2 more days to go for the weekend.
What date is it again?
Just the 9th.
Another 20 more days to go before salary gets credited.
What time is it?
Another 5 hours to get done with, before I can get home.
Its lunch time!
Break for now…
I walked towards the regular lunch eat-out, with my head bowed down and my mind pre-occupied with the 5 new jobs and their deadline on my job list, the upcoming client meeting at 3 pm, the one-on-one to be done with a few focus groups, when to organize the brainstorming session to come up with new brand strategy ideas, the con-call to be made with the bosses in the evening and ….
The biker was rather angry with me for not noticing his highness come towards me. I felt the same. I mean, how on earth could he miss me?!! After exchanging angry glares and a couple of unspoken ‘swear’ words, we went our ways. The typical way of living of the urban crowd.
I imagined the same episode being re-telecast in a different backdrop, say a village. A village girl walking with her head bowed down and a cyclist braking hardly a feet away from her. The girl would have started crying. The guy would have seemed lost and worried. The entire village would have stood divided with sickles in the hands, arguing over who was at fault, eagerly waiting to shed blood. I could even hear the ruckus. Almost.
Well, not my fault. Working in a creative agency, you are trained to think out of the box and come up with the weirdest of ideas, which sometimes some clients misconstrue as fantastic, fabulous and out-of-the-world. Agreed, the vice-versa happens too.
Anyways! The whole screech-bike-village-cycle episode did not bring about a change in my mood. I walked into the hotel with my eyebrows still frowning and head bowed. What a life!
I placed my order for The South Indian meal. The smell of Sambhar on hot rice with some spicy mango pickle should make my tummy happy, and in turn pep me up.
A small red one.
Or maybe drowned to death.
In the curd.
You know, a red spot on white is quite visible. No wonder I noted it despite my myopia.
“It’s ok. Just eat it. Ants are good for Myopia.” said my mind.
As I tried to break apart the doom made of rice, I saw another moving red spot. And this was alive. The rice was cooooold. It at least kept the moving red ant, from burning to death. Maybe it would freeze to death soon.
“Don’t eat it. It is alive.” said my mind.
I was in no mood to fight with the waiter.
First, loads of work.
Second, the screech.
Third, dead and alive ants in my lunch.
What a sad day!
I finished my food as fast as I could. Maybe I should not tip them today. As I sat waiting for my bill, a young boy of hardly 16, came out from the kitchen. He wore a faded grey shirt and trouser which had gone black from the smoke and dust in the kitchen. There was a hole on the shirt through which I could see his ribs.
Signs of poverty.
Through the tear in his trouser, his old torn jockeys could also be seen. The trouser was fastened with something like a twine. I could not bear to be prying at someone’s ‘private parts’ for long. Hence I had to look away.
He came towards me. I tried not to look.
He took away the plate and then pulled out a dirty cloth from his pocket and started wiping the table. I did not notice that the table actually got dirtier with each swipe. But what I could not but help noticing was that he was humming a song as he did that. He finished my table, did not wait to be tipped. Walked over to the next table and repeated. Only to sing again, smiling to himself.
“How does he manage that?” I asked my mind.
“Maybe he is having a good day. Maybe he came from a worse background and this keeps him happy. But, you are having a bad day. Oh! Come on, it is alright to sulk.” it said.
Fine. So much for consolation.
As I headed towards the exit, I noticed a man, walk out of the entrance carrying another man, who was handicapped. The one being carried was paralyzed from the hip below. His legs dropped down like dry thin twigs, swaying as he was being carried out.
I was curious to see how far his friend would carry him. So I followed them, and what I saw amazed me. They went towards a car. His friend put him into the driving seat and closed the door. Then, he and other friends got into the back of the car. The ‘differently-abled’ gentleman started the car engine and drove away.
I looked on, to see if I could read fear from the facial expressions of his friends. They, however, were engaged in a light conversation and laughing, not once looking at the road.
How could they be so confident about the driving skills of someone, who could not even walk?
"Now what? He has a bad day every day. How does he manage?”, I asked again.
Today’s was an enlightening lunch. But I would really like to get enlightened further.
I mean, really “How do they manage?!?”