Wednesday, February 3, 2016

a room with a view ---- 1

As I swivel in my newly upholstered chair, a green canopy fills my field of vision. On even a dark and cold day, it is a sight designed to soothe frazzled nerves. On warm, sunny days. it energizes. I lean back in my chair and wonder at the destiny which brought me to a secure job, a comfortable office, a smooth ride from home to work in the splendid solitude of a chauffeur - driven car, all at the cost of an 8 hour work day which may or may not entail actual work. 

On my way to the office, I look out of the window and see office goers sitting or standing with drooping shoulders at bus stops, an expression of resignation on their faces. I wonder whether I  have the same emotion buried deep inside ---- one of resignation (to a dreary but secure job that has many perquisites). I wonder too why the apparent difference in our material positions makes no difference so far as our attitude towards work is concerned. Why do those who wait at bus stops and those who cruise by look equally unhappy  on their way to work? It must be the work itself which creates the discontent ---- absence of work, or too much work, or meaningless work or repetitive work.

Should an office-goer even be discontented? Is he not so much more fortunate than those who literally carry the weight of their work on their shoulders and backs , whether they be farmers or construction labour or rickshaw pullers ? 

It depends, I suppose, on what meaning one ascribes to work. Is work merely a means to earning a livelihood, or is the means to realising one's potential? If it is the latter, is even a minuscule percentage of office goers successful in achieving that goal ? That  being the case, is the expression of resignation any surprise?