One Saturday on a cold November morning I came to office to finish some work. The ten storied glass and cement building looked uninviting and deserted. Not a single person other than me was on the floor I worked on, it being a weekend and an off day for all.
It was also a first for me to be in office on an off day. Usually I came in to work early mornings and observed the office fill up as people start trickling in according to their schedules and the schedules of the company provided buses on their route.
This day was special though, as the large office was entirely my own. I could have played music at my workstation or put my feet up on the desk or do whatever I pleased without any interruptions or bothering about codes and etiquettes.
But I needed to complete some important tasks and I was thankful for the peace and silence that enveloped me. Everything was silent except the whirring of the refrigerator’s compressor in the cafeteria on my floor and the slow wheezing sound of the AC vent, but those are consistent sounds that we become almost immune to over a period of time.
A few hours into working, my concentration was broken by a sound of frequent clicks as that of clicks on a computer’s mouse. I was using a Wacom tablet, which means, I was rather quiet, except the occasional tap on the keyboard. Therefore, I wondered if contrary to what I believed was there was someone else in office too?
To save energy on the weekends most of the lights are switched off. So the floor was rather dimly lit with daylight streaming in through glass walls in remote corners of the large office floor – so large that about three tennis courts could fit into it. Only my workstation was lit by a tube placed right above it. Sort of like a spotlight.
Which is why I wondered if out there in the dim but large room was there someone else beyond the umbrella of white light?
I grew curious about the clicks in the dark. I decided to go seek out whoever it was, I had keeping me company on this dreary foggy cold morning. I reached a corner of the office with four workstations squeezed in together, but there was no one there and none of the machines were switched on either. I wondered if some part of the machine was left switched on by any chance, but that too was not the case.
The sound was loudest at this spot, but I grew more curious and wondered if I had not followed the sound to its exact location so I walked around this corner of the office again. I was a bit nervous now and all my senses were on high alert, as I imagine we’ve evolved from our days in dark caves and forests while trying to locate the sound of precious water trickling somewhere. I was almost certain that no human was in the office, though this certainty could have only come from some evolutionary sense like a sixth sense.
I returned to the familiar corner with the four workstations. I gathered some courage to look under the table – an even darker, wiry mesh, from where I don’t know what would spring at me. But there was nothing there. And yet, I discovered that as I stooped down, I felt the sound of the clicks seemed to have lessened. I quickly stood up and could hear the sound again clearly.
That is when I looked up and noticed that apart from the spot light like tubes above the workstations, there were small dim/low wattage light bulbs throughout the false ceilings of the office. One of those tiny bulbs seemed to have been at the root of this noise. It seemed to be making desperate attempts to light up and make itself useful.
This tiny bulb is what was keeping company on this cold dark floor.