Late night yapping sessions with friends are similar to drunken night outs. Honest. They make you deliriously high as long as you keep chitchatting about things as crazy as old school nonsense to modern day work politics. You don't realize how sleepy you are till the time you finally hit the sack. And we actually hit the sack at 5:30 am, since somewhere in some obscure school book we learnt that humans sleep at night. The result? The next morning and the day after, are spent in a quasi 'drunken stupor'. People liken you to the Lotus Eaters or the sloths. Or even the slug that feasts happily on the leaves of your potted plant.
One such 'friendly hangover' later, dawned a hideous Monday morning in the boxing match of my life. Round 1. And I could hear the gong go 'BONGGGGG'. Or was that just my alarm clock? Note to self - Nickelback's Fight for all Wrong Reasons must be removed from being my alarm sound. I refused to believe the fact that the Monday had dawned. I drearily pulled myself out of bed, and proceeded toward the mundane tasks that comprise the 'waking up' process. Ever wondered how you always feel under the weather on a Monday morning? I am sure I was running a temperature today morning, as I woke up. But who'll listen? At least in school I needed a leave note. At work, if I give in to the 'I am sick on Monday Morning' syndrome, I lose the opportunity of taking the day off when the blues get absolutely unbearable. So, sigh! I then headed out to the world in my living room, only to find my coffee on the table, and company missing. My folks wanted to subtly tell me that they had a very hectic schedule and helping me beat my Monday blues was by and far the last thing on their mind. So all alone for a coffee with no one to crib to. Round 2. Yet again ... BONGGGGGGG. Then, bidding a near - poignant goodbye to the cosy confines of my house, I headed out into the hostile mean Monday world.
I have already been preoccupied with a certain gnawing anxiety over the past few days and the fight with my thoughts and 'What If' analyses has been another duel in itself. "But the human mind has a tendency to turn towards the gnawing thoughts, and so, always train yourself to live in the present moment", so said a realized soul. I shook away the dovetailing thoughts and came back to reality. Not because I was reminded of the preacher's words, but because of a terrible honk that blared into my ear drums almost rupturing them. It was a clear sky, but a not so clear road. It was a bright sunny morning, but a dark gray smoky surrounding. And the cabbie I got was the kind you can only encounter in nightmares. He drove as if he was more keen to hit a traffic light, than to get me to office on time. Even a bicycle overtook us. He chose not to take a crucial flyover at Sion, because he 'forgot'. When I reprimanded him for the same, he took it upon himself to take all available flyovers. The result, he 'forgot' the section where he was supposed to go under a flyover and ended up going over it instead. Round 3. BONGGGGGGGGGGGGG. Frustrated with the chap and not wanting to go till the end of city limits hunting for a place to make a U-turn, I got off and decided to walk back a short - cut to office. So, with three kilos on my shoulder, and a hundred kilos of irritation, I trudged along. Round 4. BONGGGGGGGG.
I got to work, and all hell broke loose. I had drafted a meticulous plan of action for my team this week, and suddenly, I was told that almost my whole team had been whisked off out of Mumbai on an urgent project. But my project, my deadlines? 'You figure it out'. Round 5, 6 and 7. An extra loud BONGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. Eight people had eight hundred questions to ask me. I had eight thousand questions to ask, with the first question being, "who do I ask the Seven Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine questions to?" A client wanted a report. I needed 3 reports from my team. Two guys in Bangalore called to say that they wouldn't be able to send some crucial data since they had been called off to a very important meeting. My colleague in Chennai who was to send me 2 very important reports called to say that he was on leave since he had a stomach upset. My tea was cold. I was asked to go to another corner of the city in 3 hours. Wait. Someone would confirm whether I'd need to go. A member of my team (only one of the remaining two who were spared the critically urgent out of Mumbai project), came over to say that she was supposed to go on a one-day meeting somewhere. Gongs were going off. Round 8, 9, 100, 1000. And amidst this cacophony, someone said, "Sindhu lunch?" I headed out, and greedily took a spoonful of the vegetable I'd brought. Youchhhhhh. I ended up like a leaky faucet. Lunch was ruined as well. Round 10,003. BONGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.
Lost in the labyrinthine ways of the day, I finally looked at my watch. 7:45 pm. The office was almost empty. The working day was finally over. The manic Monday was finally done. A colleague was leaving and he asked me how long it'd take me to get home. In a buoyant mood on account of finally having conquered the Monday, I nonchalantly replied - 20 minutes. "Wow! that's truly lucky. It takes me nothing less than an hour to get home!", he mused. I smiled, shrugged, packed up and left. God damn the roads of Mumbai. They build flyovers everywhere. 'A small sacrifice for a better tomorrow', they say. Tomorrow? Well, the vehicles line up on top and below the flyover. For Mumbaikars, the song we sing is,
'The Road is not enough.
But it is such a perfect place to waste my time.
The Road is not enough.
Flyovers're such a perfect way to spend my evening.
The Road is not enough.... The Road is not enough....'
(To be sung along the tune of The world is not enough).
So a small move by the cab was a prelude to a large wait in the traffic jam. So inch by inch, I managed to reach home. In not 20 minutes, but in 120 minutes. Whoopa. Gongs kept clanging like temple bells. Round 2,00,003, I guess. I lost count. I lost the power to count. I finished dinner and I so wanted to get myself out of my sad, dejected, melancholy mood. I so wanted to spend half an hour by the seaside, listening to the soothing waves with the cool, gentle, salty sea breeze brush against my face. So I asked my father whether I could just drive down to Worli Sea Face and be back within the hour. Unflinchingly, he gave me an emphatic No. 'You must be insane to expect me to say yes to you driving at this hour,' he jeered. This was the loudest BONGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG in ages. Sad, dejected and rejected, I walked off to my room. Mom said, " Read your Bible, and go to sleep. Tomorrow will be a better day". So I took her advice and soon after finishing this post, I am off to my 'Biblical jaunt'..... Jason Bourne beckons...... For the sixth time.