The big picture

November 17, 2009 , 32 Comments

“What? Letters have come? Wow! Finally”. It was mid-September and promotions were still unannounced. Some blamed it to the recession and some chose to keep quiet. She was positive. After all, it was the much-awaited promotion of her career, her first official promotion.

This time the company CEO called each candidate personally to hand over the letters. She sat with bated breath at her seat, which was just outside the chief’s cabin. This promotion meant a lot to her, to her career, her years of sincerity, her education, hard work, family, financial independence and her own personal motivation.

With every second name called, her breaths grew faster. With every second passed, she died a million deaths. She folded her hands beneath her table first in anticipation, then in anxiety and later in an attempt to control herself. Her teammate was called to collect his letter and he came back with a couple of other letters in his hand. It was not hers. “Maybe the boss is playing a prank on me and hand my letter later,” she thought. Hours passed and she still waited with bated breath, fickle hopes, holding that little tear still inside her eyes. They blocked her sight but cleared her vision. She tried hard with each passing moment to hold them back but in vain. They fell down her cheeks to her desk. Some cluttered her keyboard; and some blocked her hands.

She sobbed silently for several hours and when she could not hold them back, she took steps to the terrace, sat in the lonely corner, and cried. Her judgment passed but her hopes failed her. Despite the assurance given, she was doubtful and her worst fears came true. She has been a victim of favoritism and politics earlier, but she thought this time it was different.

There was a lot of hullabaloo in the office; smiling faces. People were congratulating each other. She was back on her desk, trying hard to conceal her disappointment, her bitterness behind her work. This time no consolation seemed justified to her. She looked back at her past years and regretted choosing tenacity over actual results. She opened her desk and took out the crumpled piece of paper that had earlier offered her a lucrative option outside. In the last four years, many such papers have accumulated. She regretted choosing her faith over her experience.

T’was five in the evening and the promotion enthusiasm was still afloat in the office. "Congratulations", "well done", "treat" etc. were the most used keywords for the day. The place where she sits was the delivery spot of good news, the hub of celebration. People were discussing their growth while she was sitting as a mute outcast.

Many eyes were pinned on her. She was still struggling to hold that betrayal back in her eyes. She wanted to storm her superior’s cabin and thank him as well. After all, he promised her to give that much-awaited growth in her otherwise stale career with the company that appreciates her work but still fails to recognize it. She was fearless now; as she was stabbed in each possible manner, leaving not much stabbing opportunity on her otherwise stronger frame.

Not all murders are planned, there are some accidental killings too. She could not hide the pain in her voice when a business-head accidentally congratulated her along with her other two colleagues who were promoted. Life is a series of relentless horrors with one following the other. She tried hard to smile but failed miserably. She failed again when her superior tried to crack a silly joke with her. She plainly refused to reciprocate this time.

It was 7pm in the evening. She was sitting with her superior and HR in the former’s cabin, listening to their lame story of big pictures and big promises. Life is definitely a series of horrors. She was made to hear pessimistic stories of various high profile people who too had undergone the similar phase in their careers a [It sounded more like how certain organizations have failed to appreciate its resources], trauma of the Indian population who does not have 3 meals a day and organization’s focus on “big pictures”.

Big picture? Is individual injustice is called “seeing the big picture”? Is suppressing a potential under convenient masks of policies “the big picture”? Is talking big and doing petty what “big picture” is all about? On the other hand, is it just calling organizational politics and inefficiency by another name? Or big picture is just another jargon that some managements have mugged but not yet learned. She has heard them talk many times and she hence she was not surprised by their empty talks even this time. She suddenly felt that she was speaking to deaf people and not just that, they are lame and blind too. They were nice human beings. She liked them but she cannot burden them with her responsibilities nor burden herself with their empty promises. She sat there for few more minutes, seeing two of her most favorite people descending away to clichés.

She came to her desk, finished her work and called the day off. On her way back to home, she pulled one of those crumpled letters and buzzed the direct no. given there. “Hi, I would like to reconsider your job offer… Yeah, sure, I will be there. Thanks”.

It took her many years, multiple efforts to arrive at that decision but she was not regretful. She was instead happy that she has not failed her self. She had not given up in terms of time, effort and dedication before calling it quits finally. She happily accepted her anger, pain, and disappointment, took them in her stride to move on. Non-wishful compromises are the shields of people who do not trust themselves or their dreams. One should never compromise on their dreams, dreams that are close to their hearts.

She neatly drafted her resignation letter, folded and placed in an envelope to take to her office the next day. She tucked herself into the bed and had a wonderful sleep after a long, long, time. Her 'big picture' was very clear now and she did not want to waste a single moment not chasing it.

“The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and no heart has ever suffered when it has gone out to search for his dreams”.

Disclaimer: the above story is truly a piece of fiction and intends no reference to any living soul.

The autor is half Human, half machine. Go Figure or just revel in what I write


  1. Lovely post...its so true that the fear of suffering is worse !! I totally agree with u!!

  2. Not all murders are planned and yes not every piece is fiction though u claim it... Looks like story I personally experienced :( yeah can say coincidental...

    Well said.

  3. @ Nazish

    Thanks a ton! I am glad that you liked it:)

    @ Vee
    Thanks Vee...You are quite naughty but let me say that it is not me...It is not fiction though...A lot of ppl have confined in me of things as similar as this:)

  4. ooooo Ekta..... only difference i cud see was it was a SHE and not a HE...would hav thought it was my story...then yeah realised thats the lame sick ol story of our Indian Population! we still strive with our hearts out and finally we forget the crap word POLTICS!! yu can'nt win if yu dont play em!! well was waiting for a funnier post from yu...booo hooo no! nevertheless so true!!..tak care! and am glad its a fiction and not something yu had to go thru!

  5. @ Hary

    You are so correct and yeah i will publish a funny one soon:)

  6. LOL, what timing !!! Im going through something very similar !!! All those politics and stuffs !!! :D :D :D and the climax part is just me ! :D :D :D

    See ya around !

  7. Naughty aa? Ayyoo. I forgot which part of biological cycle I am pushing into....Anyways any one can guess by the content it cannot be totally fiction, so said so....

  8. Nice post. At least, she made the right choice to quit that organization. Big picture, above board, exposure, transitioning, right sizing, proactive....these words are all big BS.

  9. @ Vimmuuu

    Thats cool. So we hope you are liking your new stint with new company:)

    @ Vee
    This is something very real that happens to many real people like us. Need not be my single handed experience as I interact with lot of ppl as well. Fact is the strangest fiction my buddy! :)

  10. @ SG

    I truly agree with you. Corporates just mug up big jargons and puke unpleasantly here n there without actual understanding it.

  11. I think to put in the papers were the right decision.
    Excellent post.

  12. WOW!!! This is such a gripping well written piece & so real as well!!! Am sure 90% of working population has suffered through this!!!

    Loved the ending & the way you have narrated the whole thing!!! :)

  13. @ BKC ji

    Thanks for the message and I truly agree with you. Keep writing. Nice to see you here:0)

  14. @ Smita

    Thanks buddy, am glad that you liked it. Even more gald to see you here after a long time. Keep visiting:)

  15. Well written Ekta... each of the working people would have gone thru this phase sometimes for sure.. and the ending perfect...

    very well narrated :) :)

  16. @ Kanagu

    Thanks buddy:)

  17. Hi Ekta,

    Thanks for stopping by Other Voice. And liking my blogs. You write good, I believe this story finds relativity in much of its readers.
    Anyways, as per your suggestion, I have put another post up there. Let me know what u think.

    -Isha (and not Esha:)

  18. I stumbled upon your blog from shobhaa de's comments.Lovely read it was!Following your blog so that i don't miss out on the good reads!

  19. liked this the most: The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and no heart has ever suffered when it has gone out to search for his dreams”.

  20. @ Isha

    A rose is a rose is a rose, call it by any name:)

    I liked your blog a lot and glad that you ve posted a new one there...I shall sure check it by today and give you my feedback. Take care and keep writing:)

    @ My cooking experiments
    I am so glad that you liked my blog. Keep visiting. It's your [reader's] support that keeps me moving. Take care:)

  21. @ R Ramesh
    You must thank Mr. Coelho for this brilliant thought. I am just a messenger:)

    WElcome to my blog and keep visiting. I would be glad to see you here:)

    BTW you have a wonderful blog and being a born again madrasi i love it:)

  22. Lovely story and really well written. Such stories exist amongst all of us, in fact though not fully my career was very similar initially.

    I agree fully, fear of Suffering is worse than the suffering itself. But chasing ones dream is filled with suffering but its a sweet suffering, especially you look back the journey one took.

  23. @ ZB

    Thanks buddy! Its your support that keeps me going. Keep writing in:)

  24. very real..... i loved this post.

  25. "The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and no heart has ever suffered when it has gone out to search for his dreams”.

    very true...
    whose line is this anyway?

    keep writing and don't suffered.

  26. @ Sonu
    Thanks aton were keeping away from the scene for a while. Hope we see you more now on:) Keep visiting.

    @ Mazamanoj
    Its written by Paulo coelho in "The alchemist". Keep writing in. Yeah i would take that in heed:)

  27. Anonymous23 November

    The girl in the story has a brilliant future! Nothing Splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.

    Courage, determination, perseverance and dedication these are the qualities that the girl seems to have from her decision to quit and boldly fall into the unknown. A beacon light may not be at hand but a small torch-light is enough to light the pathway :)

    Everytime a value is born, existence takes on a new meaning. The new venture would be the Crowning Glory for all the missed rewards of the past accompolishments!

    Here is a link to a part of movie video which demonstrates what happens when someone decides to change the course of life. It begins with, "When I look at my face in the mirrior"........And the rest is the brilliant reflection of the New Self.

    Pain is a great teacher and suffering gives the wisdom of every pain........

    Sure, the girl would scale dizzying heights! Good luck :)

  28. thats so well written.

    thanks for a nice read :)

  29. @ Surya

    Thanks a ton buddy...seeing u here after a long time:)

    THanks for being here n sharing such wonderful thoughts.

    @ Sorcerer

  30. Job well done .... a little predictable...but real !!

  31. @ Le Emb B

    Thanks buddy... some real life challenges has cliche as solutions but not so cliche of people...The happiness sometime lies in being little predictable:)

    Seeing u here after a long time... keep visiting.

  32. Good post Ekta as usual.A very common scene in Indian organisations.We all have been through this at some point of our lives.But then life doesnot stop.So we keep going with the flow.
    I belive hardwork always gets paid.And so will ur "lady in the post" hav a rocking and fulfilling career ahead.
    All the best to you.....Keep posting n we will keep reading :-)


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