OVERHEARD by Anupriya Kumar

(A conversation between an aggressive advice-giver and a friend who finally ran out of reasons to cancel on him.)

Mattias Diesel

“No promotion again.”

“As your true friend with your best interest at heart as long as it doesn’t hurt mine, I can only express…”

“Sympathy? Solidarity?”

“Surprise, at how nobody at your office has grabbed you by the collar, dragged you out, and chucked you on the rubbish heap yet.”

“I’m good at my work, and HR policy prohibits violence at my workplace.”

“Good at work? How does that help? Might as well hang a sign round your neck that says: here, run all over me. I’m a nobody, a loser, a worthless piece of…”

“Maybe my colleague deserved it more than me.”

“Nonsense. Noticed how ‘S’ stands for both ‘success’ and ‘sabotage’? How difficult can it be to steal his ideas? Hide in his room, fart right before a client meeting, and escape unseen? Break into his house, cover his floor in grease so that he slips and breaks his…”

“They promoted my wife.”

“Break into her room, cover her floor in grease so that she slips and breaks her…”


“Not too receptive to being counseled, are we? You know how much I earned at your age?”

“You’re younger than me.”

“I know. And yet look at me and look at you. How do you even live with yourself?”

“Isn’t easy, but I manage.”

“Two years ago, I was earning just a crore a year.”

“And now?”

“Twice as much.”

“Can’t see where this is going.”

“Just wanted to make you hate yourself so much you mend your ways before it’s too late.”

“Definitely halfway there.”

“Good. Nothing like helping a friend in distress.”

“Check, please. Waiter? Anybody?”

“Take care of the wife.”

“Why, thank you. I will.”

“She’ll need all the help when she limps about after her fall…”

(The conversation abruptly ended as one lunged at the other, drowning the wails for help in some very colourful language)


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