Mr. Pole

 

 

I have been serving for more than half of my age, meaning that I am a servant for
most of my age.
It even surprises me when I pause and think about the day I joined this service. It
appears really puzzling when I put the time in number, it’s for so many years.

Long service have really made me most obedient servant, otherwise would anyone of
my age agree to come to this hilly area much away from my home to serve.

I am a very insignificant member of a family of twelve children. We had a well to
do family but there would be shortage of everything for so many fragmentation. It
would definitely escape the attention of our father if one or two out of twelve
children come home late or anyone got sprain in the ankle while playing etc. My
father did not have time and patience to keep track of such trifle matter.
As a result we all grew up as our own.
Luck played some exception in my case. I could not become like one of my other
siblings basically for my merit, I guess.
I passed my Secondary and higher Secondary School with distinction and then left
home to study in renowned University. Having completed my university degree, I
got a job in the selection grade and left home and my own people. My other
siblings have settled in the ancestral home passing their time comfortably.

Mother left this world early and finally father also left. I seldom visit my house
and the frequency gradually decreased to may be once in couple of years.
My siblings used to call me guest as I visited my house occasionally and over a
period of time I have really become guest at my own ancestral home.
I married in an acquaintance fostered through my service life and thus built a
permanent wall between my childhood life and present myself.
In my newly acquired domain all acquaintances are built through work related interactions. My job is transferable and to the new station if I
meet someone with whom I served in some other station then relation is further
consolidated based on some common memories.
My children are acquainted with this world since birth. They are born into this and
thus have become part of this world.
But none of my children are with us for many years. They are in abroad and living
their own life.
My daughter has married and got settled in US after having completed her studies.
She also serves in a reputed company. They live happily there.
I sent my son to residential school from very early age to cope up with my frequent
transfer. He was also an occasional visitor to home from sixth standard. Having
passed his higher secondary, he has also left for US for graduation. It would take
about four and half years and then he will also be settling in his own world.
My wife went to US to remain beside my daughter as she was carrying a baby. A
son has been born few days back and she is very happy with her daughter and
grandson. It won’t be before many months that she is likely to be back.

It’s a few days I’ve come to this station on transfer. They have allotted a huge
bungalow and it would be difficult to live alone there, as such I thought of staying
in the Rest House.
One waiter has been earmarked to attend me in the Rest House.
He entered and stood wishing me.
I got a bit confused looking at him.
His physical appearance did not appear to be normal means like others. He has a gloomy face
with deep sunken jaw having protruding bones around. He has a narrow aquiline
nose, two small eye balls are dug into two holes on either side of the nose,
sparkling like polished round marble balls. He has a small and long face perched
between two small erected ears.

He is standing right in front of me but it seems he is far from me.
He has a thin physique, it seems that a skeleton is covered up with pant and shirt.
Looking at his face gives a feel that he is tall, but once you have a look at his body
you can see that he would be barely five feet.
There is a dichotomy between his body and his face.
Given some more nutrition to his face, with his long nose he would definitely
enchant any one. He would look real handsome if few inches height are added to
his body.
It seems that his face with some added nutrition would suit a tall and well-built
body. One would get utterly wrong to surmise the age of his zero fat tiny body. His
age may be somewhere between forty to seventy.

-What’s your name?
-Mr. Pole
He replied grinning.
He looked beautiful with his smiling face showing small pair of teeth.
I did not understand the reason for his smile. Is it because of his peculiar name, or
to show that he is happy seeing me or anything else? But I could hardly check my
smile knowing his name.
-Sir, what time should I serve your dinner?
Normally I am late eater of dinner. It’s early winter but cold spell has set in early
this year.
-How late do you sleep?
– That’s no matter Sir, whenever you want I’ll serve your food. Pole was very
obsequious.
Pole is a very obedient and loyal guy. He is ready to serve my dinner any time in
this biting cold. I felt bad for him.

-You need not bear the bite of night hour cold. You just serve the food on my table
and go, I’ll eat in my time.
He again grinned showing his small teeth.
-Sir, you will not enjoy cold food in this winter. Don’t worry about me, I sleep in a
room in this Rest House. So not much of problem for me.
-Why, how about your family?
Mr. Pole smiled again, the same way.
-None stay with me.
I got a bit confused.
Mr. Pole gave a short narrative about himself just to quench my query.
He is one of many children of poor parents. His father sent him to work for an
officer of this department when he was a small boy. As he grew up his boss gave
him this job about forty years back.
His own house is far away from this place. But he agreed for it is a govt. job. He
stays here since then. He married a girl of this area and gradually severed all
relation with his own home and people.
He has four son and a daughter. He sent all his boys as domestic servant to
different officers of this department. They all got jobs through their own bosses.
They all are living in their own service location with their families. They don’t
keep contact regularly but Pole keeps track  of them through his officers. They are all
well.
His daughter is youngest of all. She serves in a Garments Factory. She has been married
with a good boy. But his son in law is still unemployed. His daughter already
attained marriageable age, that’s why Pole married her with an unemployed boy
with the promise that he would get him a job through his Officers. That’s how his
unemployed son in law agreed to marry his daughter.
She was married to a poor family and thus his daughter did no leave the job even
after marriage. She gave birth of a baby right after one year of her marriage. Her in-laws family are unhappy on her since then because she was unable to continue her
job for looking after her baby.
On the other hand, her in-laws family started blaming her as her father, Pole was
yet to get a job for his son in-law as per marriage agreement.
Thus per force, Pole had to send her wife to her daughter to look after the baby, so
that she can again join her Garments Factory job.
Mr. Pole lives alone and that’s why he stays in the Rest House leaving his house.
Mr. Pole grinned having finished his narrative.

-Sir I’ve closed all the windows of that side. He grins again.
I also grinned like him.
It seems that he got confused a bit by seeing me grinning.
The aspect of bringing my food suddenly dawned on him and he scooted out.

I started having pain in the left side of my chest. Pain was on the rise. Drops of
sweat clotted on my forehead though it was cold outside. I felt like chocking.
I opened the window and sat beside.
Mr. Pole came with the food after a few minutes.
He stared at me for sometimes. I quite did not understand whether his holed up
eyes could see the drops of sweat on my forehead.
-Why have you opened the windows in this cold winter?
He said, while shutting the window.
-It’s better to keep the windows closed. Air coming from outside is not good for
you anymore. At this age, you better remain happy with conditioned environment
inside. You may switch on the AC if required. Cold wind coming from outside is
harmful for you Sir.
I looked at him, with an effort to understand what he really means.
Mr. Pole’s unconcerned attitude at the sight of my condition rather gave me some
moral courage. Sweat from my forehead got soaked as he turned on the AC.
He laid down my dinner on the dining table.
-Sir, Please take your dinner, I’ll be just waiting out.
I looked at him. The same unconcerned smiling face.
-Sit, I can’t just stand AC. Cold wind outside also tell on this body now a days. It
was no problem few years back, now I’ve aged. But don’t worry, I’ll wrap my ears
and head with muffler. I have accommodated myself with the reality that life has
given me.
He went out smiling.

-Who named him Pole and why I really don’t know. I am also not sure whether he
himself knows the meaning of his name. But one thing is clear to me that he clearly
understands that he is a lone inhabitant of a frozen pole.
At this fag-end of my life I could really understand that there is hardly any
difference between him and me. We both are inhabitant of frozen pole.

Category: English, Short Story

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  • I had been following all your articles/writings. It’s a good start. Some of the writings are touching the soft corner of human soul. Keep going. Best regards.

    • Thank you dost for your encouraging comment. It means a lot you know. Keep reading snd help giving comment on specific article.