Thursday, 8 August 2013

Rest in peace – Anuradha Bhavsar

Rest in peace – Anuradha Bhavsar

I have never had the opportunity to scold her, applaud her, harrangue her or align with her proffessionally. Neither did I had any inclination, time ,reason or interest to know her personally. She was one of the faces which is lost in the crowd of people you interact in the course of your daily grind. Slightly built and of below average height with a medium complexion and non descript features . There was nothing in her appearance that made her stand out in a collection of people. And she always remained at the background. Because of her status in the hierarchy, maybe because of her position within a group of highly ambitious people with overall level of higher IQ. Maybe because of that feeling of not getting integrated to the people with whom she worked with . And she was a young kid. Just 21 years or so. Even younger than my own son.

But she did her work dutifully and with dilligence. I noticed her stay up very late sometimes on a heavy day even as many others have left. I often wondered what such people would be thinking in their minds as everybody left home and they continue to work on their workstations with heaps of unfinished work. But again on the next day, one would find them typing out on the keyboard right in the morning.

I had not much interaction with Anuradha Bhavsar. Neither did I recollect her instantly when a friend mentioned her. She joined as an executive in Axis Bank and was working in the Treasury department inside the Dealing room. Her job was the lowest in the chain within the Dealing room, sending routine mails in the morning, typing out letters for the Head ,performing routine jobs , attending to phonecalls and entering deals in the system on behalf of other dealers. I have officially interacted with her very sparingly , mostly connected with sending advisory emails to clients or getting some documentss scanned or copied, because the scanner /printer in any office always remain an object of mystery to me.

During informal get togethers of the colleagues over samosa parties or birthday cake cuttings also she tended to align with the other colleague of her rank and they would stand at one of the corners at the edge of the gathering. In such gathering where light banter and wisecracks are applauded with laugh all around and people try to impress others and more particularly their bosses, nobody cared for their views. Actually this is an universal problem with high energy centres like treasury dealing rooms of private banks . You have a collection of young , intelligent , ambitious, career oriented and performance bonus oriented people trying to race ahead of the next seat colleague . People play all types of games to be in the limelight and the feeling of being left behind is a curse you carry with .

But within the oasis of such people with above average salaries and high bonuses are patches of deserts in the form of executives and messengers who are needed to maintain all the logistical hassles. They are not paid too well and when compared with the people they work with the gap is too yawning . That probably makes them a little diffident . Overawed by the workpressure and the importance of the deals exuded by others they go into a shell . And perhaps no one cares to break through that layer. I myself never did . And I doubt only a handful of the colleagues will be able to say where Anuradha lived. But she was there , everyday .

Yesterday , when a friend asked me whether I knew Anuradha, I could not recollect her at first. Then I got the news of her death. And I had a faint recollection of her. When I saw her face in the newspaper article today, I remembered her for a moment of sadness. It is always sad to learn about a death. She was not a near one. Only someone who was a colleague in the same department without too much interaction. But she greeted me with a Good morning or nodded to me whenever she passed me by. As I said earlier, I have never had the opportunity to scold her, applaud her, harrass her or align with her proffessionally. Neither did I had any inclination, time ,reason or interest to know her personally. But I feel a sense of loss today. To die at such an young age ! And in thse circumstances.

A sense of outrage grips me as I read this newspaper report. But this too shall pass. I will return back to my daily routine by afternoon. Colleagues will speak about her on Monday in the coffeepoint . Maybe there will be a small memorial with a minute's silence to honour her . We will all pray for her soul. Then we will forget her.

But she did not die naturally. It was a case of criminal negligence on the part of the doctors. One can say it is a sort of murder. The whole story is really scary and whoever learns it will feel uncomfortable We tend to read these things often and dismiss them from our minds saying – These things happen. Only when we find something like this happening to someone we know, it jolts us . Anuradha's death is tragic. Even more tragic is the sense of alienation that we carry within us. Not reaching out to people. Not understanding them. Not being able to be of help to anyone around. Not knowing people. Not keeping track . Not being able to recollect .  

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