Farewell parties in the office is the last thing that i like to attend. At the most, i attend it because, a circular asks everybody to attend the farewell, or as a part of social obligation i do attend such farewell parties in Office. I do not like the stereotyped nature of the proceedings in these farewell parties, all speakers exhibit their oratory skills and at times tries to prove that the person who retires from the organisation was the most indispensable one and the organization will suffer hard from his departure. It gets hilarious sometimes, when someone tries to create a hero out of a dud. Some of the orators in their hypocritic binge forget that the send off party is for the retiree and start singing rhymes and try to impress the big boss present there. All this is sometimes boring. The favorite seat that i occupy in these send off is the last seat and try to hide myself from the bosses staring from the dais, pull out my cell phone, either surf the net or just play some games.
But today was different a day, a different kind of send off.
Of late, a good initiative was taken in this send off events though, all the family members of the person who retire are invited to witness this event. This change was refreshing one.
Today was the send off of a watchmen – a security guard in our office. The guy was an ex-servicemen. One of the most silent person, i saw in my sixteen years career in government service. The person would speak only what was needed, never would indulge into gossiping and was particular in his duties.
This person brought just everybody with him for his send off. To cap it, he brought his mother, all the way from his native place, it is not quite often that a person who retires at sixty has his mother living and alive, so this was sort of first in our office. He also brought his wife, two sons and daughter in laws.
Today, being the month end was a hectic day, given the reporting day it was, i thought of skipping the sendoff party as two reports were under preparation and it was 4.30 pm. But, somewhere deep down, it pained that the person gave better part of his life for this organisation, and i could not spare few minutes for him. I went to the programme. Most of the orators were at their usual best. The regular ones carry out their regular speeches, just the name of the person changes. Today, one speaker however touched the chord somewhere, he spoke how a low grade employee could have managed to tend two families with low salary, he had to look after his elderly parents at native place and his family here in city. I could relate this more appropriately, for my father too was in government service and we faced same kind of hardship when we were kids and my father had to look after his parents in our native place and he looked after us here.
Just when the formalities of handing over gifts and cheque were to begin, impromptu raised the daughter in law of the protagonist of this tale. She introduced herself and spoke eloquently about her father in law and eventually her voice choked and she was almost in her tears when she told how the old man strived so hard to meet the ends, how he hard he worked to ensure that the family never suffered. She told that though lowly educated the person gave full liberty to his daughter in law to seek further education, to pursue their careers.
The tears in the eyes of the lady, made the atmosphere in the auditorium bit emotional. Very rare sight to see emotions in our government offices. Nobody really thought much about this guy, who would sit in our gates doing watch & ward duties, very few people were aware about his personal life even after working together for decades. But, today one small incident made me think differently.
Really, we have heroes all around. Don’t we ?? This farewell party will not erase so easily from my memory.
P.S. : What an irony it was today, one of the top most bosses in our campus retirement coincided with one of the lowest employees in the hierarchy, the send off of this person was attended by just everybody. The other one just signed off silently unsung.