My father had a habit of being perennially tardy to office. While office timings started from 9.30 in the morning, he would normally stroll in at around 11.00 – 11.30. No one ever dared question him because of his awesome reputation. He did not have a cabin to himself, all he had was a corner table where one could not find even a single file. He never took anybody along on his sales trips and managed everything single handedly. One fine day, a German Manager, perhaps a recent arrival, cornered him his lack of punctuality. When asked the reason, my father coolly told the manager that he had gone to Khatau Mills on a sales visit. The manager called the mill to verify and asked for the Purchase Manager, whom my father had said he had visited.
Needless to say, that gentleman was another close friend of my father’s, who – and I still don’t know how but he did – smelled trouble. However, he kept his wits about him and innocently asked whether Mr. Thakore had not reached office yet inspite of leaving a while ago! The poor manager cut a sorry figure. And then, to add insult to injury, my father made a show of promptly going to the cashier to submit a travel voucher for the supposed business visit!