Short Story: A Shield For The Security Guard

Posted: May 18, 2020 in Inspiring stories, Men, Short Story, WPrightnow
Tags: ,

Photo taken from the Internet. Source

Biman saw a big plastic packet sitting on the Security Guard’s table adjacent to the gate of the building. It looked like a few boxes of cakes. He could see the name of the bakery written on top of the packet. Not the usual ones that Swiggy brings into the building. This one must have come directly from the bakery in their van, thought Biman. He had been away from the gate on a washroom break.

Since no deliveries were allowed to go beyond the gate, things were left at the guard’s table usually, from where the residents picked it up. Not always though…

Many had become so lazy since lockdown happened two months back that they refused to walk those ten steps to the gate to pick up their stuff. They would inevitably make a call to the security guards and ask them to drop it off at their flats.

The company that Biman worked for, which had a contract with the building that he was guarding now, had strictly ordered them not to run errands unless it was emergency medicines for aging residents. So, when the calls came to deliver the pizzas, the biryani, the groceries left by Amazon, the fish left by the fish seller, to the respective apartments, Biman had to say a firm “no”. Then they would request, command and threaten him over the phone.

All for what, so that they didn’t have to step out of their front doors, thought a hassled Biman.

“They are shamelessly heckling the guards to make their easy life even easier. The morons never think I am doing my job and nothing else,” an irate Biman lamented.

Yes, the guards had a few jobs less now, of opening the gates when the cars came in, of jotting down the registration numbers of the Ubers, of getting the guests to sign the register, or keeping an eye on the maids.

But he had ensured that none of those para guys could walk in and ask for money from the residents as they had been doing in other buildings. And when some people came at night saying that they were from the Municipality checking every apartment to make sure no one had fever, Biman had repeatedly asked for their ID that they failed to show. He kept the gates firmly locked.

He had ensured every single person who walked inside the gates used the hand sanitiser, he had made sure the lift surfaces, the stair banisters were cleaned twice a day. He had taken on the mantle of the caretaker, who used to come in the local train. Biman switched on the pump on time, made the gardener cut the wild shrubs, maintained the lift, saw to it that waste was cleared from every home properly by the sweeper.

Despite that it was one undelivered pizza that became the bone of contention. The building president told him that he could have just delivered the box to the lady since she was single and old. Biman had retorted that her young niece had been living with her since lockdown, a fact the president didn’t seem to know.

The old lady had complained about Biman to the building committee. She had told them that she found him ogling at the women and watching porn on his mobile while on duty. The president assured him he didn’t believe her.

“I know you are a good guy. But it’s not in my hands. We might have to let your company know…”

“And then…?” Biman asked, the anger building up in his throat.

“We will see.” He said. His face gleaming with the power he felt on another person’s life decisions.

Biman’s cheeks were burning up. Now would he have to deal with a lifetime of shame for one woman’s laziness?

He thought of his everyday fight with his wife. She worried that he interacted with so many strangers and went back home to sleep with his 3-year-old daughter.

“Can’t you do something else?”

“What else?”  Biman would scream. “People don’t have jobs now. You should be thankful I am still drawing a salary.”

Biman sat at the guard’s chair, crestfallen.

*

“No one took that packet yet?” asked Monohar, Biman’s colleague.

Biman looked at the packet disdainfully.

“You should see them when the bakery van comes these days. They come down in hordes as if cakes are what they are living for. No social distancing, no masks, their tongues touching the ground in gluttony,” chuckled Manohar.

Piya was walking down the driveway towards the guards table. Biman looked away.

“God knows what this young woman thinks about me. A pervert or a good man?”

“Biman da, Monohar da, ei packet ta tomader (this packet is for you),” she said.

“What’s there?” asked Manohar eagerly.

“Some cakes and chicken patties for you,” said Piya.

Biman remained expressionless. Manohar had already opened a box. A grin lit up his face.

“Biman da tumi toh jhor tuleccho (you have raised a storm),” said Piya.

Biman looked at her stunned. She already knew about his shame.

“My mom said that all the women in this apartment have stood up for you in the WhatsApp group saying you are a gem of a person. All allegations against you are false,” smiled Piya.

Nao ebare cake khao tomra (now you guys have some cake). Ma has ordered this for you.”

Biman looked down, at his own gleaming shoes. He couldn’t let Piya see his tears.

– By Amrita Mukherjee

Read More Short Stories On Lockdown

Short Story: The Maid’s Home

Short Story: A Teacher’s Lockdown Lessons

Short Story: Feluda And The Covid 19 Death Case

Short Story: In Love With Social Distancing

Short Story: Washing the milk

Comments
  1. Bobby Chakraborty says:

    Loved this short gem filled with palpable curiosity and positivity dear Amrita Di❤🙏

  2. Hardly you find such unity among the Bengalis. But I loved the ending

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