The prospect is tempting. And the temptation runs deep in most of us. Don’t deny it. Look into my eyes. Aah there, see!? The musical “thwack” and the resulting lump the size of an egg, bang on the bloated head. And the slumped figure in the middle of the cabin. Knocked down cold. No, not dead. We aren’t hardened criminals, are we!? One wants to knock sense into the boss, not snuff his life out.
After the deed, it should be back to business, with nobody any wiser but the doer smug in the knowledge that atlast, when he had his chance, he got right down to it and gave it all he has got. All the pent-up frustrations bursting the reservoir of self-restraint and breaching the levees of hierarchical hindrances and delivering the well deserved goods.
Not that it hasn’t been done before. Management is the second oldest profession in the world (the oldest I gathered is marketing goods and services!) and has two key players. One who is managed and one who manages. And since the time those two players emerged on the scene, the former always nursed the deep, delectable desire of beaning the later good when the opportune moment presents itself. But ofcourse, not all have succeeded. And even those who did manage to get it right just above the part where the brain ends and the spine begins not many lived to tell the truth.
History is indeed written by the victors, and in almost all the cases it’s the bosses who ruled the roost and triumphed over the phalanx of rank sub-ordinates. But one such lucky soul did exist and I have been fortunate enough to chance upon his story. What I am about to share with you though is not so much of the noble knocker’s accomplishment but how the plot was lost subsequently by a mean-spirited greedy goofer, whose descendents we all seem to be.
Ages ago, in a town called Ichchapuri, lived a master chair-maker named Swarnanidhi (Gold treasure). The craftsman, as was stipulated by charter of his guild, was a known tyrant who used to work his assistants to death. Underfed, unsalaried and overworked; still, wannabe craftsmen used to throng his workplace for apprenticeship as he was the best in town.
During the course of time there joined a capable pair of hands with a keen mind, a despicable trait in one who is just about joining his journey in craftsmanship, called Sukarma (Good deed). The master realizing the dreadful dual traits in Sukarma put him through the harshest grind amongst all other assistants. Starting his day before anyone got off their bed, sustaining on frugal calories, shortened lunch hours, working everyday way past midnight through the weekends and little or no contact with the external world.
Being wedded to his art and in awe of the master, the assistant passed many years stuck in his job. Others who joined after him either left mid-way through, still learning enough to start their own ventures in far-away kingdoms, some rose through the ranks within the workshop and happily married to doughty daughters of worthy townsmen.
One day there was an order from the king’s court, to craft a throne which the king fashioned to use while parlaying with his inner circle. The best wood was brought for the purpose, consecrated to ward off any evil, and the most auspicious time was chosen to begin the work. Sukarma was ordered by the master to begin work right away and deliver the same within a week, a full month ahead of the schedule.
“Deliver this, the best that the king would have ever seen, and take my blessings and couple of days off”, the master magnanimously told Sukarma.
“Am already blessed, these are your first words since I have joined you a decade and two years ago”, cried the sentimental subordinate.
“There, there, enough. Start”, so saying the master quickly walked away closing the door behind him, leaving Sukarma to get down to it.
Six sleepless days and nights, Sukarma passed working away to craft the most exquisite and power radiating throne that ever awaited a royal rear to rest on it. One leg was still to be carved and a thug log meant for it was on what Sukarma started working while he took a look at what he has crafted till then. Exhilarated at the creation and overcome with exhaustion, Sukarma passed away at the foot of the chair. It could be a holy spirit that entered the wood post consecration or the nature of the chair itself, for which task it is exclusively fashioned for; but Sukarma in his deep sleep heard a voice speaking from the throne:
“Strike your master when he opens the door and a golden fate awaits you”
With a jolt Sukarma stood upright. He couldn’t believe what he thought he heard. Sweat beads bedecked his knotted brow. Delirious dream of an overworked mind, he told himself, tightening his grip on the half carved last leg of the throne.
Sunlight creaked in and gust of fresh-air, with the opening of the door. The dark and hazy silhouette of the master loomed in the horizon and walked in quick strides past Sukarma. “What is this, you fool? Half-done, hotch-potch job is what you could manage?” Running his gleamy eyes and eager fingers over the daintily chiseled throne, the master’s voice rang through the stuffy room and pierced Sukarma’s delicate heart.
“Where is the last leg”? sneered the master with same gusto. “Here, take this master”, Sukarma’s hands swung swiftly in an upward curve and came down in one sharp swoop. A shrill and pathetic voice shattered through the shaggy workplace and a blinding light filled the interiors.
The master turned into a golden statue right in front of a pair of bewildered eyes – not Sukarma’s which drank deeply the awaiting golden fate worth its weight; but a new apprentice who walked in reverently behind the master, eager to learn how smoothly a subordinate’s sweat and tears can be appropriated. Instead the young and impressionable mind went back to pursue with vigor that which he has neither accurately observed, nor properly understood, neither correctly surmised nor sufficiently considered. Smoting the Boss good for instant wealth, the pursuit of which is the sole purpose of any worker worth his salt – irrespective of the time, place, context or one’s own mental state and capabilities.
That young man, in addition to being an impressionable lad, also was a fecund and formidable gene propagator. If you, oh wise reader, have struck it rich by hitting out at your boss do remember that you are blessed with the genes of Sukarma. For, the bulk of working humanity is burdened with the imprudent’s genes and keeps flailing and failing hopelessly, at its own peril, to strike gold.