Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hunting Myself Down

I hunted her down and killed her. What else could I do?

It was one of those days. A day when she was acting up. Giving me trouble. Holding to my skirts and refusing to let me go ahead. Crying, fitfully sometimes and sometimes with gusto. Holding my chin and forcing me to look her way.

I was tired. I had had a bad day. One of my potential leads had gone bust. I had worked so hard on the account – had oiled my way up to the buyer, dazzled him with my presentation and charmed him by my erudite speech. Looks like the erudition was wasted on him. He isn’t buying, he told me. I wish I could ask him all those why questions, the ones that are mentioned in that celebrated “How to Win Sales” handbook.

But she doesn’t let me. She is too proud. She shrugs, digs in her hands in her jeans’s pocket and tells me “Maybe he doesn’t need it. Why sell something to someone who doesn’t need it. Chuck those questions, forget this lead.”. But I must ignore her. She does’nt have to face her CEO tomorrow, I have to. She doesn’t have to fulfill those targets, I have to.

She takes my hand and sits me down. “Why do you have to fulfill those targets?”, she asks. I am dumbfounded at her naivete. “It is my job, silly! I have to sell these products.”. “Oh, your job. Of course. I guess its not the right time to ask why you have to do this job, is it?” she asks. I sigh “You know the answer to this one.”

“Yeah, sure I do. Money”, she says. “As if you wont get money if you did what you like doing best – drawing”. She is shrugging again. I hate this aggravating habit she has. She just shrugs at everything I do, as if it is not relevant, its not important. I snarl back “We have been through this before. There is no way in hell that I could earn the money I am doing right now if I was drawing.”. A wistful note creeps into her voice “I used to love it so. Do you remember the open window where you would sit? And the smell of fresh paint and the crackling paper that you used to tack on your drawing board? You used to love the effect of fresh sunlight on your subjects, remember?”. Yes, of course, I remember. How can I not remember it? I love drawing. There is nothing in the world I would rather do. I can’t resist her when she talks about drawing, even when the time is ticking by and my targets are getting more urgent by the minute. I am smiling now, just the memory of my favorite craft can make me smile. “Yes, I remember”, I tell her. “I never did manage to get the first rays effect on that darned pitcher! Not the way I saw it anyway”. She nods, she remembers it well too.

“Come, lets do it again!”, she is jumping now. “The sky is beautiful today, and the sun is just right. Lets do it, lets!”. The cold touch of the phone lying on my desk wipes the smile away from my face. I can’t let her make me forget my job and run after some stupid non-paying drawing craft. She has already taken hold of my hand and is leading me away. I stop her, “No, I cant do that!”. She is beginning to take on her ingratiating routine now, “Please, please, lets do it, I love it so!”. Time for me to be firm. I am pushing back for my hand, which is already in her firm grip. She is small, I can pull it away. “No, Gotta work”, I tell her.

Eyes flashing, she is getting into a temper now. “I know, I know. It is for that dirty filthy easy money! As if that money can buy you the first ray of sunlight. As if the money can buy you the comfort of the paintbrush in your hands. As if money can meet that hunger of yours to paint that pitcher!”

She has hurt me bad now, and at a place where my skin is thin. I whimper, “Honey, Painting would not have given me money!”

She is sneering now. I can’t stand her when she is like this, “How many days did you try your craft? When was it that you tried? You think you would not have made money because your dear Raja Uncle said so? You, you sloth, you never even tried! You just gave up, because everyone said so! Pshaw!” I cringe - “But painters don’t really make money. Whom have I known who is a painter and had made money? How do I know I could have been one? What if I was wrong? On the other hand, I knew sales people made money. I know so many sales people, all of them with big cars and big awards.”

Cold fury in her eyes, she stares into mine. “You have them now, don’t you? The big car? The award? Did any of them feel like the little ray of sunshine to you, the way it did, long back sitting on that window? No!” She is shaking now with anger and disgust “You gave up, you coward!. You traded your talent. You decided to be successful in others eyes – the big cars, the big awards. To impress your dear Raja Uncle. You did not even give your craft a fighting chance. You - you prostituted your dreams instead!”

This is enough. Just about enough. Who does she think she is? Just a little chit of girl, all of nineteen years of age. And she is calling me a Vice President of Sales, a prostitute that sold away her dreams? Yes, I wanted those cars, those awards. So, big deal! Doesn’t everyone? I am a successful executive. I worked for all those things, did I not? So what if I could not make some crummy painting? I straighten my back, and look around for a cudgel. I need to kill her, I can’t be a VP if she keeps on hankering on being a painter. She must go. Absolutely must go.

She is running now, the remnants of a triumphant look still on her face, reveling in the hurt she has caused me. I run after her. I am faster than her, and my cudgel is big and strong. There, I am now running neck to neck to her. I catch her, pin her down, hold my knee on her frail chest, and clobber her. I watch her falling silent, her blood running cold.

Now, I can continue being the same old Vice President.

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