‘So Miss Sonia, please introduce yourself?’ I threw a question to my last onlooker of the day greeting her with a professional smile reading her name out from her resume.
‘Hello Sir, Good afternoon this is Sonia. I have completed my Masters from Knowledge University with 82% distinction. Born and brought up in Bangalore. My Father has recently retired from the government service in the horticultural department and my Mom is a home-maker. On the personal front, my hobbies include painting, music and chess. I am hard-working, dedicated, self motivated and ………’ replied Sonia.
‘Good’ I replied and continued the interview, pushing out my authoritative character throwing across technical mind-boggling questions craving for tensed answers.
Post thirty minutes as the sensory organs could take it no more, I rose up to bid her good bye pushing out again that artificial smile. Walking out of the room alongwith a bunch of evaluation sheets which carried the ratings and feedback of the various faces that had encountered during the day, the computer screen at my table welcomed me to feed in the decision of their fate at the Organization . The last one bearing a pleasant spirited character stood rejected among the list of the interviewed candidates where some of them won over her in certain niche areas.
The HR profession seemed quite interesting at times. On one hand, the power to initiate the future of these professionals rested in my hands where their respect freely walked to reside in me, short lived though. The feeling of meeting new faces each filled with life, eagerness and aspirations varied was impressive. On the other hand, it was also equally painful to reject those dreamy passionate eyes telling their feet to get ready to bear their weight. The profession had made me a hero in the hearts of few selected but a villain for many. I had my limitations too! after all I could not invite every Tom, Harry, Sandra and Julie in.
Four years had gone by in the recruitment division and as it grew monotonous I expressed to shift to a different role within. My request was honored and in no time I was elevated to the Manager’s post in the compensation division.
As life continued its journey, the year end approached bringing with it the cycle to shower increments for all the employees of the company, I had to quickly turn out all the numbers based on the budgets, appraisals and market conditions.
Within a week, the new compensation letters flew into the mailboxes of all the employees followed with a survey requesting feedback. The mail box got flooded with common messages – ‘I will get twice of this if I step outside’ complained few. ‘There is a very small gap in the pay scale between the fresher’s’ and mine’ complained the other few. I quickly inferred that the compensation division was a painful one too. But at least this time only my name was at stake and my face atleast was safe.
Seeing a settled life in me, parents back at home had decided to endeavor my marriage plans and the heart too agreed to their thought so that I could make the short lived respect permanent in life. The day soon came in where they set up one fine evening for matchmaking, post their homework.
The following evening, I left soon from office and visited the girl’s home along with parents. Talks of matured gentlemen and ladies filled the room while my eyes wandered on the floor moving to walls and the ceiling, while the eyes eagerly waiting to feel the presence of a younger soul instead. After few minutes, the room filled itself with fragrance emitting from her tiny calculated steps owing to the neatly dressed saree and her hands busy carrying a tray of snacks and tea for the elder souls. My eyes continued to gaze the ground and they hesitated to look into her face as I could notice that the elders sight gazed my every inch. As she passed one of the tea cups towards me, the eyes failed the opportunity of face glance. Her voice did sound pleasant as she responded to their inquiring questions.
Seeing the growing silence and uneasy body language of the younger souls, the parents decided to grant us some free space in the balcony.
‘Hi, I am Rahul. Hmmmm what would you like to know about me’ I said in a soft tone.
A hard tone replied instead ‘Please Introduce yourself Mr. Rahul?’
Astonished, I looked into her face and stared more closely in, hidden behind the makeup the face looked familiar. She looked away stealing her eyes from me. The memory soon enlightened the eyes her soft face that had once turned down her professional journey. She looked so beautiful at that moment as the eyes discovered her through the heart, keeping aside the mind.
I cursed my job for making its presence in my personal life too. Today it had hit my liking which was born just few minutes away. I just looked at her and smiled as the head toggled in search of words.
Sipping away the last drop of tea, I decided to break the silence and arise to utter the last few words that fate had destined to our lifetime.
‘I am sorry. I wish you all the very best for your professional career. Hope you find a good job and a good groom too’, I said smiling at her for the one last time. I came down and we took leave of them. Parents were eager to extract the meeting’s outcome and I quickly closed it seeking time as I knew the rejection would very soon come from their end.
Next evening as I stepped into the home from the day’s work, my happy parents broke the news that the girl had accepted the marriage proposal.
I felt shocked and froze to the ground.
Maybe she is bent upon making me answer her question – ‘Introduce yourself!’