Sumit Babu is absent in the office. His chair is empty. I am looking at it again and again. We are class mates. He came two hours late, sweating, anxious and has to spare half a days salary. It is lunch break now. We eat lunch together and asked about the delay in a low, soft voice.
Sumit was opening his office bag to take out the lunch box and a very good smell of mango came out and filled the office room. Mangoes are such delicacies that after summer and till rains you will get them.
Sumit told me train was late as goods train they had to give preference. Two train’s office goers were in one train. Not being able to catch he train, he took the next train. Anyhow the mango smell was prevalent. Knowing that he was already late, he bought a Kg of mango from station market on the way. Sumit babu loves me. He took out a mango and offered me. Shirish sir was our friendly boss. Sumit got up and asked a knife from him (his drawer is full of so many things which are of importance and we need them frequently). All were eating their lunch in groups or alone. As Sumit cut the mangoes with knife, Shirish sir got up and came, jovially saying “Knife is mine, so is the mango. You should share with me.”
All our colleagues, even the peons were ultimately enjoying the mango party. It was a loud celebration of the early seasonal mangoes. Our office got over. Both of us would be going together till the station then we will take different lines. I told him,”Oh such a day as if we were children.” Sumit babu told me he did not get any piece. My face fell down, oh! My friend.
Basket full of mangoes, one or two vendors were selling at the step of the platform. Sumit babu bought from them and he bought litchi one bunch. I too bought them and felt happy.
In compensation next day at lunch, I and Shirish sir together gave a gulab jamoon and samosa treat to all our colleagues. Sumit smiled at me.