Thursday, January 17, 2008

Jumping Out of Bed to Come to Work

Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep! It went. No it wasn’t the alarm clock; it was Rashmi Sterilizing Chiya’s Bottles in the microwave. It was also my cue to “Jump out of bed to come to work” as DM used to say when asked about our Vision Statement. Unlike Dm’s context, this wasn’t a sign of my engagement levels however. This just meant that today, I was feeling good about life in general.

Then again, who wouldn’t feel good about life, if he is woken up from a deep slumber in which he was having erotic wet dreams about submission of proofs to claim income tax exemptions, trying to figure out where to find another 20,000 Rs to max out the 100,000 Rs exemption under 80C, all of this just to save some more tax. Incidentally I was the same guy who just about 6 years ago was taking home about 100,000 Rs a year and there was no tax to dream about. No Tax. No Tax Exemption. No Wet Dreams.

Who wouldn’t feel good about life to know that today there are no bottles to sterilize, not much at least. Wouldn’t you feel good about life knowing, intuitively, that despite the Dhobi not showing his face for close to three weeks - the three weeks during which I managed to use up all my extra advantages of working in the Apparel Industry – you will find your clothes ironed today? Top this up with that all important morning cup of tea that is on the bedside table, ready for you, when the solitary gas cylinder has been empty like Aurangzeb’s Harem for close to a week now. (You got it, we have mastered the art of microwave cooking, a strange mix of scarcity and plenty teaching you a few things).

Hey! I forgot to say thank you. Shit.

I put the last batch in the microwave and set it up for four minutes. Four important minutes during which I manage to brush my teeth. Yes. I know. Absolutely brilliant I am.

I come out, and the rice is cleaned and soaked, ready to be cooked. 20 minutes in the microwave, add Puliogere Mix and Oil and Lunch ready! Last night we had pizza, very cheesy, very different from Puliogere. How people change overnight.

Rashmi is ready by now and Chiya is up and ready for her massage. This is my cue to mix up 180 Ml of Warm water and Lactogen in her bottle, give it to Rashmi and run towards the bathroom, before she sees me and insists on me picking her up. No guarantee however that She won’t knock on the bathroom door for the next 10 minutes (she uses the door stop as a knocker, in case this bit interests you.)

We leave home, drop Chiya at her crèche and I get dropped at the Auto stand, say good bye to Rashmi and spend the next five minutes haggling over price to M. G. Road (with the guys who want to come to M. G. Road, in the first place). Rashmi waits patiently. Finally, a nice soul agrees to a premium of 10 bucks over meter (10 bucks that I fleece out of Rashmi) and away we are to our respective destination. She in an Alto, I in an Auto not much difference but just an alphabet. She also takes trouble to call me and tell me that this Auto is not Euro IV compliant and is smoking like a chimney. Two thoughts come to my mind; one, why do people quit smoking when all day they face this on the roads and two, wherein the Tata Car!

Didn’t I tell you a while ago that I was feeling good about life today? Well, the feeling continues and I do a bit of useless maths in my head, 10 bucks extra twice daily, for on an average 200 days a year, is 4000 Rs, give or take a few hundred. Oops, that’s more than twice my annual premium on a 10, 00,000 Rs, twenty year, Term Life Insurance Policy with LIC. There goes the good feeling out of the non existent window of the auto.

I cross BTM Signal, go through Maruthinagar and come out near the St. John’s Hospital Junction and there’s perfectly healthy trees cut all along the way! I count at least five. Mr. Pachauri, Ms. Narain, I hope this is on your radar.

I decide to count people instead.

The well built lady all of 80 kilos, eating what looks like half a dozen Rice Idlies in one of the numerous Darshinis that I cross everyday. “Ma’am, the Idlies will be there tomorrow as well, relax!” I think.

I see a man on a Honda Activa in one of the signals I stop at, stretching his shoulders and back. In obvious pain he is. Terminator, his helmet says. “With that kind of pain at 9:15 in the morning, you are the one getting terminated friend”.

I see a school girl, desperately trying to cross the street at a zebra crossing, while civilized men all around, in their civilized cars, rushing towards their civilized jobs, do their best to drive right over her. The elderly Traffic Cop helps – these guys are not all bad, I realize – he is in mortal danger himself!

I see the meter, disinterested, its running fast as usual. There goes another Insurance Policy. I get back to counting people.

I reach office.

Same day, same shit.

2 comments:

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Ramit Singal said...

Great post. I love your style of writing. Started with one post, and got absorbed enough to read the whole page.