I was woken up by my colleagues intruding into my bunk while I was fast asleep after a tiring night shift. I usually take my breakfast, read something till I find my eyes shutting down and then hit my bed. For me this few hours of good sleep that I get during the day hours propel me to do my job in my night shift.
I skip my lunch too, so the canteen boys never bother to come and ask me to have my lunch. I need my sleep, it’s more important for my proper functioning. And unless it’s an emergency case or an important matter I get a peaceful sleep. But then this was an important news. A bad news.
When he arrived in my workplace, he had a rough and tough attitude. People said he was difficult to handle and atter he got drunk, it was advisable to keep your distance from him. He was initially not in my shift so I barely interacted with him. Last year I was posted to his shift and he had to work under me. When this responsibility was given to me, I had my doubts as to whether I would be able to manage it or not. To take the crew and work hand in hand is actually a skilled job and over the last one and a half year I had somehow managed to do that.
In this time period, his attitude also started changing. His roughness was waning out and he had a more polite gesture and respect to everyone in my work place. And I was somehoe able to extract good work out of him whenever I could. So all was going pretty smooth.
And then the scythe fell. Yesterday morning.
We had good amount of work the previous night and I was exhauted and ready to hit the bed. Our work went smooth and we had completed it in time. The work went fast also and crew had got their fair share of relaxation time also. I had my breakfast and was talking to my good friend over the phone when he came in to my bunk and told me he had some urgent work at home and would be leaving soon and would return a day later. The coming days he wouldn’t be needed and so I nodded my head and he thanked me and said if an emergency should arise I just had to call him. He would come asap. I said ok.
At one thirty I was woken up by my colleague and he said with a heavy heart that this person had met with an accident on his way home and he had passed away. I was taken aback. I just stared into his face. I mean is this a dream or something? No it wasn’t. A few more colleagues came in and and their faces should the dejection. I became sad. It didn’t show in my face but I was sad. I had just talked to him a few hours back and he had said his goodbye with a smiling face and left the bunk.
That was his last goodbye to me. I didn’t know that it would be one. That he would be riding away to never come back. It was sad and disturbing. Slowly when we had started forming a rapo and things were going smooth and everyone was feeling comfortable, such a misery had to hit us. It shook me and a hour later I tried calling my mother to just talk to her about all this. She is my support vessel in these matters.
My colleagues left for the hospital where he was housed. I didn’t go because I had my duty at hand. And work hadn’t been stopped. Cause we lacked humanity and money making was more important to us. I tried to go back to sleep but I couldn’t. His images kept flooding me. The conversations we had when I went to top to work with him in the past two months. His changed attitude towards work and the respect he had for us.
I will remember him with a smile in his face, smoking away a cigarette while at work. May you soul rest in peace. And condolences to your family.
The scythe fell on you and I don’t know what to say or what to do. Hence this.
Once again RIP.