"Kuchh na kaho.....kuchh bhi na kaho..."....Manish was humming the song for the nth time that day and getting on everybody's nerves. He just didn't seem to be affected by the flurry of activity around him. People were rushing to wind up for the day...looking forward to the long weekend ahead after a hectic week. Hectic and traumatic week. Harsh, their colleague who had been battling work-related depression had committed suicide. The atmosphere at office had been pretty sombre. Everybody had been looking forward to this weekend for the much needed break.
"Manish, for God's sake, will you just shush! I can't seem to find my balance sheet working file which I HAVE to submit to the BOSS before I leave, lest he come after my blood! And you, good for nothing bum, why can't you just help me instead of sitting there and humming that stupid song?" I screamed at him for the second time.
"Kuchh na kaho....!", went Manish again....Anything you said to him had to have that response. Gayatri, who had been watching all this drama, snapped, "Manish, I curse you, you are going to be haunted by Harsh for the rest of your life!" And again he went, "Kuchh na kano..!", with a sly smile. God, that man really needed some sound thrashing!
At last I found the damned file, dumped it on the boss's table and left with Gayatri. We ran out before that pain-in-the-neck could follow us to the lift and irritate us further with his filmy stories. In fact, everyone was filing out of the office as soon as they could. It had started to drizzle and people didn't want to get stuck in the heavy shower and the resulting traffic jam. Also, they didn't want to become a victim of their boss's dreaded after hours' lectures' on time management and what-not.
"Arrey, Manish Saheb, bas hua gaana-bajana. Ab chaliye, ghar jaiye aur hummey bhi janey dijiye", came Murari, the office clerk, urging Manish to leave.
"Theek hai, jataa hoon. Tu chal... main aaayaa..!", he giggled at his own joke and got out of his chair. Stretching his arms and back, Manish made a laboured attempt at lumbering towards the exit. The most annoying character in the office was also a glutton who weighed a ton. He had the knack of getting under everyone's skin...most of all Harsh's. So much so, that people were quite relieved for Harsh when he passed away. "At least one person can now be in peace!"they sighed. Such a pest was Manish. He really deserved to be thrashed by the 'vampire', was the popular opinion. 'Vampire' being the Boss!
He hummed his favourite song as he waited for the lift. He was all by himself and the entire floor was quiet. In the silence his voice echoed and he felt a surge of pride. "What a velvety voice you have, Manish Kumar!" he chuckled to himself.
All of a sudden the lights in the building went out and he was engulfed in pitch dark. But, ever the cool guy, Manish simply cursed his timing. With nothing to do till the current came back, he continued with his singing..."Kucch na kano.....!"when he felt a pat on his shoulder.
"Manish bhai, how many times did I tell you that you need singing lessons. Don't you know how badly you croak?"
Manish's heart skipped a beat. His breathing stopped and there were beads of sweat on his forehead. There stood the Boss with a torch in one hand and a bottle of water in the other.
"I have been meaning to have this talk with you regarding your hobby. Well, now that the current's gone and nobody around, it is the best time for our "Talk"!", he smiled wickedly. "Come, its your turn today. Sit for the lecture."Smiled the vampire and led Manish to his cabin.