Potatoes. Her eyebrow rose a bit when the earthly deity started talking about potatoes when she went to her office for a chat about the recalcitrant students. They were playing hardball and so was she.

“Have you heard about the story about the potatoes?” she asked.

She said it sounded familiar but couldn’t quite put her finger on it.

“I told them to put a potato in a bag for all the persons that they didn’t like or hated,” she continued.

She wasn’t your babe in the woods. She knew that with each new management came a new set of rules and a new set of people. It made sense, in a way, to put people you trust, people you’ve worked with in place. If she came onboard like the MNC gods and goddesses, she’d place her own people – she’ll be secure in the knowledge that, as they say in the current parlance, somebody got her back.

She also knew that these earthly deities were never inclined for noetic stimulation. The large profit margin was foremost on their minds alongside the thought that mortals were convenient scapegoats, an omnium-gatherum that could be dispensed off at their whim. Old or new, they were the same.

Hopeful would be a stretch of the imagination. Indifferent doesn’t exactly capture the feeling. Jaded would be an understatement. And then the universe with its capriciousness drops in. She found herself face-to-face with an earthly deity who was opposite of the opportunistic, calculative and duplicitous characters she had been dealing with in her professional life.

She went on, her words breaking through the mist of thoughts she was in: “If they put a lot of potatoes in their bag, they’d be logging around a very heavy bag. Now, if they’ve forgiven those people that they hate then they won’t be carrying a heavy burden in their hearts. One of them wanted to interrupt me; she kept blaming the teacher. I already told her that the teacher already apologized and that it’s now their turn to look into their rude actions.”

Then she moved on to frogs.

“I asked them if they wanted to be like frogs underneath the pond just watching the world go by above their heads,” she narrated of the long chat she had with the students.

“If they don’t want to be like those frogs then they should own up to their faults, forgive those who have supposedly wronged them and move on with life. One more thing, I told them if they were to enter your classroom again, they must do the work and be the best they can.”

Potatoes and forgiveness – that’s one analogy she would never have thought off. Frogs in the pond and intelligence – that’s an interesting parallelism.

She was flabbergasted. She expected a “pass-the-bucket-of-blame” game, which was the usual case with her past employers and department heads. But there was no game, no hidden agenda. All cards were on the table.

Potatoes and frogs – the universe does work in mysterious ways.

“You have a good day,” Ibu called out to her as she got up and walked to the door.

“You too, Ibu,” she answered back.


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