I have stuffed myself with horrible pohas that Company's canteen has to offer.I have had a fight with Bus driver for playing noisy songs aloud and have threatened him to complain today. I have settled myself in my dingy cubicle. I am at my recalcitrant best while staring at black Unix screen. A new chic in the front row just comes in. The moment she comes in, what hits me is the strong smell of her imported perfume. Just as she sits down, trying to pin her hair, she looks damn hot. While she bends to take out some branded face wash from her drawer, I spread my eyes wide open.
"Don't dare Mr. Kulkarni." , I get deflected by a murmuring voice of Rashmi. She sits next to me and always enjoys spoiling my party
"Her boy friend is a real Stud."
"How do you know?", The moment I ask this question, I curse myself for it.
Rashmi adjusts her specs, looks at me as if she's looking at a dead rat and starts preaching
"Beta, we call this as Wash Room bonding. We don't go there just for answering nature's call. Therein, we exchange views, share news, get to know about latest sales and offers, we find out about relationships,marriages and break-ups ..."
I cut her short and ask slyly
"Is it bonding or gossip?"
"Whatever. I just wanted to alert you about her boyfriend, a 6'3" stud, works in the next building."
"Let him be, anyway no matter how much I look at her, she would never stare at me that's for sure."
"Hmm, that's right too, not even the ugliest girl on the floor gives you a second look." and she bursts out in her quintessential wicked smile.
I am sick of her insinuations.I imagine her like a witch as they would portray in the 90's cartoon serials. I have a real strong urge to tell here how ugly she looks with her braces on and thick specs while she smiles, instead I give her an apathetic look and immerse myself into executing my Test cases.
My phone rings after an hour. It must be Chhagan, I think and pick it up.('Chhagan' is an honorific we have conferred to our manager. In fact, some of the team members call him 'Chutiya', but I prefer Chhagan. Sounds more decent). He needs some updates from me. He goes over everything twice taking longer pauses that even Mr. Vajpayee would take, asks some idiotic queries and extends an hardly ten minutes conversation to half an hour. I answer each and every question patiently. Finally the ordeal ends and I feel like a monkey is off my shoulders.
It's just ten more minutes and he calls up again. He asks same set of questions saying I wasn't quite clear last time. He really has got an uncanny knack of irritating people to the core. This time, I feel like losing my patience and actually want to call him Chutiya. Instead, I re-phrase myself and explain things once again patiently. He seems satisfied, still doesn't even say Thank you and disconnects. I keep wondering that I am mastering the skill of hiding my emotions.
We are in a queue in canteen, all standing like beggars for subsidized food as if they are serving nectar instead of water. Somehow we get through. Canteenwalah does not have change as always, he promises to return next time.Finding a place in crowded canteen is a task in itself. One of our team members does this job lucidly today by reserving a table for us.Everyone around me is cribbing for the quality of food, I too join them and make a resolution to bring food from home.
A walk after the lunch provides a little respite. Now, it's a time for a design walk-through meeting. We struggle to get the projector in the conference room working. We call an IT guy and he takes another twenty minutes to make it functional. Whenever these Business analysts and Designers speak, I feel they are talking in an alien language. I always doubt that everyone except me understands everything in the meeting. Hence I just keep nodding. In the Question-Answers session, I don't clearly remember but I ask something, someone says it's a good question, I have no idea why? They give some cryptic answers, I pretend to have understood everything. We thank each other and depart.
Just as I am reading a 'Be careful' forward mail from a friend, Swati, one of Rashmi's many friends shows up. I hastily close the mail window.She' s not all that bad looking, today she seems to have put on a little more make up. A friend of mine secretly admires her and always requests me to introduce him to her. Rashmi asks her what's special today. She blushes and breaks a news of her engagement. Rashmi suddenly gives her a tight hug. I feel as if my eyes will go moist at their bonding. Swati shows her to be's photo. Rashmi gives a WOW reaction and hands over the photo to me as well. He looks like a South Indian film's villain to me. I congratulate Swati feeling sorry for that friend of mine. Rashmi and Swati head towards washroom. After returning, Rashmi asks me,
"Yuck!!, did you just see how he looked? Must be some African breed."
I just admire her for her switch on and off skill, but don't feel like commenting anything.
Suddenly, I see a mail from my client manager Luka dotovasky appreciating for my weekend working two months back. I feel like replying to him and telling that I am still struggling to get weekend allowance from finance department. In stead, I just send a thank you note.
By now, it's almost 5:30, buses leave at six. Rashmi has already buzzed off. I carefully draft end of day status mail. Spell check in outlook sometimes is very time consuming, every minute counts now. Finally, mail is sent. I pack everything with a speed of Jet and set off. Thankfully, I get a seat in the bus. I look out of window, It's setting down nicely, a faint shade of rainbow garlands the sky, and the bus takes off. This time, driver has played Jagjit Singh's gazals. He looks at me and smiles. I give him an approving look and with the blowing wind and soothing sounds I just doze off.