Turning Point -A Layoff Effect

“Are you a blogger?”. His question surprised me. I twisted my head and replied him “yes, how do you know that?”

Leela Travels… A Kerala bus came to Satelite bus stand in Bangalore. Soon after the arrival, bus conductor started to shout like an amplifier to gather maximum attention of passengers, in the meantime, I hop into the bus and choose the middle most window seat to ensure a comfortable journey. Like someone famously quoted, window seat are the reminders of our cherishing moments in the past. Passengers started to hop into bus. Shouting of bus conductor at outside and passenger’s settling inside of bus filled my ears. However, the unusual incidents happened in the last few days ignore them and started to play like movie scenes in my my mind.

My phone started to ring when I was resting in my room after a hectic day at office. It was my manager and before I wish him over the phone he begin with his part. “Tomorrow my manager wants to meet you. You be ready in the morning, rest he will let you know”. Before I say something, he cut his call. Although i felt that a vey awkward call, I gave it less important. Next day I saw my general manager at the doorstep of office and he take me directly to a meeting room. He was someone I rarely interact in my whole 6 year IT career. To make it more awkward, he ask me about my life and stuffs in a very unappealing way. Since that wasnt working he switch himself to main point.

“Brother, you are a very loyal employee for us for a long time and we agree it. However, there are few times when comapny not doing well, we have to take tough decisions, even have to do layoffs and our company is in such situation now. Unfortunately you are in that list. Dont worry, you will get 3 month salary and and all settlement as per company policy. You may work for 3 months here or not, or xan find another job. Its perfectly upto you. I hope you can understand the situation.”

I felt like a dying fish due to lack of water, although, couldnt speak a word as I sit there numb. When I came into my senses, I try to argue with him for a last chance. He patiently listen to me and when I settled, he replied.

“Brother, I am helpless here, you may escalate it to higher level, but, this is their decision. I am afraid, that would be a wate of time.”

I find in a situation where resign was only option. After doing the formality, I get out of office and looked the main company board. I felt alot insecure. That monthly salary was everything for me. Over than that, the faces of my dependents gave me a pain in the heart.

Bus started to move from bus stand. However from nowhere, a young guy ran and hop into the bus dramatically. A 24 year old look like was searching for a seat and finally considered my neighbour seat best for him. While he was settling there, gave me a cheerful HI. I turned my head halfway and gave him back one with a not so interested attitude. Since bus was moving, I started to capture all the last glimpses of Bangalore. Somehow this guy understood and asked me.

“Seems you are living bangalore forever?”

“Yeah kind of”. I maintained my not so interested attitude.

He continued as if he doesnt care about my attitude. “Me too, going to settle in Kerala. Where are you from?”

“Thrissur”. I replied him.

However, i find something not right with him. Why a early 20 guy go back to Kerala from a city like Bangalore. My anxiety forced me to to ask him about the same.

“By the way, why are you settling in Kerala. You didnt get a good job here?”

His answer surprised as well as angered me. “I had a job brother. An IT job in a reputed company. However, that was mostly a mechanical or robotic job where, i do not have chance to show my creativity. No personal growth is expected. Hencr I resigned the job. I sing well also dance good, and based on that I got an option to associate with a dance group in Kochi. I would be working there now.”

“Are you mad to resign your job for singing and dancing? Here i lost a job and dont know whether to live or die, you left a reputed job and going to spoil your life in singing? ” I yelled at him loudly which eventually helped me to let out my frsutstion of all these recent events. However, it was totally awkward as every passengers were looking at us. He broke the silence after few minutes with an attempt to comfort me.

“Sorry bro, wasnt aware of that”

“Hey, its ok sorry, that I over reacted” I replied

“This is life bro, life will always gave us something new which we never expected. My family was so excited when I get the IT job. But soon realized thay, this is not my cup of tea. Day by day, this job frustated me and I even affected my personal life. I remember how bad I was while interacting with my parents. I had alot of brainstorming and discussion with many before quitting this job. Yeah, I agree that I will not be financially good with my new job. But, I am sure I will be happy with it.” He stopped his speech with a sigh.

I patiently listen to him and almost agreed with his statement. Expect the less financial part. To clear my doubt, I asked him “what about your further life? A marriage, kids, would this be enough?”

He smiled at me and replied “to live a life in Kerala, you dont need much money, however all these extra money are only need to show other off. I dont want to live for others. I want to live for myself.”

Although its tough to live lile that, I liked his confident and secretly wished to have such courage.

“Are you a blogger?”. His question surprised me. I twisted my head and replied him “yes, how do you know that?”

With a mysterious smile he pointed at my bag badge and said “I used to read this blog in the past. Weirdmallu.com. you are good writer and uses simple language which anyone can understand. Why dont you try luck in this field?”

That made me smile and I replied him in a positive note for the first time. “Yeah I used to write. I love this process of writing a story. It gives me the exact excitement which I used to get while watching a movie. But yeah, due to work pressure and lack of time, I kept it aside. Afterall, I cannot earn from thses stories, right.”

He made a facial expression of not approving my words and replied in the same manner. ” Why not brother, all companies need content writers now for their marketing. And its not bad idea to concentrate on malayalam language as interest and importance of malayalam langaugae is gaining nowadays due to presence of malayalees all around the world. And who know if some malayalm directors need your story to make a movie in future?” We both laughed at this comment, however that ease my tension and I looked outside the window. To my surprise, i was more thinking about the stories I could write. I felt happy while I concluding the subject and soon I decided and made a promise to myself.

“This phase is a gift by god yo get out of my monotonous life. Now onwards, I will live my life how I want to be”.

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