Virtual Banter [#ShortStory]

“To reinvent oneself, any place can be home. Pack your bags, follow life as it is calling you right now. Who knows what is in store?” A short story.

“To reinvent oneself, any place can be home. Pack your bags, follow life as it is calling you right now. Who knows what is in store?” A short story.

Here is the fifth winner of our November 2016 Muse of the Month contest, Priya Tallanje.

The cue was: “When one was reinventing oneself, anywhere could be home.”  ― Manju Kapur, The Immigrant

Virtual Banter

As it always happened in times of joblessness, when there was not enough work to keep the mind busy, fantasy came and occupied his head.

‘Move, move, move’ shouted Fantasy. ‘Pull up your shallow roots, find an outlet for your passion, you need to reinvent yourself!’

Yes, he would reinvent himself. His photographs would appear on all international magazines; he would feature in one of those ‘I-threw-everything-to-follow-my-dreams’ kind of stories.

Encouraged by this rosy picture, he clicked on the ‘New Memo’ icon in his mailbox and typed in ‘Resignation’ in the subject line.

‘Bah’ exclaimed Reasoning, interrupting his sweet daydream, ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss. Stick to one place, one profession, that is how you grow a career. What do you need? A career or a job? Every other person on the road has a DSLR camera. And just because they like clicking photos, they don’t quit their jobs. Get up you fool, get real, this is just a whim, nothing else’. Unlike Fantasy, Reasoning was a resident in his head, hibernating most of the times, waking up when required.

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With his ego deflated, he erased the subject line and sat still in front of the computer.

‘How long do you want to stagnate like this? How long will you tolerate meaningless meetings, appraisals which serve as an eyewash? Do what you love, follow your heart, believe in your dreams. Life is not always about following predefined templates, take a risk, get going’ cried Fantasy.

Buoyed on, he again entered ‘Resignation’ in the subject line. The thought of not seeing his manager day after day, the thought of not having to talk to the client at unearthly hours gave him a strange sensual joy.

He hit the send button. Fantasy smiled at Reasoning with glee.

‘Can you come to the conference room, I wanted to discuss a few things with you’. He looked up at the source of this sudden interruption and found himself staring at his manager.

‘Sure’. His heart skipped a beat.

The conference room, usually reserved for large meetings of 30 people or more seemed eerie with just two people.

‘There is an immediate opening in Santa Clara for a .NET developer in our project. The onsite coordinator wanted to know if we have any travel ready resources. I thought of checking with you first before suggesting your name. This is for a period of 18 months. Would you be interested?’

He blinked. The mail he had sent a minute ago, this unexpected offer out of the blue, everything added to his speechlessness.

Reasoning took over. ‘Sure’ he replied.

‘Fine’ replied the manager. ‘I will talk to onsite and initiate the process for your travel’.

Reasoning wasn’t done yet. There was still a loose end to be tied up. ‘Err, I had sent a resignation email a couple of minutes ago. You can just ignore it. I… I…was in a different frame of mind. Work pressure and all that.’ He left the sentence unfinished and gave a sheepish grin. The manager just nodded his head.

On his way, back to his cubicle, Fantasy again tried clamouring for his attention.

‘This is like a quagmire. Do not get into it. You will never be able to come out. Say no, take a risk, reinvent yourself’.

‘Bah’ said Reasoning. ‘To reinvent oneself, any place can be home. Pack your bags, follow life as it is calling you right now. Who knows what is in store?’

Fantasy muttered silently and disappeared. Reasoning heaved a sigh of relief.

Priya Tallanje wins a Rs 250 Flipkart voucher, as well as a chance to be picked one among the 10 top winners at the end of 2016. Congratulations!

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