“No. No. You cannot just leave right now. Can’t you understand how much work load we have to handle on Saturday?” The vehicle wash centre’s owner screamed with overwhelming furious voice.
There he was. The worker; lean and thin, unmanaged rough hair, moist and greasy clothes and deeply saddened face.
“I’ll come within an hour Dai. I promise.” He requested one more time.
The owner became more wrathful. “So, you want me to clean all these vehicles? You should have asked me yesterday at least. I would have managed other workers. You cannot leave like this. You can call your friend here by the way.”
“I did not mean to break your rule but my friend just called me and said he’s leaving airport right now. This might be the last time to meet. Can you please let me go for half an hour at least?” The same dejected worker tried once again.
“Look boy, whatever it is, work is work. I said no; that means NO.” That stubborn owner wasn’t going to melt by any means.
“Ok! Then I’m ready to cut off my today’s salary. Let me go now, please.” Despite working for more than half of that day, he was ready for the cut off.
“Don’t you throw me big words boy. Just get back to your work. See, more bikes are coming.” Arrogance was the only thing that owner had.
I was there by the side as this drama happened.
Maybe the worker gave up finally. He seemed so despondent by that time. The melancholic breeze was streaming around him. He surely regretted working for a man who couldn’t manage at least half an hour for such emergency. Maybe he hasn’t realized that this is how Kathmandu works.
Kathmandu, where one arrives with a big dream, survives protecting it and leaves when s/he cannot make it.
With the same despaired face, he lifted up the water pipe and started to give the vehicles a cool shower. Later, as I was leaving getting my bike washed, I heard him talking on the phone, “Yeah! I’m still here. I don’t think I can make it……..”