“Salesman not allowed”, this was the board Rehman and Ganesh were reading for the third time during the day. Probably they had read this for a million times earlier; because of their job as a salesman. They carried beauty products door to door every day; and this had been their daily routine for last ten years. Over the years the companies changed, products changed, but Rehman and Ganesh with their sales bag and the board “salesman not allowed” never changed. But today was a special day. Not that Rehman or Ganesh were getting promoted, and would never need to repeat their routine again; but today could be the last working day for Rehman in the company.
May heat in Mumbai was unbearable and standing in front of a two 20 storied buildings, Rehman and Ganesh were only estimating their probable business prospect. Rehman’s mind and empty stomach thought of nothing, but his sale of beauty cream, gloss, mascara and other beauty accessories. It was the month of Ramzan, and Rehman being a kamil muslim, strictly observed Ramzan, offered namaz at the mosque every Friday and read quran daily. Although Ramzan was not new to him, Ramzan this year was special. His only daughter Ruksar was now grown-up enough, to understand the worldly pleasures, and had demanded for a talking doll (almost of her height), and a pretty frock that was similar to the one worn by the doll. For a 3 and a half year young kid this meant the world as her Eid gift.
For Rehman meeting the ends was the biggest challenge, and today he felt he would bet his life to meet the challenge. It was the last day of the month and incidentally the last day of Ramzan; and could also be his last day, working with his dear friend. Not that he had resigned, but was to do so, if he did not meet his monthly target of selling 10 kits. During the last 4 months Rehman had managed to sell average 7 kits, which according to his boss was far below acceptance. While Ganesh had managed to sell average 9 kits, with couple of months exceeding the fig of 10.
Ganesh, offered Rehman to choose his building of the two. Entering the building, Rehman knocked every single door. Some, homes greeted him warmly, but most of them banged the door on his face, some even blamed him for disturbing the sleep at 3pm. While few others, screamed for the watchman to intervene. But, to his advantage the watchman was unavailable at the gate. Rehman, approached every home in the building climbing up and climbing down; he had knocked the doors of over 60 homes, all he wanted was a sale of 2 kits before the day end taking his total to 10 kits for the month of May, and that would save his job and more so his daughters dream.
But to his ill fate, this did not happen. Disheartened, Rehman came out of the society and checked his watch, it was 6pm. It was time for him to offer his namaz and break for the iftar. But with no sale, he just could not move from the society. Ganesh on other hand had managed to sell two kits, making his total of 9 for that month.
As a practice, every salesman had to report back to the office between 6 and 7 pm to register their sale. Rehman that day choose not to accompany his friend to the office, instead handed over his official documents to Ganesh to be submitted at the office. As it would be his last day in the company, Rehman proceeded back home. His heavy foot could not reach out to the mosque. He stood still outside the mosque staring at the walls; he spent next one hour, not sure where to go and what to do.
Every time he thought of returning back home, thought of his daughter and loss of job would haunt him. His boss words echoed deep within; if he failed to sell 10 kits, he would not only loose the job but also the salary for the month. His thoughts were distracted with the mobile ring. It was Ganesh, but he chose not to attend the call.
With great efforts he decided to give another try, and choose to enter another society for his sales call. By then it was 8pm, his usual time to reach home. His mobile rang continuously, with calls from the sales co-ordinator, his wife Tabbasum, Ganesh and message from his boss “call back”. But he chose to attend none. Rehman, continued with his effort to make two sales to save his job, earn his salary and gift his daughter.
At last at 10pm, when one of the ladies at the home complained the secretary of the society, Rehman was thrown out of the society. With heavy heart and moist eyes he stepped into his house, only to be greeted with expectant and cheerful eyes of his daughter. Ruksar, ran into her fathers arms and softly said “Abbu Gudiya”. Rehman, only kissed his daughter and said “beta soojao, good night”. The day was so filling that he never realised he was starving for over 16 hrs, but he choose to sleep and not to eat.
The sun rise welcomed the day of eid, with joy and laughter in the neighbourhood. While Rehman was still in his bed deep in his thoughts, Ruksar interrupted his line of thoughts, jumped on his lap and asked him “Abbu Gudiya”. Tears just rolled down his cheeks. Rehman just kissed his daughter and asked her to leave him alone. At the very moment Tabbasum interrupted the father-daughter, to convey the eid wishes, which he had received on his mobile, he had intentionally kept his mobile away the whole night.
Rehman, scrolled his inbox to find over 20 unread messages. Most of the messages were general eid messages. But, two messages particularly caught his attention. He was happily surprised to read the first message from the bank, confirming his salary deposit. Which meant his job was intact and saved.
The other message he read was from the sales co-ordinator, who sent daily sales update to the entire sales team. Amongst all the names of the sales executives and their corresponding monthly sales figures, Rehman was surprised to read the monthly achievement figures of; Ganesh 7kits and Rehman 10 kits.
The last message was from his dearest friend Ganesh it read “EID MUBARAK”