Speak the truth

‘Good morning all of you! A warm welcome to the Organization.’

‘Good morning Sir.’

‘No, no, please don’t call me sir; just because I am facing you from the wrong side of the table doesn’t make me your sir, and you are definitely not my students. We are all colleagues, although I understand you have all come straight from the campus and are still smelling college, but here, right from the word go, you are participants, not students, I am your trainer, not your sir, right?’

‘Yes sir. (class laughs)’

‘Seriously I am Samiran for you.’

‘Okay Samiran sir’ (some unsure voices chuckling, perhaps amazed at how naturally they say sir)

‘Come again please, this is also a part of your learning’

‘Okay Samiran’

‘Hmm…sounds better. Alright… In all these two months of your induction, there will be a lot of team work, so it is important to know each other, do you agree?’

‘Yes Samiran’ (a much animated one), some still said sir and corrected themselves, giggled like those streams of those brooks which sometimes chuckle hitting the stones on their ways and topple them with an awe-mix whimper and then a chortle or a guffaw; the first class with its unmistakable freshness, with that fresh innocent wind; Samiran adores that!

‘Okay, the first day we kickstart with an ice-breaker game called the dish game. I will explain. Listen carefully. I will say my name first, like Samiran and then the dish I like the most, it could be a dish I enjoy eating outside, or the one my mom cooks. Like this, Samiran chicken… (pointing to the next participant) what is your name young lady?’
‘Padma Sir, uff sorry sir…uff Samiran’ (smiles and almost withdraws like a touch-me-not)
‘So you say Samiran chicken Padma what…’

‘idli sir…sorry idli…’ ‘thanks…so for you, it’s like Samiran chicken, Padma idli…’ he dexterously points to the third and there they go…’ but STOP…(the class stops)… there is only one rule…you should speak your heart out, don’t be ashamed to declare what you like to eat the most…like it can be dal-chawal or roaches, even frogs…(the class bursts into a chhiii).. no no seriously you never know where you will be posted, your base-branch may be Beijing, or Paris (there is suddenly this sound of awe in the class… and everybody’s body language changes) with globalization in, we need to be more inclusive, so this game has a lot of lesson… will discuss that after the break…so for now, say whatever you like…we are not going to eat you up… (smiles with the class)’

In a minute the class was vibrating with the music of the dish game; occasional slips, ah no’s…I am not dum aloo, I like dum aloo, then it went like this…Samiran is chicken, Padma is idli, Abhay is dum biriyani…and at other times, pointing to people and saying the dish, like Chicken, Idli, Dum biriyani and it went on with the participants taking charge. Samiran is playing the musician, but he is also in the game. The first day of transformation, from campus to corporate had well begun.

Samiran would sometimes play the role of a trainer, at other times a friend, he has been doing this well over seven years, never got bored, everybody said he has a passion for what he does. For him, he feels lucky to encourage budding professionals who join his organization with hopes in their minds and dreams in their eyes. He thinks it is his duty to show them the right way, he is also called a stellar manager.

‘So now guys you know where you should take your friends for week-ends, don’t you?’

‘YES!’ (to this enthusiastic yes, Samiran says shh… lest the class beside didn’t get disturbed)

‘Tell me are you enjoying the game?’

‘Yes SAM’

‘Oho…already I am Sam for you?’

In his circle of colleagues, he is also known as Sam, some call him Samaritan too. He doesn’t mind as long as he is accepted in the game of life.

The dish game, this way came to the penultimate participant… he smiled wisely and the whole class was looking at him… like some others, he had the names written. Well Samiran doesn’t mind that, he has been trained to think that even when participants write down the names, they are engaged…he said all the names and the dishes flawlessly with occasional help because the chit wasn’t a foolproof one, he stopped after reciting everybody’s names, with his right hand quickly rubbing the nose (Samiran noticed that) said,
‘I am Barkat…hmm puri sabji’; after him was Suhasini who emphatically stood up, hers being the last, recited everyone’s names and mouth-watering dishes and said,

‘This is Suhasini, I love Upma, I think my mom makes the best Upma in the world’.

At the end of the game, the whole class clapped, except one. Sam had taken note of it, but ignored, thought he would talk to the participant later. With his head hung, he appeared to be a loner, but Samiran is extremely kind and patient with loners and ensures they don’t become losers.

‘We will go for a quick break and come back in 10 minutes, okay?’

‘Okay Sam.’ Everybody left. Except one; Barkat. Samiran approached him and wanted to know what the matter was.

‘Are you all right?’

‘Yes Samiran, I am good.’

‘Won’t you go for the break?’

‘Yes’, he looked him in the eye.

‘What? You want to tell me something?’

‘Yes,’ with a trembling voice, he hurriedly said, ‘my mom makes the best beef in the whole world Samiran’ and whisked away for his break.

© supratik 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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Very nice read. My only complaint would be the missing speech marks really.

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