I entered my Bank this morning to an unfamiliar face in the manager’s cabin. Engrossed deeply in his papers, he lacked familiarity & warmth. My eyes began looking for our regular
‘Manager Sahab’, found him sitting on a desk in the dark recesses of the Bank. I made a beeline for him. He looked up from his computer screen, saw me. A wise sad smile creased his weather-beaten face. To my silent question he glanced at his old cabin and said, ” I am here for just another week, my replacement is already here. You won’t find me here on your next visit.” I, not deciphering his gloom asked, ” Where are you going?”
I meant a New branch or something.. He said,
“HOME, retirement aa gaya hai na.” A sad contemplative look later he mused, ” I live nearby, second house in the lane right next to the Gurudwara. It’s an old house. Made it 28 years ago. It is old. But I realised today we are older still.”
I had tears in my eyes when I left him working at his temporary desk, trying to bring some semblance of normalcy to his chaotic thoughts. I knew I had been witness to the most personal, deepest gloom an active man feels when he realises his life won’t ever be the same again, his routine will change never to be altered again by work. Sure, he’ll have time to do things that were left for later when he was busy in his mundane life, making ends meet. He’ll travel, spend time with his wife, grandchildren, may be read or write but he’ll miss his work. A major part of him will be left behind with his retirement.
May he age well and be happy.
Fare thee well Manager Sahab.