THE puzzled chairman entered the precincts of his company, and stared at the peons, clerks, stenographers and other employees, huddled together outside his MD’s office. He wasn’t too startled as he heard the sniggering, smirking, sneering at something going on inside.
He pushed his employees aside and roughly entered the room. “What are you doing?” he asked his managing director, who with wet cloth in hand, was making an effort to wipe the floor, rinsing the rag in a bucket. “What are you doing?” asked the chairman, though he knew what his MD was up to. “I am cleaning the floor sir, there was a leakage and water got in!”
“But there are a dozen peons who will do the job, why didn’t you tell them? Can you hear our staff? They are giggling and chuckling outside!” “Why would they do that?” asked the crestfallen MD.
“Because they know why you are doing this tamasha! They know you are only trying to impress them with your religiosity and put on humility,” whispered the chairman quietly. “But they are not impressed. So why don’t you take that rag and clean yourself?” “Clean myself?” asked the MD, “Why?”
“Isn’t that your car, I can see through the window? Who were you travelling with yesterday? Your wife rang up the office, she said you have been having affairs with many of the youngsters in the office. You win them over with your fancy car, your money and offering promotions. Most certainly not with your looks!” “My wife rang up?”
“She is a distraught woman who is devastated with the filthy way you are leading your life, and the staff here know this! Now do you know why they snigger? They laugh to see you clean the floor, because they know you do so, to show you are a good, devout man, but, and listen to me, they all know otherwise!” “My wife is spoiling my reputation!” “Oh, don’t just blame your wife,” said the exasperated chairman, “I believe most of the staff here know you in and out! Now get up and get out! Here, take the rag you were cleaning the floor with, and try to clean your heart. Till then you will be branded a hypocrite!”
The MD shuddered as he scurried from his room, rag in hand. He heard sniggering, saw smirks, and felt the sneers that loudly echoed behind him, as a lone voice called out, ‘Clean yourself sir, before you try to impress us by cleaning the floor!’ In his room, the chairman sighed as he realized that this ‘cleaning act’, sometimes a ‘sweeping act’ had become a national pastime..!