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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Gurugramwale: Retired freelancer

A glimpse into a senior citizen’s working life

gurugram Updated: Aug 30, 2019 14:39 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Janki Prasad retired after serving for 36 years in from state-owned power distribution company Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam
Janki Prasad retired after serving for 36 years in from state-owned power distribution company Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (HT Photo )
         

Life stays busy long after the office career becomes history. It is, at least, true for Janki Prasad. The gentleman served for 36 years in the state-owned power distribution company Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam. “I retired as a commercial assistant,” he says, walking about one afternoon in a Gurugram market. Staring straight ahead as if into a vacuum, he says, “I was honest, I never saluted officers, I just did my work... I’m still remembered in the department and I’m always offered a chair when I visit my old office.”

Mr Prasad, 70, spent his working life dealing with the electricity department’s account and billing systems and, he says, he is still sometimes called by the department to help them as a freelancer. “Sarkari karmchari (government employees) are thought to lax about work but I would often stay in the office late until midnight... and there was no extra money for overtime.”

It was all passion, he says.

The ardor continues and Mr Prasad is also often summoned by friends when they have problems in paying their electricity bills. The soft-spoken gentleman says he is known for his ladaku (fighting) mentality and cannot bear injustice. “Never in my life did I ever ask for bribe, nor did I ever give a bribe.”

Unlike other retired men of his age, Mr Prasad rarely spends his waking hours holed up at his residence in Saraswati Vihar. The previous day was an exception, though. He was at home. “Even my wife was feeling uneasy by my presence... so today she forced me to go out into the bazaar and be with yaar-dost (friends),” he says, breaking into a chuckle.