Santanu—An Education

Kajal Chatterjee
As soon as the tall bespectacled boy of impeccable personality joined the office, he caught my imagination and attention for the wide smile always gracing his face, humility and work ethics. As usual for a newcomer,  he was given a lighter piece of assignment. But work is work irrespective of its profile because to accomplish it, sincerity dedication and concentration is must and he had passed it with flying colours.
Perhaps due to his sense of accountability, he was placed in Accounts section demanding much higher responsibility and sensitiveness. Again he displayed his best in that section also.
With progress of time, our mode of disbursement of salary changed from direct cash payment to online credit directly to respective Bank accounts. So our office entered in a tie up with a Nationalised Bank where accounts of all employees got opened. But it is easier said than literally implemented in action. Continuous liaison between the office and Bank was required with accomplishment of all sorts of formalities which seemed to have no end.
 But who fulfilled this Himalayan task on behalf of the office? Any top official? Any senior or middle-aged personnel with loads of experience? No. Rather this task spanning months was almost single handedly handled by my smiling junior friend of Accounts section who had joined the service hardly 7 years ago! Far from complaining about such a work load (along with his regular assignment in the office), very very smilingly he helped our office to achieve a technological revolution of sorts! In cricketing parlance, it may be said that the great performer in Indian or Lankan pitches has proved his mettle through cracking of centuries in Lords Barbados Johannesburg or Perth!
However just centuries in those fast bouncing pitches do not form the litmus test of any batsman. But if in situation of utmost crisis when the chips are down and one comes up with a match-saving or match-winning innings; we can finally arrive at the conclusion of his greatness. Similarly the best quality of my hero arrived during few months preceeding the general polls.
As soon as the notification of election got announced, he was summoned by the Election Commission out of the blue! Not for any office or paper related works, but direct posting  in the field which is definitely not a bed of roses. He would have to ensure application of Model Code of Conduct right from removal of political banners from streets to visit to the scenes of violence and alerting it to the concerned authorities. No Sunday or festival related holiday. No fixed working hours.
So in the hottest of summer months, day in and day out he was literally on the streets tackling party cadres, goons, police to MLAs and councillors!
Initially he was very perturbed. But he comprehended that he would have to undertake this very very tough journey. Then why don't accomplish it smilingly with best of efforts! So by keeping his fears to himself, he displayed utmost courage and excelled in his months long assignment which is indeed a great education in itself. We have to face many many unforeseen events in our life which are not of our liking. So instead of getting panicked, we have to cross that phase with courage and positivity.
And what a specimen of humanity he displayed in that phase! Since he was released from office to Election Commission, he didn't have any obligation to perform his Accounts related job. However for the sake of a benefit in favour of one of  our deceased colleagues, he somehow reached office  one morning and performed the task proving that in his dictionary of life, humanity takes the highest seat.
In Sanskrit, the word Santanu means wholesome. The boy, now turned man, has definitely lived up to his name with indeed an all-round performance right from humility, decency, humanity work ethics to playing superbly in times of greater call of the society reminding us of the adage "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going".