Madan Shahu and His Magnificient Ways
It was the requiem of Madan Shahu, with all its magnificence. His body lay splendid in the wooden byre while the office colleagues of 25 years had gathered there.
Madan Shahu was a man in millions. He was there for my crooked teeth, my painful feet, the smiles of Ranjana and Rani, who flocked to gather until Ranjana went to India and there the idyll ended. The girl had gone there for her daughter's marriage and no one said more about the tryst.
He was available for anyone who wanted help-whether it be the young ones about to begin college, and had to learn about book-keeping etc. The young ones had had a lot to learn from him as he sat pondering over his enlarged arm. He came often to work at my place, having given up the old place for a new one—"First News".
Whenever he came to our place, he brought his papers to correct and sat on the "divan" doing corrections. He always wore a striped shirt.
From him we gathered that we could work in unison. We didn't have to fight and share our work. He sat there complacently and went about his work. Often he waited for regular lunch to be served by "First News" people in design dishes. He would then sit and eat contentedly. At times, the girl "Sharifa" and her male compatriot rang him up.
It was strange. Nobody expected this man in striped shirt to go away so soon- about a year after my mother died. We expected him to be happy with his work, as he often used to be and not bother about this and that.
All 500 people at work had gathered at the workplace with the funeral byre throwing in tuberoses and making relevant speeches, each one knowing the other for at least 20 years.