked to change all security guards, except three. This one was one of the three lucky ones. While the other two did not drink, this one did. Many of our members felt that he had to be given one more chance and we told him about it, sternly. In spite of this, after he got this month’s pay, he disappeared for five days in a row. The agency chief told us that he would throw this guard out. We said, “Good”. But, then, two days ago, I saw this guard back on duty!
Today, when I saw this guard, I couldn’t hold back my words: “My friend, we have given a long rope… and, it seems, you have come to its end.”
Well, our security guard is a very nice man, very loving... His boss, too!