A Page in the Diary


A Page in the Diary

Pawan is a middle-aged middle-class person. He is a manager in a mid-size company. He reached home at 10 pm at night like any other day. He got on to the bed and reviewed the happenings that day, and felt satisfied.


Since morning Pawan was working on office matters. He was running against time. He had to attend the board meeting. He had a bite of bread toast and with a briefcase in hand rushed to the room of his old ailing father. 

“Papa, How was yesterday?” He addressed his father with affection.

The old man was in critical condition, fighting for his life. Pawan had organized help and required medical support systems at home. Doctors advised him to give palliative treatment at home, as his father’s living would be a matter of a few days. His father knew of his health condition but did not have an idea how near would be the end. 

“I could not sleep properly. I knew you returned from the office quite late. Did you speak to the doctor? What did he say about my losing taste? Not able to eat anything. I am feeling very weak.” Father spoke with a feeble voice.

Pawan knew that it was no use going to the Doctor. His father’s liver had stopped functioning. After undergoing aggressive treatment, the father was shifted to home as advised. It was in view of mounting expenses also. 

“Yes, I went to Doctor. He said that you will find improvement in two, three days. He also said that the last reports show improvement. Try eating fruits. Now I have to rush to the office, I will try to come early in the evening.” Pawan literally ran out as if to escape from the sick man’s suffering. He was conscious that he was giving false hope to the old man. The situation was helpless and hopeless. Father knew and Pawan knew that people are waiting for the inevitable. But as a son and responsible he would say very positively to his father. That was the time Pawan started his day with a lie.

Pawan reached the office and literally ran into his cabin. His assistant Preeti was waiting with the numbers, Pawan had asked for. He has to fit those numbers and prepare the required presentation to the Chairman.

The chairman walked in and said loudly, “Pawan, hurry up we have to complete the presentation. Directors can come at any moment, now. But first, let me see the presentation.”

Pawan opened up the presentation, but as soon as the chairman saw the sales and budget figures, his face turned uncomfortable and said in a tone of frustration, ”Pawan with these figures and trends, the directors will thrash us. We have to find our way out. I already told you to double the actual figures and make monthly and Year performance.”

“Sir I did that and made performance and the projections slides. Please see sir”.

Pawan saw that the figures added by his assistant were showing the wrong numbers. He quickly made the corrections and went along with the chairman to the meeting. After two hours of boasting and bolstering the performance of the company before the directors, the chairman got the required approvals from the directors. As Pawan came out, he could feel the extent of hypocrisy. What he could do? It was his job.

In between there was a phone call from home. His father’s sister visited her ailing brother and she called “Pawan I am with your father. I brought some herbal medicine. I know it is only for my satisfaction. Your father is happy about you and he is very satisfied with the way you are looking after him.”  

Pawan thanked her and felt happy for himself.

He came to his cabin and called his secretary Preeti. She was wiping away her tears with her kerchief continuously. Pawan asked her what the matter was. Preeti said that she was sorry for making the mistake in the presentation material. She also said that she created the problem for Pawan and asked for pardon. He was embarrassed by the drama she was creating. Preeti was aware that Pawan would melt at this point. Pawan, being the boss, said not to worry and also said that it would have been his miscommunication.

Pawan had to convince Preeti that in fact, she was on the promotion list and everyone including the Chairman, was having a very great opinion about her performance. Though he was aware of the point that it was a lapse from her, he did not want to take this to an unpleasant argument without much outcome. Also, he took Preeti to the dinner to celebrate the success with the Board.




Pawan does not maintain a diary but when he looked back and felt that a typical page would be like this.

He covered up Preeti for the small lapse in her reports. Preeti returned the favour to Pawan by giving him company for a dinner which Pawan wanted for a long time. He felt happy for a good conclusion of the day.

The chairman sent an appreciation letter for his performance. Also, the chairman called him and said that the board has sanctioned enhanced budgets and promotions to the group.

Pawan was contented. He could also show the world that he was a good son.

What a day of achievements!

But there is a fellow inside Pawan, who always grumbles and annoys him. He taunted Pawan saying that he got appreciation from the chairman for presenting false figures. He lied to him that he would recover soon and made his father peaceful for some time. He lied even to Preeti that her reporting error did not have any issue. Today Pawan filled a page of his diary with falsehood and made a satisfactory day, which looked the same on other days.  


Mangalampalli Vallinath





  • Vallinath Mangalampalli

    A retired computer professional. I like writing off beat themes. Generally the characters are taken from average, middle class families. I have lot of interest in reading books about cosmos and western philosophers. I belong to Hyderabad, Telengana.

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3 Responses

  1. Pawan’s feeling of guilt was an over-reaction. Yes, theoretically speaking, the three episodes of the day involved lies from Pawan. From a practical view point, telling a patient suffering from a terminal condition that he was improving can be considered a good lie. Perhaps medical ethics may even encourage such lies. Following the instructions of a boss is the duty of an employee, even if the employee knows that following the instructions amounted to telling lies. Consoling the assistant by saying that her mistake was due to a communication gap is in fact a sign of kindness on the part of a boss. Such a practice would lead to good employee relations. However, it certainly was unethical on Pawan’s part to pardon her openly with the intention of making her agree subsequently to his proposal for dinner. A story that highlights the ethical dilemmas that a common man has to fight with in their day to day life.

  2. Appajirao says:

    Author’s narration style is unique.
    His themes make one feel that they had happened to self sometime in his own life…
    Keep it up …

  3. Sai ramesh says:

    I see that pawan started introspecting and it’s a good sign. Wish he will change and come back to the roots.

  4. PLNSarma says:

    Page in Pawan’s diary with self introspwction and repentance. Pawan better realised that human life is suffused with contradictions. Competitive circumstances have impacted Pawan’s desire to be frank and sincere to himself. Good if Preeti or his aunt advised him to be conciliatory. Else it would crying on split milk for Pawan. Excessive dissection of one’s actions in hindsight can be critical of oneself to the extent of losing confidence. Well said, fiuture is reincarnation of past. Yet , Pawan lives in the present and strike right chord.

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