Holy Pig !!!
Armaan has always been a happy go lucky guy who likes to joke a lot. He is known for his sarcasm and doesn’t give two hoots on what people might think or feel. However, his intentions are never bad, atleast most of the time. Since people around him never took him seriously, he could get away saying anything he wanted and he enjoyed that luxury.
But, this time, in office, he got into a situation. While working with one of his female colleague on a crucial client deliverable, he made a comment on something he noticed in her bay. But, that casual remark of his didn’t go well with her which led to a huge hullabaloo inside office.
He was asked to surrender before the women harassment cell in his office to give a convincing explanation for his ‘misbehaviour with a female colleague’. The harassment cell in his office (the author doesn’t know if this is the case with other offices too) included two feminists and one weak guy who doesn’t have a voice against his dominating counterparts. His presence in the committee is more like an ‘eye wash set-up’ to show the male lot that the harassment committee is there for them as well. But, which committee for women has ever listened to a man!
The day when Armaan met the harassment cell in office
“You know the reason why you are here, don’t you?” asked one of the lady. Armaan had reported to this lady in the past and with his notorious exit from the team, he was sure that things wouldn’t be in his favour. The other lady is from the HR, with whom his wife had asked him not to interact. Armaan’s wife has neither seen this HR lady nor has she interacted with her, but his wife feels that the lady is way too cute and is always flirting with Armaan.
“Yes”, he replied, “and trust me, it is not a wonderful feeling to be here in this room with you all!”
Weak guy : You mean, you want to move to another meeting room? Errr…ok ok, you meant…
Ex Boss (interrupting) : We are equally embarrassed, Armaan, to have you here. Especially me, because you were in my team once.
Armaan : But, I didn’t say…
Cute HR : You owe us an explanation Armaan. Is it because you don’t respect women?
Armaan (remembers his wife’s instructions, answers her by looking at his Ex Boss) : It’s not that. I have been…
Cute HR : Then, what is it Armaan? What is it? You think you can say anything to all the helpless women in this world and get away with it? Gone are the days when you could suppress, oppress and depress women. Do you know Malala? Do you know Michelle Obama ? Do you know Sonia Gandhi?
Armaan (looking at his Ex Boss) : Wait…Sonia Gandhi? Seriously? (pauses) Look guys, what I am trying to say is….
Cute HR : Armaan, don’t show your anti-congress traits here. You need to understand the pain that these women had to go through to be noticed in this world which is forever dominated by men.
Ex Boss : Armaan, what went wrong? Please speak up. If you dont, we would have to go by the protocol.
Armaan : Sure. See, there was a task which I had given her two weeks ago with a deadline. She not only missed the deadline…..
Cute HR : But, she said she had to conduct her child’s birthday party and there were a lot of preparations for which she had to take leave.
Armaan (looking at his Ex Boss): If her daughter’s bday was so important to her, she could’ve mentioned it before. I would’ve given the task to somebody else in the team.
Cute HR : Armaan, first of all, you have a very bad eye contact. Each time I ask you a question, you look at her and reply. This attitude isn’t helping us. And, secondly, what do you mean by “if birthday was so important?” You are saying a woman can’t have other priorities in life other than listening to men? And, she is a mother. You are depriving a mother’s right to conduct a birthday party for her child. You should be ashamed.
Ex Boss (brushing her hair with her fingers and adjusting her specs) : Armaan, she is right. Bad body language. You are looking only at me, and that is starting to make me feel a little uncomfortable.
Armaan (finally placing his eyes at the HR) : I didn’t mean that. What I was trying to….
Weak guy : and yes, I am not in invisible mode here. You can look at me too. By the way, my mom has told me that if a person doesn’t have proper eye contact while speaking, it means, he/she is feeling guilty. I love my mom. She is the best cook in this world. She can’t be wrong.
Armaan (scratching his head and wondering if he is actually in a multinational firm) : For heavens sake, will you guys let me talk?
After a brief silence, Armaan continued : See, I don’t know how this allegation came up. I gave her some work two weeks ago, she kept delaying it and when it was time for her to deliver, she left for her child’s birthday party without passing it on to anybody else. After I managed to get a buy in from the client for an extension on the deliverable, I decided to work along with her. The moment I saw her workstation and her desktop, I commented, “Please clean up all this mess. It looks like a pigsty”.
“Aaaaaahhh” went the HR;
“Ooooooohh” went his Ex Boss;
“Teeeehheee” went the other guy. Well, he was checking his whatsapp messages.
Ex Boss : You called her a pig…..on her face….in front of eveybody??
Armaan : Errrr…. Why are you all acting so surprised now?
Weak guy : Yes, but it’s in our script to go over-the-top at such situations, even though we know what it is.
Armaan : But wait, when did I ever call her a pig? I was referring to her workstation and desktop, and that too, only to her. She got so worked up and started yelling at me for calling her a pig. And, that is when everybody noticed.
Cute HR : Tch Tch Tch Armaan. Your attitude is worse than I thought. How long are you men going to ask us to clean up places? Are we born only to keep things tidy?
Armaan : Whats wrong in tidying up your own place? It is a healthy practice, isn’t it? Don’t you guys send out mailers regularly explaining the importance of a clear workspace and desktop?
Ex Boss : Armaan, that is a totally different context. You are not supposed to talk like this to a woman. Pig is a very strong word these days, it is no longer just an animal.
Armaan : But I didn’t call her a pig and I wouldn’t have felt this miserable if I had actually called her a pig. For crying out loud, I was just referring to…
Cute HR (looking at the committee members): and, not just calling her a pig. He, like all the other men, expected her to clean up the office and even penalised her for attending her own child’s birthday party.
Weak guy (to the members) : Woah, so, that’s three allegations against him! We have never got such an elaborate case earlier! I hope this adds upto our appraisals!
Armaan : But, she had a problem only with the ‘pig’ !! And, why does anybody have to be so touchy?
Cute HR : Touch is a very strong word these days, it is no longer just a sensation. It creates sensation!
Ex Boss : Armaan, it looks like you are a serious offender. Look Armaan, we are here to enlighten women on their rights, to make sure they enjoy as much freedom here as they enjoy at home.
Just then, the Cute HR’s phone rings, she goes out of the room and attends the call, “I will be home soon…sorry…yes, I will cook…no, will not make your mom cook….don’t worry…your pants?…they are lying in the cupboard…yes, I arranged your wardrobe…honey..honey…please don’t shout…it looked so untidy…I am sorry…..what?..oh yes…I paid all the bills except electricity….I really didn’t get time honey….i am so sorry…no no…you don’t have to go…I will…please give me time..pl..hello…hello..” She immediately gets into the room to vent out her frustration on the hapless ‘harasser’ inside.
Cute HR : Armaan, no more explanations. You will have to change your attitude and learn to live in harmony with the opposite sex. You will have to start respecting women from now on and one more complaint against you, we would have to take a stronger action. As of now, our victim demands only a public apology from you. We shall arrange a session tomorrow. You can go.
Weak guy : and yeah, come tomorrow! Don’t kill your already deceased grandfather or uncle!
The day when Armaan was asked to apologise publicly to the victim, in the office
“Madam…yes, henceforth, I shall address the women in my office like that…I have been asked to render an apology to you in public for comparing you with God. Yes, with God. I maybe an atheist, but you are a strong believer of the Hindu religion, aren’t you? So, what offended you, I wonder. Looking at you, I am sure there would’ve have been a few who had compared you to the moon, and you would’ve happily accepted it too. But, have you realised that moon is round and fat, and is filled with holes and craters?
Parallely, Armaan’s well wishers who are listening to his so-called public apology does the ‘facepalm’.
I am really sorry for having you called a God, if that’s what you really wanted from me. And, I take back my words. Your workplace and your desktop do not look like Gods heavenly abode. But if you really think, by reacting this way, you have actually insulted your God. You have failed yourself as a worshipper of God. Why do you look so lost now, Madam? If you know your Gods really well, you will also know that pig is an avatar of Lord Vishnu – Varaaha. Your Lord Krishna was also one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. I doubt if Lord Vishnu will ever forgive you for showing such discretion to one of his avatars. You behaved like a racist. You have shown disgust towards Vishnu, towards Hinduism, towards the faith of all the Hindus sitting here. But again, I am sorry, if that makes you happy.”
By now, everybody in office has their palm on their respective faces. One of them even had his legs on his face.
Armaan turned towards the committee and asked, “Am I done? Or….”
The weak guy opens his wallet and looks at Lord Vishnu’s picture in it. He touches the pic, does one of those typical Hindu gestures on seeing God and tells himself, “Holy Cow, I mean, Pig! He is right! A Pig is as much a God as Krishna is!”
The HR lady walks away without uttering a word, opens her laptop to draft a letter and says to herself, “That guy needs to be suspended; atleast for a week!”
The other lady, his ex boss, stares at him with eyes wide open. And, without any reaction, tells, “Armaan, you need psychiatric help!”