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Prophecy of my Liz

About Kathakali Mukherjee

Kathakali Mukherjee, born 1971, was a student of Sanskrit – Epigraphy and ancient Indian history. But her interest in language and literary studies led her learning another couple of European languages as well.
She worked for media libraries in Kolkata; also spent several years as technical translator, process and team manager with German and Indian software companies in Bangalore. Currently staying in Gurugram or Kolkata, she is engaged with reading and writing.
Apart from experimenting with short stories, she works on literary translation of fable and fairy tales as well as historical fictions. She is exploring the treasure trove left by esteemed Bengali and German authors between 18th-19th centuries these days.
She writes poems during her busy days when time does not permit her to sit at the writing desk.
Her blog: https://medium.com/@KathakaliM and https://www.indiblogger.in/kathakalim
Her self-published works:
"You and me" is a collection of poems https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01NCSMHK9/
And her effort of translating a selection of articles from Lokrahasya “Secrets of the Humankind – Satiric Articles by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay,”: https://pothi.com/pothi/book/ebook-kathakali-mukherjee-secrets-humankind

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It has been raining incessantly since morning.

I wanted to get up on time. But my pet lizard told me not to. “What makes you so restless? Go sleep. You don’t need to go to office in this bad weather.”
I protested, as I always do. “Do you have any idea of delivery process? They won’t be able to deliver any single solution unless I pass the quality checklist!”

My lizard doesn’t know what delivery process is. She is destined to spend her entire life on the wall. Delivery to her is bringing a baby on this earth. She is not much interested in heterosexual relationship, it seems. She didn’t even bring babies in all probability. I haven’t seen any baby lizard in my apartment. I don’t know whether she is in a relationship. I’ve never seen her spending time with anyone else but me. I didn’t ask her though. I don’t want to annoy others by posing personal questions. Neither have I time to waste in chatting over personal issues. My life is devoted to service delivery of software application solution to overseas customers. This brings millions of dollars to my masters, which helps them to pay for my food, and my night’s shelter and my smart-phone which connects me to my office round the clock.

“Ohh! Office cab wouldn’t reach my home in the bad weather!” I started talking to myself. I felt helpless.
I tried to call my subordinate. His phone was switched off! Subordinates don’t have a sense of responsibility, you know. They just fall asleep when they see such a rainy day. It’s only our kind of seniors who keep the operation running. I am proud to be one of “Us”. I tried to call my boss, the senior delivery manager. The phone rang for long before she picked.

“Good morning, Betty.”
“Good morning, tell me.” – She sounded rude. Women bosses are so unfriendly you know!
“Betty, it’s raining heavily here. I am worried about timely delivery today.” I paused, undecided whether I needed to remind her the monthly delivery schedule.
She did burst like a balloon in the mid air!

“You are losing sanity, Jimmy! You know I’m holidaying with family, don’t you? Do you expect me to stop the clouds from here using some remote control or something?” She disconnected the phone.

I remembered she had taken leave for a week, that started two days back. She is in Goa now, 560 kilometers away from here, the Silicon Valley of India – must be enjoying a sunny morning. But how did I forget about that? I didn’t know whether I was really losing sanity. Now I found another reason to worry. I started having headache.

It felt dizzy – I was trying to find my slippers. Didn’t I leave those beside the bed last night? I heard my Liz on the wall chuckling. “I told you to take rest. You are stressed!”

She annoyed me. “What do you think of yourself? An astrologer? A wife who is committed to take care of me? I don’t want any. Listen, I am a normal working person struggling to achieve the ‘best servant of the year’ award in a company having 2 hundred thousand employees. I don’t want anything else in life.”

“Thank God I am not any of them. Do you think it’s amusing for an astrologer to foresee someone else falling into trap of self obsessions? Or is it a pleasing experience for a wife to watch her husband’s slow death submerging into the swampy zone of insane desire? I don’t want to be any of them!” She stopped, probably being exhausted. Her voice made me aware of her disappointment; but who cares? Why should I care for the mood swings of a lizard on the wall? Only if there was an Almighty who could prevent her from talking again!

I felt a whirlwind inside me. I got up hurriedly; rushed to my fifth floor balcony. I saw water level at least three feet high.

Contractual terms say we should report customer about emergency situation, if one arises. My hand stretched towards the mobile again. But I forcibly stopped my fingers from typing the New Jersey number. Contractual clauses also say that customer may demand for an enquiry from higher authorities about the gravity of reported situation. If it’s proved not grave enough to stop delivery, my company is liable to pay penalty. I didn’t want to take the risk. On contrary, if I am able to deliver the solutions to customers ignoring the natural calamity, I would have brighter chance to be selected as “Servant of the year”. I wanted that award!

I cleaned myself, made a cup of coffee, and swallowed it with few biscuits; wore a t-shirt and Bermuda instead of formal office attire and unlocked the door. I would swim to office today – gather all my junior team-members by hook and crook.

I started swimming sometime back. I am born to win. I have only one life and I have to achieve whatever I want to in this life only. Jimmy, the dog will run for the award. His life is not going to be controlled by a petrified wall-lizard. Determined to reach my goal, I am pushing the water with all my vigor. Now I don’t need to struggle any longer. I am being dragged by the force of the current. There is no hard surface under my feet. I am being carried to my destiny. My cheer knows no bound.

But at this moment, a tiny thorn of doubt is piercing my heart. What if I cannot gather all my team-members to fulfil the target of my winning the award? What if none recognizes my fight against all odds in office?

What if I have to return home in the middle of the night, defeated? Shall I still find my Liz waiting on the wall in the pitch dark night for me as it always does?

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