It was my first day at the new work place. I was filled with fear and excitement. I looked forward to a new boss, a new work environment and new friends. More than anything else I was looking forward to new opportunities that came my way. The office was certainly bigger than my previous one and more posh. And though I know that the employees matched the ones at my previous work place in intellect, qualification and looks, somehow the surroundings gave them a more dignified look.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into month. Soon I started referring it to as “my office” against the initial term “my new office”. I started feeling as much a part of it as others. A funny thought crossed my mind – a new comer would look upon me as a “dignified” employee like I thought about the others on my first day at work. I made ample of friends and soon had a close knit group. One of my close friends used to rave about how wonderful her boss was. The admiration extended to his looks, attitude, walk, talk and what not. I was eager to see this boss of hers who my friend so deftly admired. So there we were trying to catch glimpses of him in the canteen or at the coffee machine or even the wash room.
I was pregnant at that time and went on my maternity leave soon after. I returned back after a long span of time. It was almost 4 months that I was away from my desk that spoke of work alone, the continuous chattering in the canteen and the giggles with my office friends. It felt good to be back. Lot of things changed for me – a new desk, new project, new manager and new role. My new role was demanding and I found myself working 14 hours a day to meet expectations of my manager. One day my manager asked me to work on an extremely important presentation that was to be presented by his boss in the Director’s meeting. I gave in my 120% and sent across the presentation for review. The next day I found review comments in my mail box. I was taken aback for by the comments – it was not the comments itself but the author of the comments that surprised me. The author was my friend’s boss who she admired so much. I went ahead to incorporate the same. I closely studied the comments and found them to be very intelligent and meaningful. The same week the presentation was made by my friend’s boss at the meeting where I was also a spectator. I was simply awed by the speech, the attitude and knowledge of the person.
From there on, I kept a track of his activities and learnt more about him from all the sources I could deploy. I came to know that he headed an entire unit of more than 2000 people. He was responsible for 30% of the company’s revenues and had paved his way to seniority in short span of 7 years. He was married with a toddler daughter. I don’t know how exactly it happened, but he became the “Hero” for me. Everything he did was just superb or out of the world. I respected him and awed his achievements.
And suddenly one day I heard the news. At first I refused to believe it. I thought it was either a lie or it was someone else they were talking about. But ultimately I gave in to the fact that it was the truth and it was here to stay. My “Hero” had an extra marital affair with one of the company employees. All this was his personal life. I didn’t care about it at all, but still the image of the “Hero” started receding in my inner thoughts. It was on my mind for a couple of days. I thought about it more than I would think about some individual whose doings didn’t affect my life in anyway. Eventually the rut of life and my hectic schedule at work jolted me to concentrate on more significant matters.
All this was more than a year ago and I had almost forgotten about it. I would prefer to use the word “almost” since somewhere my brain (or was it my bosom) refused to believe what seemed evident to the human eye. It somehow didn’t sound convincing that a person of such demeanor and geniuses could be so weak willed and infidel.
And it again happened. A piece of news that was even more unbelievable and unconvincing than the previous one. My “Hero” seemed to have divorced his wife and abandoned his daughter for his lover.
To me marriage is like a relationship out of heaven. Only the lucky few get to enjoy the unequalled companionship and love of marital bliss. And the ones who are luckier get gifts of God to share the love in the physical form of children. So it is unthinkable to imagine a sane person giving up all this for any materialistic pleasures. I knew that “The Hero” worship that I was doing all this while will come to a complete end finally.
But the days that followed was a revelation to myself. Instead of the “Hero” receding away into the horizons, he was more clear and visible. I was confused. How can it be? Is it that I have lost all rationale for human relationships and respect for the righteous? Is it that I have been too plagued by hero worship? I suddenly felt a shiver. Maybe I was losing the capacity to make judgment about people.
It then stuck me. One of the most important characteristics that I want in my partner is fidelity. Trust forms the ultimate basis of any relationship. My “Hero” had not wanted to be untruthful to either his wife or his lover. So he had made the difficult decision and chosen one. I was happy – to have found the reason for the return of my “Hero”.