Government offices are much like hoary forts, in the reign of legislators, mayors sitting on their thrones and fancying themselves as one of the monarchs in parliament.
“Sir, sign this file. It’s very important,” Shankar said handing a file to a freshly elected Mayor of Silpur.
He was a hardworking and dedicated statesman, claimed in his manifesto. Though he finagled elections, some maintain.
On the other hand, Shankar was a decade old serving secretary in office. He knew about town better than any of his chief.
“Oh yes, tell me where I have to sign,” Mayor thrilled, signing first file of his tenure.
“Right here Sir,” Shankar said directing at the corner.
“Hmm…one should accomplish all his duties on time with utter responsibility,” Mayor pronounced with pride.
“Truly said Sir. No one knows this better than you,” secretary smirked at the phrase, he was used to of getting them for a long time now.
“By the way, what does this file concern of?” Mayor queried.
“To build a temple on land which Municipality won in a court case from Madhav Gyan School,” he informed.
“Good job Shankar, it is fairly odd to start my work with lord’s blessings,” he chuckled and signed.
“Sir, you remember the request for installing water pump from Block-47?”
“Yes...yes…they got me a box of sweets and thanked me beforehand,” Mayor expressed, feeling smug by the gesture.
“We need to ask for quotations for that,” Secretary said.
“Yes, go and publish an advertisement for quotations in the newspaper. Make sure it gets done as soon as possible,” Mayor instructed.
“But Sir, we often give such kind of contracts to Ramesh Bhai. He is….”
Mayor stopped him in between and said, “No, Shankar we should not take these things casually.”
“It’s about people who elected me and have faith in me," he added.
Secretary have to walk off as he ordered.
Meanwhile Mayor planned for a nap. Moments before the crash, he spotted a fly on the wall. Soon, it onset hovering around his head; swayed his hand but flunked. He was peeved because of whirring, thus he sat off the day at the office and escaped for home.
On Monday as soon he settled in his chair, secretary comes forward with a file in his hand and said, “Sir, these are three tenders we got from the advertisement we'd given in newspaper.”
“Please, have a look on these bids,” he added.
The mayor took the file from him.
All of a sudden. Again. A fly started fizzling around his head.
He asked Shankar, “Pluck this fly out. It is niggling me.”
Shankar took the orders and began swooping fly. It flew away to land on the wall clock. He hopped from wall to wall with the file, but can’t get hold of it.
At last he advised to the Mayor that he can arrange pest control to evacuate the place from any insects or flies.
Mayor Okayed and said, “It’s better I rest today. Make sure this fly won't be here tomorrow.”
“But Sir, please approve one of them,” Shankar said, aiming to stop him holding the file.
“No, I'll do it after they snag it down. This project requires loads of my concern.”
“But Sir, people are struggling to get water in that block,” he argued.
Mayor shouted, “I know, it’s my job. Stop quacking.”
Secretary struck dumb and Mayor went away.
Subsequently next day, he came at noon. Catching a whiff of skunk smell he asked secretary was they had relieved of the fly.
Shankar sensed it was worthier to point at a fly on the wall instead answering in disgrace.
Witnessing the sight Mayor uttered in nuisance, “I think it is a certain furtive spy on me by opposition.”
“Spy? What kind of spy Sir?” Shankar questioned him while trying to catch the fly with a roll of newspaper.
“I heard about some robotic fly from my son lately. It is kind of fluttering camera,” Mayor said, giving a hint of knowledge he had.
Shankar stroked by the statement. He never listened of spying in his office before.
“What should we do now?” He puzzled.
Mayor instructed secretary to set him a meeting with Police Commissioner and cage down the office until they catch this threat to national security.
“But Sir…” Secretary quibbled to stop him by offering same file, indeed don’t want any scolding.
“Shankar, can't you realise security of this office is at stake. Let me resolve it first,” Mayor said and left.
After two days he went to meet the Police commissioner.
“So, tell me Mr. Dubey how can I help you?” Commissioner asked him.
Mayor explained the complete story behind the robotic bug in office, snooping at him .
“We need a team to investigate on the subject,” he added.
“I doubt if any conspiracy behind it, it’s just a fly in your office,” Officer assumed.
“No, just do it or else I have to ask Chief Minister,” Mayor pronounced.
“Err…No need of it Sir, go back your home and have a rest. I'll send one team for the fly tomorrow.”
“Indeed,” Mayor said.
Next day, when came to office he straight away ran to Shankar in the anticipation of the good news.
“Did they hooked the robot?”
“I afraid to say No Sir.”
“They haven’t found it?”
“How’s it possible? It was right here another day, you yourself showed me,” Mayor said rather maddened.
“Don't know, perhaps flew away,” Shankar said.
Mayor thought for a minute and said, “Hmmm….possible. Certainly they took it back when heeded of investigation through it.”
“Anyways, we are secure. Now I can focus on my social responsibilities,” he added.
Secretary sensed the moment and presented the file of tenders and murmured, “Sir….file.”
Mayor opened the file, grinning cheerfully. But, what they saw curved both stunned.
A dead fly resting inside.