Friday, September 23, 2005

A day at Home

“I think I am going to have headache”, with this thought, I got up in the morning. It was already 7.00 AM. It was clear that I would be late for office today. I had long pending work at bank and felt house needs immediate cleaning, to add to all these I think I do not feel well. Better I would take leave.

This decision gave a holiday mood. Humming my favourite song, i went to prepare coffee. Chintu had to be given malt drink. My good half an hour would be wasted cajoling him to drink it. These days he had become too adamant. If only Rakhesh did not have his tour plans this week, things would have been different. Without him, I find it difficult to manage Chintu alone.

“Ma, give me coffee. Tomorrow I will take that malt drink. O.K.?”, telling these words, Chintu woke up from his bed, tempted by fresh coffee smell. I smiled at him, with his malt drink in my hand, ready to tackle him and handle all his pranks.

I reached home leaving Chintu to his school. This road had become quite unsafe for children. Rather I would fetch him myself this evening.

I switched on the TV and thought of relaxing for some time. Suddenly I remembered my half done work at office. That Armenian contract was not so very important. I did not go through its finer details still. But what if client insists on further information today itself? Then definitely it would be handled by Ganesh. I had never seen an old fashioned guy like him. Insisting on his accepted age old ways and boasting at them. I wonder whether he belonged to this era. For sure the client would not be happy with the details he gives.

That thought made me restless for some time. Should I call and inform Gayathri to handle if at all there was a contingency? But even if I inform her, there is no guarantee that she would look into it. God, why did I decide to take leave today?

As I was thinking whether I should or should not call Gayathri, phone bell rang. Who could it be? Was it Ganesh wanting to get details about that Armenian contract? Oh no, I don’t want that to happen.

It was Rakhesh. He would be coming this evening.

High time to have lunch. I settled with sambhar rice. Not even a gallop went inside, I realized it was not prepared up to my usual standards. I could manage with it well, but Chintu would not. His lunch period would have got over by now. His taste buds had grown beyond limit and got satisfied only when the best is served. He would have thrown it somewhere and should be remaining hungry. What an irresponsible mother I am? Had I chosen to go to his school and give him his lunch, atleast I could have got him something else. Poor, boy would be feeling terribly hungry. I did not feel like eating, after I thought of it. Better I would have a nap.

I took that day’s newspaper and lied down on the bed. The second page news caught my attention. Riot in Trichy. Seven killed. What? Riot in Trichy? My God. Raakesh had to return from Trichy. He told he would be coming through bus and by this time he should be in bus. What if rioters catch hold of this bus and do some harm? The recent bus burning incident flashed in my mind and made me to loose my confidence. I felt like crying. But controlled my emotions and rang up to reach Raakesh. But he had switched off his mobile. He should be a brainless idiot. Why the hell should someone switch off his mobile? It would be better to throw it out than to switch it off. So u imagine I could sleep after this thought? I switched on the TV to confirm that no riots happened near Trichy recently. Nothing of that sort was informed for the next one hour and I felt relaxed.

This time again the phone rang. It was Gayathri. I felt greatly relieved that none disturbed that Armenian file. Still it was waiting for me to attend. Great. When I told my apprehension, she laughed and branded me with a unique nick name.

As I hung the phone, door bell rang. It was Raakesh, with Chintu. So soon, I wondered. Chintu hugged me “Ma, today some new caterer opened canteen. Our teacher sponsored lunch in that canteen as three of us scored high in story reciting competition. It tasted good. I did not eat sambhar rice”. I kissed him and felt happy.

“But why did u take leave today? U never told me the reason when I rang up?” asked Raakesh.

Only then did I realize that I neither went to bank nor cleaned the house. But what was happening to me? Some problem with my head? Or with my stomach? I was hungry. Oh no. Now I have the real headache. Headache due to tension and hunger.

Concerned Raakesh asked ‘Why did u have headache suddenly?’

I said, ‘because I took leave’.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Dare Devil

The conference hall was filled with almost 100 employees. The Vice President was addressing them. He was on the verge of completing his speech and was ready to answer the questions of employees. After few opened their mouth, there was some uneasy calmness. As if to break the ice, a fresh recruit asked, “Will I be able to appraise my Team Leader and Supervisor?”

More than hundred pairs of eyes watched him. VP could not believe his ears. “What?” he asked. This time the fresh recruit’s voice was clearer. “Will I be able to appraise my Team Leader and Supervisor?”

Ofcourse, VP’s answer was not a history. Some judged this question as foolish one while some thought it as a cheap tactics to get attention. But the merit of that question was appreciated by all later. What ever may be the conclusion or inference, the questioner was a dare devil to put that question in that assembly. But the aftermath effects of that question on him are unknown.

Dare Devils are rare breeds. But leave alone bothering about something which does not affect u directly. Even protesting for something which bothers u much would be viewed with awful eyes. When I happened to travel in a relatively crowded bus, and was annoyed by co traveler’s cheap manners, I gave a commendable punch on his huge belly. I was eyed no less than a Vijay Shanthi, and a lady passenger immediately offered me her seat so that I can travel comfortably.

It is really bad that even a milder version of protest is taken sensitively and overreacted, which warrants harsher reaction from the original protestor. A young man was traveling on his bike and was waiting in the signal. A carwala came near that bike, occupying right hand side of the road. Naturally it irritated everyone, but none chose to open their mouth. But this young man could not keep quite. “Can u please use ur sense and travel on the correct side?”. Hey, a wrong way of saying right thing cannot be taken otherwise. But sadly, it happened there and an autowala had to interfere to set aside the feud between those two.

When the serviceman in the sweet meat shop made that girl waiting, least interested in making few karaa appam, and insisted on her going for someother popular sweet dish, she frowned. “I paid for kaara appam. U made me to wait for 7 minutes. I cannot go for any other shit.” At last she got the hot kara appams.

But is it really advantageous to outburst? Not really. Conscience pricks these dare devils most often. They try to be too honest, right and straight, just because they expect that from others. Containing a stormy ocean with in them, they really run a battle to keep that under control. But what ever may be the after effects, the thrill in demonstrating our courage and victimizing the opponent is wonderful and only those who felt it can acknowledge it. Hence, I salute those dare devils, wishing to become one among them.