Friday, April 15, 2011

Roj roj

Dream a delicious dream involving nubile boys and old Calcutta lanes. Run around in that half-lit world till you feel something tugging at your consciousness. Toss and turn fifteen times before you realize that the insistent rickshaw bell is actually the maid ringing your doorbell with all her might.

Wake up with eyes still closed. Feel your way to the drawing room and groggily search for the keys while the maid rings away. Wince at the cigarette butts, the half folded laundry, the stash of books, the bottle of coke, the mess, the dusty papers, the dirty slippers. Search for the keys among them. Saroj is still ringing. Fail to locate keys and walk into the other bedroom. Trip over something in the dark. Remember that they are the quilts which haven’t been put away since winter. Stop for a moment and realize that the roommate is sleeping his way through the racket. Saroj rings away. Finally manage to locate the keys. Open the door. Collect the newspaper. Switch on the kitchen light. Go back to bed. But now, through half-lit Calcutta lanes, you can make out that the other roommate has gotten up. Saroj bangs pots and pans around in the kitchen insistently and you cannot keep Delhi at bay any longer. So you get up and brush your teeth. Pack your lunch with leftovers from last night's dinner. Two boxes - one for you two and one for the other curly haired roommate. Wonder idly what you'll cook for dinner tonight. Decide to pick up some chicken on your way home. Vegetarian food for three days on a row is getting to you. Suddenly remember that people might stay over tonight. Mentally add eggs and bread to that grocery list because you and your roommate always make breakfast for people who stay over. Decide to ask the curly haired roomie to pick up some sausages on his way home.

Sit in the little verandah and read the newspaper. First read the comic strips. And the bollywood gossip. And then glance through the headlines. Yes, you’re shallow like that. You don’t want to go to office today. But it can’t be helped. So drag yourself to the loo. Gt dressed. If you’re early, then put on a little kajal and a nice pair of earrings. If you’re late, then the shabby old t shirt will have to do by itself. It’s not like you could compete with the well turned out Delhi chicks anyways. Scarf down the breakfast that the curly haired roommate makes. The eggs are nice. You’d love to linger over them. But there’s no time. There never is.

The other roommate is ready to leave. But you don’t remember where you kept your purse. Or your phone. Finally locate it on the overflowing window sill. You’re running late now.

The Kura wala rings the bell. The curly haired roommate is taking a bath and you (or the other roommate) will have to take out the garbage. Damn, you’re really late. Calculate and decide that if you can manage to get the 8:47 metro (which is due in hree minutes), you’re safe. Put on your shoes and mentally run through the daily checklist. Metro card, check. Cell phone, check. Keys, check. Lunch bag, check. Sigh a little as you remember the amount of work waiting for you in that snazzy glass building you call your office. Wonder if you'll have to declare your yearly investments today and sigh some more.

You step out into the morning air. The roommate walks briskly ahead. Drag your feet a little and look up at the sky and wonder whether the Calcutta sky is as cloudless today, as brilliant a blue. Suddenly have an intense craving for some egg chops from Milon da. But then shake your head and start running towards the metro station, trying to catch up with your roommate.

You're an adult now, and a new day has started.