Mr. Sleepyeyes(sweating profusely): Sir, I can hear a screeching ear breaking sound opposite my cabin. The sound was unbearable for the field operator to sleep at night. He just ran towards the control room to inform my colleague Birbal.
Birbal(in a non chalant manner):Let me get it checked by Mr. Khan
Mr.Khan is our sincere field operator(a rare gem among GOONS)
Me(anxious): Do it fast. It seems something horrible has happened. I hope the leakage is not major(optimism is important when you have no clue about the extent of disaster)
Birbal immediately directs Mr.Khan to check the status.Meanwhile, he also informs our innocent Incharge.
10 tense minutes
Mr Khan:Sir,there is a major leakage at the top of the column.
Innocent Incharge immediately informs the big boss. It is in moments of crisis that real character of a man comes out and it came out in not so beautiful way that eerie night. Big Boss casually instructs us to take action. Meanwhile, he sleeps in his guest house. Leadership Redefined.Don’t go gentle on a long night,they say.Yet,our big boss went indifferent on a crisis night.
Task at hand was extremely risky.Isolating the valve at the top of the column in the middle of the night with poisonous gas gushing out at 20 kg pressure,needed a man of guts or rather men of guts.Mr.Khan and Birbal had every inch of it.Birbal shutsdown the unit and started reducing the pressure.He takes 2 face masks along with oxygen cylinder to the unit.
Attempt 1:Birbal along with Mr. Khan show unseen courage in climbing the column. Climbing up the column is not an easy task. You need to climb series of monkey ladders and carry all the safety equipment along. Evading Eagle attack, braving cold winds and ever-expanding poisonous gases, both the unsung heroes finally managed to reach the top. Sound was unbearable.Poisonous gas was lashing out at blinding speed.Mr.Khan vomited and fainted.Entire episode was seen by CCTV camera by rest of our squad.Birbal rescued him and brought him down. Meanwhile, our Bigboss was still sleeping in his cozy bed. May God bless him with some accountability.
Birbal returned to control room,hardly breathing and said in a panicky voice ” It`s impossible to breathe there and sound is deafening”.Our innocent incharge listened to him attentively and immediately instructed me to take over the reign.I had just come back from a long overseas flight this morning and was suffering from jetlag. Yet, not many are lucky enough to get a chance to be a hero and I was chosen to be one even if it means risking my life.
Our Team waited till the pressure reduced to 6kg .It was a long 1.5 hrs wait.Our minds were filled with doubts,anxiety and fear.What if the line completely falls off,it may cause a major fire.All it needed was a spark so we prayed earnestly.
After tense 1.5 hrs,me Mr. Birbal and our Innocent charge set about to complete the mission.Moments like these are registered in your mind forever because you know who stood up and who betrayed.Real character of a man is tested in adversity.Testing times ahead.Mr.Khan joined us at the deadly site.Task was simple,climb up the 43 m high column while evading bird attack,poisonous gases,irresistible sound and scary unsteady monkey ladders.I took the lead with Mr. Khan behind and Birbal as support with torch,oxygen cylinder and Walkie Talkie.
I love adventures but this was indeed a scary one.Anything could have happened.
Attempt 2:Me and Mr.Khan carefully climbed up the ladder,carrying all safety equipment in one hand.It was an arduous task.Sheer will and commitment to save our unit helped us reach the top.Poisonous gases was rushing out at maddening pace.Mr.khan took his valve key and started closing the valve.Gas was coming straight to his face.He got pushed away once due to the immense force.He valiantly battled on.Meanwhile I opened the other valve to release the pressure.
Stakes were high, pressure was intense and still our abysmal management slept in ignorance.
I along with Mr.khan successfully arrested the leakage.Every second was being minutely watched on CCTV by our remaining crew.It was moment of pride mixed with satisfaction and relief as we descended down the column.It was indeed a triumph of human spirit. Tough times are a great indicator of humans, you can easily recognize cowards in your team. Perceived silent ones turn out to be real Heroes. It was a success and failure in equal degrees.
My only advice to Big boss would be:
Don`t go under the blanket on a disastrous night.