Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The damp patch on my wall

Its been a while since I spent the entire afternoon staring at the damp patch on the wall. That would mean I haven't been falling sick that often.

Its been my favourite pastime, when I have fever, since time immemorial. Staring at the ceiling, trying not to think of the slowly building headache and wait for sleep (which never arrives on cue) while the mind churns useless memory bits.

The memories of another day ... the snatches of uneven conversations ... the bitter aftertaste of the last fag ... the strains of forgotten songs.

The day breaks fresh and new, as if the whole world is celebrating with you. Niru rolls to the other side of the king-sized bed, trying his best to avoid the sharp rays of the sun even in his sleep. After a while, his mind gives up the fight to hold on to the last remnants of sleep and he cautiously opens one eye to survey the damage. Sumi’s eyes are still shut but that in itself is no guarantee. He peers closely for telltale signs of tears and almost lets out a loud sigh of relief. Looks like she is actually sleeping.

So far so good. With one last wishful look at the gentle curve made by Sumi’s right thigh and neatly manicured leg, Niru silently slinks off the bed and locks himself in the loo. Is it time already to dig into the happiness box tucked safely in the waterproof packet inside the flush? “Becoming too greedy, you idiot”, Niru scolds himself absently while his mind starts the dreaded flashback routine on what exactly went wrong with his life last night.

Yeah, the forced sex was a bad idea, even more than hitting her to keep her quiet. But it must have all started with that bloody bitch Sonali calling up at 1 am to ask for money for her dad's operation. That too, when Niru can't find one bloody drop of alcohol in the whole bloody house. Where the hell do all those Bacardi bottles go? "Sumi must be downing some with her evening tea," Niru would have sworn, in case he did not know his wife better. Has she found a secret bewda lover to go with her dopey husband? Niru almost burst out laughing with the sheer beauty of the idea. “That would really take the cake, won’t it?”, Niru chuckles, as he opens the loo door softly, tiptoes to the bed and starts the search for his mobile phone.

He ultimately finds his Nokia E63i under the cupboard with its battery holder hanging open. Must have slipped off his pocket. Or did Sumi actually throw the phone at him? The details were kind of hazy at this point, but he vaguely remembers trying to kiss Sumi to make up, while she was shouting obscenities at him. “And what colorful language, that Sati Savitri mother of hers would be real proud of her,” Niru mutters, as another bout of hysterical laughter threatens to overpower him.

Mobile barely fixed, and it’s the time to fix that bitch Sonali. What does she think to call at 1 in the night, with some sob story about her dad's kidneys? That last time’s champagne was a big mistake. And giving her jewellery stolen from Sumi’s locker only made it worse. “Now saali thinks she owns you,” Niru shakes his head in anger. Damn her starry airs and her soft mouth and the things she does with it, damn it all. Time has come to tell her where she belongs, if only she will pick up the bloody phone.

“What is the point of having a mobile in case you don’t pick it up?”, Niru wonders while neatly side-stepping what must have been last night’s baingan bharta made with real love and tender care by his loving wife. Almost drops the phone in sudden panic at the thought of Sumi waking up and walks fast to the other room to clear his head.

“Focus bugger, focus, don’t lose it now, you’ve been through worse in bloody B-school.” he thinks furiously, just able to keep his slowly rising panic in check.

Now where are we? Eye drop for the red eyes, check. Mouthwash to clear the smell of stale booze, check. Unshaved look to hide the generally haggard appearance, check. 2 Pudin Haras for the rising bile, check.

And loads of water, loads of water. Now, if only you can find a bottle of mineral water in this damn house, when you need it. Niru contemplates shouting for Sumi, but decides its not exactly a good time.

“Must get her flowers today, those yellow whatevers from the Hill Road shop ... and some chocolate never hurts.” And in case one is lucky, she might be actually willing tonight. “Must say she wasn’t looking all that bad after the latest liposuction,” Niru thinks, while buttoning up his shirt. “And must come home sober for dinner. It might be baingan bharta again.”, this time giggling helplessly.
Entering office with a suitable jaunty air is the key and the sunglasses always help. Firing Sonali is also a great idea. She might even be willing to give it for free, to get her job back. “The world’s is coming back in control, and I’m the dude.” Niru hums to himself as he nods to the watchman holding the door open.
“Good morning, sir”. That's a new voice.

“Now that new receptionist is a serious piece of shit,” Niru wonders, trying a suitable superior management smile. “She must be given some opportunities to be close to senior management as a part of her grooming process”.

The cabin smells of stale flowers. One more point to blast Sonali.

“Sir, you have a conference call at 10:30 IST with Singapore”, the cute receptionist opens the door a fraction.

“Where the hell is Sonali?”

“Taken the day off, Sir. Father unwell.” the new receptionist sounds reasonably overawed in the presence of the big boss.

“Bloody excuses”, growls Marketing Director Niranjan Sen, while gently swivelling in his chair. “With so much damn pressure, I must take a serious look at the work-life balance.”

“Get me a coffee will you, sweetie. And what was your name again?”


J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Uh oh. Bad day at work?


Anonymous said...

not bad i must say, my friend --- sandy

Dipta Chaudhuri said...

You must see a shrink.
Your stories are going from morbid-er to morbid-est.

Rimi said...

Excellent. Very good. Roald Dahl kothai laage? *manic grin* Now, I'll leave this nice gentleman with you. You must be nice and answer all his questions? Okay? And then we will go away for a long, long vacation. Alright?


Thank you for sending me the link. I really liked it. If I can write about you can bloody well write about this.

Rimi said...

*if I can write about dying dogs, you can...

Dipta Chaudhuri said...

I see Renie has convinced you to become a member of Indiblogger!

zenobia said...

u write better than the guy who wrote 5 point whatever..wish you would embark on your journey..your own path soon..i agree with do seem morbid...lighten up..

Anonymous said...

No, don't lighten up. I like the morbid stuff.