The Vicious Garland

With time, I see the chains.
With every passing day, they become more visible,
heavier and stronger.
I see more chains crawling up my legs,
creeping through my fingers and holding me in place.
I wonder how I never saw it.
It was so clear,
yet I mistook them to be
a garland made of flowers.

I loved to see those tags hanging around the neck of all the proud officials working for impressive companies. They seemed like garlands – tickets for prosperity. I visualized myself there. I dreamt of working (I like working, really!), earning, saving and of course spending. I thought of the smile on the faces of my family and friends and smiled. Hardly did I know that my smiles would be numbered.

One fine day, unexpectedly, my dreams came true.

I adorned my neck with the garland they gave me. I looked at my reflection and my chest swelled with pride. I was another proud official and when asked where I worked, I said the name with pride. 
They showed me an impressive and sophisticated room and a place for myself. They gave me all that I would need. They gave me gifts, mementos, hopes and painted beautiful pictures. They said that I could go whenever I wanted, approach them if I needed anything. They said I was ‘free’ and garlanded me.
I had barely walked around with my garland for a few hours and then, I slowly felt the weight setting in. At first, I did not bother, but soon saw the colours fading. It did not take me long to see those chains forming and more chains crawling up. They were up until my knees and had me immobilised in no time. I tried running, I tried walking and tried quitting with no luck. They had my freedom locked up and dangled the keys up and beyond my reach.

My Vicioussss...
My Vicioussss…

They were watching me all the while they said I was ‘free’. They had walked me into a spacious room, locked it and synced the entrance with ‘the garland’ while they said I was ‘free’. It wasn’t about what they said. It was about what I understood. It took me  a while to realize that ‘freedom’ was a word perceived in a million different ways.
Now as I sit here, bound by umpteen chains, I do not regret my decision. If not for this experience, I would have looked longingly at the so called garlands. I do not regret my decision for I do not fear deadlines anymore. I hear the deadline whooshing by, yet here I am doing what I love, banging vigorously at the keyboard, my eyes fixed on my blog, the love of my life.
As I tell and retell this story, I know that these shackles of bondage cannot hold me still. No companies can own my freedom for my blood is fresh, my body is strong and my heart is young. I’m crawling towards the exit, towards my freedom which is not far away.
With Love, A corporate slave aka proud official!
I always knew that I wasn’t built for a corporate life. I am definitely a survivor and could adapt to any kind of surroundings. If I fall, I’m confident that I’ll fall on all fours! This internship I got, is something that 90% of the individuals aspire for. But for me, it was a lesson. The number of zeroes in my salary does not matter. Out of the 24 hours in a day, I need some time to do what I love. That is my freedom. How can one be ‘free’ if one cannot do what she wants?
If this would help you, this is what I do. The question I ask – ‘Am I doing what I like at least for an hour every day ( or a day every week)?’
I will keep trying until I say a ‘Yes’ to this question. Did you ask yourself this question? What do think? 🙂

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  1. Samjoth

    I can see this feeling; and feel it enormously !!
    That’s what we are all trained for !!
    To be “chained freely” !!

    1. Ranju

      Exactly Samjoth. And the sad part is, most of us don’t even seem to notice that. 😮

      1. Samjoth

        No, I don’t think that its not noticed..Its just that, that is how life is supposed to be; you learn that growing up; looking at your elders and the society.
        You need to “excel” and this is the definition for “success”.
        And nowadays,there is a new approach and assumption;
        its not the quality of the work you do; but the “MNC” or the brand you cater.
        Irony, that the world is tamed to such absurdity !!

  2. Keirthana

    Great writing! You clearly depicted the lives of people in IT who don’t like the work culture and those in companies that squeeze their blood out.
    I asked myself the same question and kept changing employers and domains until recently where I found exactly what I loved. Now I can say I love what I do, the entire day 😀

    1. Ranju

      Wah! Proud of you Keirthana! This makes me smile 🙂

  3. RAMAN

    Yes, those invisible chains are holding us.
    But as Chetan Bhagat writes, SPARK should never die. There are many other people, who have settled with their jobs; might be they are unsatisfied within but they have accepted the fate. But your SPARK is alive. Isnt it beautiful? I mean, as long as you have heat, chains will melt. And another quote says IF YOU DO SOMETHING FOR 1 HOUR FOR 365 days, You ll be in top 5. So You are, mistress of a lovely blog. LOVE, MY IDIOT FRIEND.

    1. Ranju

      Spark ‘should’ never die is easy to say. But maybe, after we endure this for years, we might become like those settled people. We could try. Try as much as we can and when we come up with ideas and solutions to keep the spark alive, we could share it and contribute our bit to the world. 🙂

  4. Roshan Clicks

    dont let them control your dream. Close your eyes and dream… And one day you will definitely start to follow your dream path .
    One thing i love about my work is they allow me to listed podcast and music all day. Well i am a geek so i dont have anything to do with communication with clients therefore i feel i am bit free than others
    Dont give up on dreams.. Keep dreaming

  5. teny

    I have never been cent percent sure about what I liked. But I am sure that I do what I like for more than one hour 😀
    You wrote vicious under the photo…I almost read precious 😛

    1. Ranju

      Well then it is all great! 😀
      Haha that was the intention. 😉 tell me u read it in Gollum’s voice 😛

      1. teny

        Yes; I even saw that face 😛

  6. Tanveer Rauf

    Its human nature my dear that one is never satisfied with what he/she has——- always yearning for what is unreachable 🙂 stay there, grow and glow—–that’s life—— love!

  7. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

    Invisible chain..yes I agree. The thing is, one even can’t fly away even if the chain is lifted..that’s life dear… 🙂 garner happiness from wherever you can and keep smiling… 🙂

    1. Ranju

      I believe it depends upon the person’s background, capabilities, mindset and financial set up. There are comments here that actually say that they flew. I did not expect them at all. But that gives me hope 🙂 Some day, I will fly. 🙂

  8. parulthakur24

    Great post and as I can see the from comments, every one feels the same..
    Somehow, I was never fascinated by the lanyards. They seemed attractive to me at first but as soon as I stepped into my first job, I let them go until I landed in a company where it was mandatory to let it hang and that annoyed me to the core. I stayed in that place for just 4 months and who know this could be a reason. 🙂

    1. Ranju

      Haha I know. That thing hanging there is somehow so annoying. I have no idea why. But looking down and seeing the tag, something snaps. Being the careless one I am, I can’t leave it on the table either.

  9. Venice

    Could relate to your post. I always knew that corporate wasn’t my cup of tea but once I got an offer from one of India’s leading FMCG’s. I joined but was unhappy in it. It didn’t matter how high the salary was. Peace of mind and satisfaction at the end of the day matters more. So I quit and now I’m in a job where I like what I do! 🙂

    1. Ranju

      It is a kind of bliss when I finally hear that you quit and are doing what you like. Good for you and Congrats!!!

  10. tejaslimkar

    I am freshly out of college and have been thrust into the corporate world.I too feel the chains and feel suffocated all the time in office.Just the thought that this is going to be my future makes my skin crawl.

    1. Ranju

      Don’t think of it as your future then. Just consider it to be a tunnel towards your future. Work there to make your base strong, try to grow within the organisation by learning new things and after you have had a good amount of experience, take the next step. 🙂
      I know that advising is easy. Living it might be difficult. But getting the best out of bad situation is better than getting nothing out of it. 🙂 All the best and thanks for visiting my blog 🙂

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