Part I: Dormancy and Dance
Ours is mostly a dull and rather boring floor. If a contest were to be held to judge the liveliest floor in the entire office, our floor would undoubtedly occupy the last place. This is not to say that the floor is lifeless. All sorts of quirkiness in human behaviour are on display in the floor. But ours is hardly a floor where the birthday of an employee would be celebrated with a surprise birthday cake or confetti. No sir, not here. There was, however, an exception. Once, when promotional activities for a marathon were going on, one bearded and highly energetic man came to our floor along with a bevy of girls holding placards. He made all the people, most of whom are well above 40,stand against the long wall that runs along the conference rooms and asked them if they “were ready to rock”. His question was met with a resounding and immediate ‘NO’.
The man was obviously not expecting this answer and looked, with some annoyance, at the Communications personnel who had accompanied them to the floor, in a tone and with an expression that plainly said, “I did not sign up for this”. We were coaxed to stand up against the wall, however, and told that we would be made to dance to two songs, the first of which being ‘I’m sexy and I know it’. Now there is one lady in the floor who shares the habit but not the demeanour of a male lion who is the head of the pride. Meaning, she sleeps for twenty hours a day and works as less as possible. She comes to the office, fiddles with the mouse, talks to a few people- one garrulous and loud old man is her companion on most occasions- and tired from all this activity, goes to sleep in broad daylight in the busy office. She rests her face against her hand and sleeps till lunch. Her feat of sleeping for so long and with such apparent comfort in such a position is , undoubtedly, a result of long practice. After lunch, she may work until she feels she does not need to and then reads herself to sleep. She wakes up suddenly at 5:15, when it is respectable to leave office and wastes no time in doing the same.
That day, however, she changed things. When the music came on, and people against the wall started moving their limbs gingerly and some openly complained about the futility of the exercise, this lady, who seemed to have been conserving her energy for this performance, let it all go. She put youngsters to shame. Her hands flew, she twirled and moved and danced her way to glory, and for the bewildered people standing beside her, to levels of extreme discomfort and awkwardness. The bearded man who had been disappointed with a hostile reception from the floor earlier was now delighted and declared her to be the star of the morning, and saluted her energy. The rest of us exchanged bemused glances. Performance over, while people were still talking about what just happened, the lady crept back to her chair and fell off to sleep.
Contd. in Part II