Mr. Mehrotra had an attaché named Dhawan. Dhawan was a hard taskmaster and he made everybody’s life miserable by insulting and scolding. You were supposed to work at the Consulate for three months and then they would review your work. After that, they would extend your job for another three months. Then, at the end of that period, they would decide whether to make you permanent or not. If they do not want to make you permanent, they can continue extending you only for three more months.
My loving and unfailing friend, Mr. Ramamoorthy, and a few others had been working there for a long time and Mr. Mehrotra’s attaché would not agree to make them permanent. But in my case, it was not more than 13 days.
One day Dhawan came to our section. Whenever he came, everybody would tremble. What was he going to say, and to whom? This time, from the doorway Dhawan shouted, “Ghose!”
Everybody was wondering what was going to happen. Then Dhawan marched up to my desk and very abruptly said, “Mr. Mehrotra has decided to make you permanent.” Then he marched away.
O God, instead of applauding, everyone was silent. Perhaps they were puzzled or jealous or upset. I, too, was stunned. Then some of my colleagues said to me, “I have been working here six months” or “I am nine months and I am not yet permanent.” I had not even been there for two weeks!
Why did Dhawan have to give me the news in front of so many people? Perhaps he wanted to make their lives miserable. This was how my job started.