13 Rupees Passport

About Sabari Jagannathan

Someone with enough experience to know that the world is a dark place. Someone with enough memories to know that this is all worth the pain.

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Karthik’s boss was very upset. He knew Karthik’s family was going through a tough time but he always advised Karthik to take every opportunity to grow in his career. But Karthik always took the other option, the option that would be of immediate help for his family.

The company policy had it that, without a minimum of 5 years experience, no employee would be recommended for foreign training trips. Karthik was an exception; he always was. Sometimes in a good way, most of the times in a bad way. Appreciating Karthik’s performance at work, his boss recommended him for a training in Japan.

Everyone was amused, maybe jealous too. His boss convinced the management about his deserving candidature.

“Karthik, you are going to Japan. Cheer up! I told you that your dedication towards work will be rewarded. Come on, send me the scanned images of the front and last pages of your passport.” The boss beamed.

KarthiK seemed to be in a loss. “Sir, I don’t have a passport yet, I don’t think I sh..”

The Boss didn’t allow him to finish the sentence. “What?” He shouted. “I told you a month ago to apply under tatkal scheme at the earliest. You must be kidding me. Do you know how stupid I will look in front of the Managing Director if you can’t take this training?”

Karthik tried to reason in a meek voice. “But Sir, I am not sure I will be able to get a passport within next ten days. I am sorry, maybe you can…”

The Boss interrupted again. “Are you planning to quit the company? I get it. Why else anyone would say no to this opportunity? I will talk to HR. You may leave.”

“No Sir, I am not quitting. I will try for the passport at the earliest and let you know.” Karthik panicked.
Karthik’s life had taken a turn for worse in the past couple of months. Reluctantly he opened the passport website to see what he already knew. The application fees was 3500. He scrapped his pocket. A season ticket that had expired, a ten rupee note and a two rupee coin. He went through his bag, found the lucky one Rupee coin he saved during his college days. He didn’t have the money for his next meal, and here he was wondering if there was a magical 3500 bucks hiding somewhere inside the unfortunate wallet.

His phone pinged. It was him again, Ted. Through his ups and downs, well… not that Karthik had many ups, Ted was always there to tell him that it was going to be alright. Ted knew that Karthik had an uphill battle to turn his family’s fortune. But he tried to keep Karthik optimistic.

Machan, Fthe company wants to send me abroad for a  week-long training. My boss is pressurising too much da. Why can’t people let me be? F**king annoying, everything in life is.” He vent out his frustrations.

Ted was shocked. “But isn’t it good for your career?”

Karthik sighed. “Career is for a normal 22 year old da. I am just looking for some peace.”

Ted smiled. “Has anyone ever told you, you think way too much! You are better off with your mouth and head closed. What is your problem applying for a passport?”

“What else could be my problem?” Karthik blurted out.

A message beeped from Karthik’s phone. “Your account has been credited with xxxx amount via NEFT from SBI account number….”

Karthik breathed relief. “Thank you macha. But I don’t know when I will be able to return the money.”

“Shut up.” Ted dismissed the uncertainties in his words.
Few relationships are there to stay. They aren’t always sitting beside you. But they give you eternity. They don’t necessarily share your blood, but they readily share your pains. They don’t make your problems go away, they teach you to see the funnier side in your problems.

May not be today, may not be tomorrow but someday everything is going to be okay. And they make you believe in that. True friends are never apart.



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