It’s an annual ritual. Bleeding hearts, burnt dreams. Cursing tongues, thunderous snorts. All troop out beating retreat. A handful of smiling visages, whistling lips; follow suit a little later.
A passerby (who’s making two trips one coinciding with the march past of the majority and the other with the motley minority) can be excused for wondering if they sign in the same roster. They do.
For the day when one sees this vertical split in the emotions of ranks is the “Annual Bonus Cheque Day” (ABCD in short).
It’s but natural to feel let down, after having slogged for 364 days (plus one in a leap year), seeing your age on the cheques. As against hearing from helpful minnows in HR about others who had their telephone numbers slapped down on those very cheques. The blood boils!
But who do you curse? At whom should you direct your well justified (so you think) anger at? Who should you haul over the proverbial coals? No one but yourself! Surprised? Over to Mullah Nasruddin (MN).
One day, MN was on his evening walks mulling, as usual, over the world and its ways. He came across four boys, who were carrying a sack of walnuts. Seeing MN, the wise man that he is reputed to be, the four boys asked him to distribute the walnuts among them. They all had toiled together to amass that bounty. One brought the sack from home, one made a hole in the walnut garden fence, one stood vigil and the other climbed trees to fill the sack. Indeed, great teamwork. Now is the time for sharing the spoils, for they know not the economics of the same. Except a vague notion that it should be equitable. But alas, none of them is equipped to carry out the task. MN was a god-sent dispenser of justice, for anyone else will have surely demanded a share of the pie.
MN, smiling and stroking his silver-grey beard; asked the boys how they want it to be shared. “God’s way or the human way”.
“God’s way”, pat came the reply in unison. For it is god’s will alone that has brought riches on them!
“So be it” said the benevolent Mullah and got down to business.
He took two huge fists-full of walnuts and thrust them into the stretched hands of a one who took them gleefully. The next expectant slob was in for a rude shock – one walnut!! Joy knew no bounds when the third kid had the entire sack emptied into the headscarf that MN asked to be opened and laid down! And a tight slap across the face of the aghast 4th poor sucker!!! 2&4 let out a shriek that would have reached heavens; while 1 was left in two minds – whether to be happy with what he got or feel miserable looking at what 3 has received. Leaving behind sobbing, shrieking, slapping, scratching kids, MN went on his way muttering “they should have asked for the human way”!
For all you folks who feel odd like 2&4, let this be a lesson. When you have prayed to god to grant a fair share for your toils, your fate was sealed. That’s how gods function. Nothing mysterious in that!
Be advised to direct your prayers and pandering elsewhere. To the gods in human form – boss/top management. For the happy folks whom you have seen walking by planning the next big investment or an expensive 7-star holiday, know where to turn. And whom to propitiate and prostrate!
May somebody bless you. I am off to do some Find & Replace on certain nouns in my hymn book.