“Prominence in any form attracts attention .. in life in society in morality, in opinion in surrounding in talk in appreciation in acknowledgement, in adversity and in serenity too”
Today’s post on ‘prominence’ takes me back in my memory lane and reminds me of a colleague in the company where I served first 20 years of my career. He was as honest, hardworking and efficient as anyone of us could be expected to be, but he had one quality that we all lacked, to look prominent , whether or not he was placed in that position at work. Initially we all thought since he was in-charge of the service section and more sought after for rendering service to customers with complaints on any product they had purchased, he had got the false notion to believe that he was the most prominent employee of the company. But no, that was not the case. This we came to know when one evening we all went to his house on invitation to attend an important ‘puja’ at his place. We were so impressed to see his pictures with very prominent people, political leaders of different parties or celebrities from cine world. The photos enlarged to very large size were beautifully framed and found prominent place on the walls of the house from hallway to the living. Most of us realised our mistake in our thinking that he tried to show off as being a prominent person out of habit, and accepted that he must really be a very prominent person and felt proud of being his colleague in the company. But there was one of us, who smelt something fishy about his photographs with dignitaries displayed all over his place. He went deep into the matter and after investigating more seriously to prove his point came up with his conclusions: “He is not at all prominent as he tries to prove through the photographs, but just a crazy colleague, perhaps suffering from inferiority complex, who is all the time thinking of ways to get closer to VIPs at various gatherings and get clicked with them, sometimes spending money for it but most of the time manipulating for the moment with a VIP. In fact, he is suffering from a severe VIP syndrome and takes it seriously that man is known by the company he keeps, and starts thinking that he would be taken as a ‘prominent’ person if he is seen with them as in the photographs.” Most of us were convinced by his conclusions, but to those who doubted, our very ‘prominent’ colleague himself came forward to help them within days to be free of their doubts on the issue:
One day he did not come to office and called to report very sick. I passed on the message to my Manager. The next day, morning paper - HT - prominently published a photograph of the then Congress president Sri Kamraj, being received by a big gathering at the New Delhi station and who else, but our dear ‘prominent’ colleague, was seen standing close to him with a large garland for the leader. As soon as the Manager came, he called me to show the photograph on the front page of the paper and said somewhat satirically, “he doesn’t seem to be very sick!” After facing the music that day for the false excuse for absence on the previous day, our ‘prominent’ colleague no longer tried to look that PROMINENT!