All The senior staff of Apothecary Pharma Limited had received an e-mail from their Executive Vice President, Chaurasia at 11 pm the night before. It asked them to assemble in the Conference room first thing in the morning.

Worry was writ large on the faces of everyone in the conference room as they nibbled at the sweet rolls or sipped coffee/tea next day. 

Chaurasia announced in a grave voice, “Our MD Kausalya has gone on indefinite leave assigning no reason. I got a message from HO late last night. I will be the in-charge until further notice.” He left the meeting abruptly.

There was a babel of voices. Raman echoed all their concerns, “She is so much self-centered and egoistic. Why would she miss the upcoming new shares issue? That would have been her showcase event.”

Next fifteen minutes were spent dissecting the personality of Kausalya threadbare, how she loved herself more than anybody else to the extent of being obsessive. The office gossip said how she rejected the selfless love of Anand just so she can advance herself. Poor Anand was so dejected he left his promising career.

Chaurasia was left brooding in his cabinet all by himself. He recalled how Kausalya humiliated everyone including himself. She cared for no one but herself. 

Exactly one month after Kausalya’s sudden departure, a mail from Kausalya reached everyone in the office. It read:

“Dear friends, 

One night while I was browsing the internet, I came across a reference to Narcissus. I googled him and caught up so much in him that I spent the next hour researching him. I realized I was exactly like him. I was so much impressed with myself. My self love had become toxic. I had lost out on so many good things in life. I am sure I have hurt several of you one time or the other. 

I realized I did not want to end up pining to death admiring my own reflection in the pond. Who wants to be reborn as a flower?

I decided I have to a have a relook into my life. I took time off and travelled extensively searching for answers. Finally, I ended up in Ramanashramam in Tiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu. I met a middle-aged man dressed in simple clothes. He seemed to be in complete peace with himself. AS if he could read my mind, he said to me, “You seem to be extremely unhappy. As human beings, we carry a lot of baggage. Lighten your load. Self love can be damaging, but love of self is redeeming!”

I was shell shocked to know that he had headed a multimillion-dollar enterprise in US. Like the monk who sold Ferrari, he left everything. Next few days of interaction with him changed my whole life.

I am resigning my position effective immediately. Respect yourself, but not obsessively. 


The office was never the same again.

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