Mar 28, 2023 14 min read

Out of the Blue

An HR at IOCL by profession, author is an artist at heart. He is fascinated by the art of storytelling, is an avid theatre enthusiast and loves to bring out real life stories/lessons through his writings

With both hands on the steering wheel, Driver’s eyes are focused on the display and eagerly waiting for the ‘Go ahead’ signal. He knew he couldn’t let this opportunity go and therefore, was fully ready with his foot on the accelerator to take adequate advantage of this situation. The cars around him are more of a distraction and he couldn’t let them slow him down. And here comes the green light and there he took off for yet another adventure.

You all must be thinking that I’m referring to some Formula One (F1) Racer - about his mindset during such critical auto races. Well sadly, this narrative is not from any racer’s life but from the lives of numerous corporate professionals like us, who take part in this race every morning and every traffic signal crossed is not less than any completed lap on the F1 circuit. I feel we all have been done these acts of impatience on the road every now and then.

Somehow, this is how our lives have become - to be part of such meaningless car races every morning and to simultaneously crib about these never-ending traffic woes.

Life is a race. If you don't run fast, you will be like a broken anda" – The Golden words from the legendary hindi movie “3 Idiots”. Interestingly, the movie got released 13 years ago, yet the statement is still apt for majority of us even today.

Our lives have become a race and in this mega run, we somehow have stopped appreciating the abundant lovely things around us and are constantly forgetting to cherish the beauty of smaller things in life. And so here I’m speaking about yet another memorable incident of my official life that made me took a break from this race and made me cherish one of the most memorable moment of my life.

During that time, I somehow was able to beat this traffic-mania as my residence was very close from my office. I used to stay alone in the apartment with majority of time, the apartment being the reflection of my careless self i.e. maintained with bare minimum levels of hygiene through equally minimum level of efforts.

One thing I learnt after staying away from my family for these many years is that whenever they visit me, the (Cleanliness Warrior) in me takes charge of the situation by cleaning every nook and corner of the place. With my father and uncle coming to visit me for couple of days, I was deeply engrossed in that apartment cleanliness drive starting from getting my wardrobe in place, to getting rid of numerous eatables from my kitchen and refrigerator, wherein the best before period has long gone by.

In the wee hours of the morning, I picked them from the railway station and got them settled in the apartment and left for my office. I would have loved to take the day off but on the official front, I was committed to make a presentation to my Head of Department – Mr. Srikanta about the way forward for a critical project. Srikanta is someone whom you will always find in a serious mood and therefore, everyone is always very cautious while speaking with him. Infact, no one has ever seen him with a big smile.

I had worked hard for this presentation and therefore, was very confident. However, the session didn’t go as expected. Srikanta didn’t completely appreciate my approach and we had conflicting views on few key aspects of the project. I had always been very vocal about my views and therefore, the conflict was clearly visible.

Seeing that the discussion was heading nowhere, Srikanta suggested that we take a break and comeback in an hour to deliberate again.

I, furiously, left his cabin. I can’t believe what happened. Srikanta literally discarded my views and was too keen on his own suggestions. I came back on my seat, however, my mind was still in that conflict. Multiple thoughts were running around in my mind. Such feedback/criticism after this much hard work, is something that I was not able to digest.

Knowing that I need to go back to him shortly, I did something that I always do during these stressful situations. I switched off my mobile and headed towards a secluded conference hall to have some peaceful time just by myself.

Meanwhile, on the home front, my father and uncle were sitting idle and getting bored in the apartment; thereby decided to visit my office especially when it is so nearby. They thought it could be a good surprise for me and straightway, reached my office. I tell you for people of their generation, it can just be a routine thing to visit the workspace of their children while their children might be so uncomfortable to such spontaneous actions.

After reaching the office, my father proudly mentioned to the receptionist that he’s my father. The receptionist smiled and told him to have a seat while he will contact me in this regard. Ofcourse, I was unreachable both physically and electronically.

That peaceful time by myself always help me understand new perspectives of things. After half an hour, I was clearer in my approach, and came out of the conference hall with a fresh mind. I switched on my phone and found missed calls from reception and immediately called back.

The receptionist just mentioned that your father and uncle were here at the reception. I, instantly, disconnected the call and ran towards the reception. A series of emotions ran through me – how they have reached office on their own especially in a city like Delhi, for what purpose they came here unannounced, I have such a critical meeting ahead how can I sit with them or even show my office to them now, etc. and much more.

I couldn’t see them in the waiting area and upon asking the reception, I received a shock. He informed that they have gone inside with Mr. Srikanta. I couldn’t believe my ears. Of all the people, they have gone with Srikanta with whom I had such a heated discussion just sometime back. I was clueless how he got involved in this. I was having too many questions in my mind.

I immediately rushed to his cabin and very cautiously, opened the door slightly to see if they are in his cabin or not. My eyes couldn’t believe what I saw. All three of them were having a hearty laugh with my father narrating one of his old funny stories and the three gentlemen couldn’t hold back their laughter. They were literally having a gala time with chai and pakodas. Seeing this, I literally had goosebumps. This was not at all what I had expected. And I was sure nobody in the whole office is going to believe that. An always serious looking Srikanta laughing on my father’s jokes as if they are long time besties.

I was clueless to witness that. And I’m sure you all too. So, the story goes something like that:

Being unable to connect with me, the receptionist informed my father that they need to wait at the waiting hall for some more time till they can contact me. Srikanta was passing through the reception area and hearing my name, he asked the receptionist about the issue and understood the whole situation.

He immediately asked receptionist to make their gate passes and straightaway went and shook hands with my father and uncle. He took them to his cabin. He ensured that they feel comfortable and told his secretary to send tea/coffee and snacks for them. My father and uncle were surprised to see the way such a senior executive is treating them with so much warmth and respect. He not only put them at ease but also complimented them for the way they had brought me up. He spoke about me and how I’m such a vital part of the team. My father was full of pride.

All three of them had a huge smile seeing me and Srikanta asked me to take a seat. He further told me why I have not taken a leave when my father is in town. He also mentioned that it was a pleasure for him to meet my father and uncle. He also cancelled the meeting and told me to spend the rest of the day with the family.

Between all this, I could see the tears of joy coming out of my father’s eyes. That moment got captured in my heart forever. It was a normal day and out of the blue, I’m overwhelmed, all thanks to Srikanta. Personally, I feel in our office spaces we tend to give sometimes more than 100% to our work and sometimes, this led us away from our duties on the personal end. However, there will always be characters like Srikanta around, who will handle such tight situations for us while we are somehow caught in this deep web of work and ensure that all conflicts stay on work related issues only and on personal level, it is always this camaraderie that stays with us.

Until next time friends, keep spreading joy both on personal as well as professional front. Do create this “out of the blue” moment for the people around you and do share your stories in the comment section.


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Comments (1)


Hi Karan, Thanks for sharing a very warm story, an unexpected one in the tense and hectic corporate atmosphere that we see everywhere these days. Such gestures need to multiply indeed, to make it a better place for all employees to connect with their workplace & supervisors. Kudos to people like Srikanta !! - Mugdha

  • 10 Apr 2023

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