Disclaimer: This is not a moan of complaint but a rather objective report of the happenings of my life in the recent times. Kindly do not take it otherwise. I can’t help it even if you do!
Blogging after so long makes me feel human again. And the fact that I can access the net on my laptop makes me feel like I can breathe. Both these are essential factors considering the conditions I’m currently living in. I’m using the word “conditions” with a purpose, ladies and gentlemen. After having searched for a ‘decent’ accommodation in land of Tories (I’m in Madurai, FYI) and all in vain (the concept of a single girl living alone in a flat is both alien and bizarre to the Madurai men who handle most of these decisions), I had to succumb to my distant relatives—relatives I last saw when I was a 2-year-old kid; relatives we hardly were in touch with until I turned 22 and was in a desperate need for a roof above my head. Turns out there was a roof and that’s where I’m putting up, temporarily, until a particular tenant (I call him an ass for my own convenience) vacates the only flat we manages to book and finalize. And that will happen only once the month ends. Until then, my company is a joint family, including a 1.5-year old kid who wails every night when the mosquito attack begins. While she uses tears as a defence mechanism, I use curse and swear (one of the rare things I’m reasonably good at).
I’m also served a variety of vegetables here, including some with whom I had broken up years ago, some I had a strong hate relationship with and a few whom I have never consumed in my lifetime. I get access to coffee whenever I want. Of course as long as it matches with some auspicious time calculated by an antique calendar kept in the storehouse. Sometimes, it becomes a challenge to use the toilet in the evenings as that’s the den of a group of cockroaches. Free time (if any) is constructivelt put to use by playing carom with the other seventh grade kid, until the wailing baby decides to not wail but play by sitting right in the middle of the carom board.
Yesterday, amidst all this drama, was my first day in office. I got about four calls and five SMSes from friends and family wishing me all the luck to show my ‘calibre’ at my workplace. I was a little messed up and zapped as not only was this going to be my first day, but I was supposed to be bidding goodbye to my father. To be fair, I took it pretty well. The voice may have broken but the water never came. I’m almost proud of my maturity (yes, I would like to call it that).
After completing all the formalities of handling over mark sheets and certificates, I was shown my department. Oh! But before I begin to narrate that, I need to provide an objective report of my office too, isn’t it? Well, my office resembles an old, isolated government bank sans AC. The location of my office adds to the misery of travelling (it’s on NH49 en route Rameshwaram). Add to that my working hours: 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. So, now does it make sense when I say no one was willing to rent out a flat to me? No? Good. Coz it doesn’t make any sense to me either.
Anyways, mosquitoes are an integral part of my life, apparently. They are there in the house I’m residing in. They are there in my office too. Clearly, they seem to enjoy the taste of blood.
Once my father left, I was shown my department (the editorial din) and introduced to my fellow colleagues, whose names I forgot as soon as I heard them. I humbly asked which of the five systems would be mine. None, I was told. I would be occupying the system that’s vacant when I come. Fair enough, I inferred. However, the only vacant system that I was allowed to occupy was out of order. I was asked to read the papers until the system was repaired. I happily nodded and began what was going to be a 2 hour wait.
The repair engineer came only after the aforementioned time. I spent those 2 hours (maybe even more) reading and re-reading Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu and The New Indian Express, solving Sudoku and killing a total of three mosquitoes. Finally, when the system started working fine, I was summoned and told to begin ‘work’. Clueless as I was, I simply stared at the monitor. I was given a practise copy to edit, which I did in about 15 minutes. More than happy to flaunt my ‘work’, when I announced I was done, they said I could leave. It was only 8 p.m. I concluded that I probably did not edit properly and that’s how they punish weak performers. But the reason for my early exit turned out to be otherwise. Since they hadn’t been able to arrange suitable transport while returning, I was advised to leave early for today so I could catch a bus/auto and reach home ‘safely’. I nodded and left, having understood the way back home.
I waited for almost 20 minutes for a bus on that highway in the dark. But the fact that I know the local language somehow gives me a sense of assurance that nothing can possibly go wrong. And it didn’t. So there you go. My first day in office was over. And the one word to best describe it would be: unproductive.
Real work begins today. Or should I say tonight? I guess I should stop typing coz it really seems like a task to be working on my laptop with a kid so eager to ruin it. Also when she’s on a pissing spree all over the house.