Thursday, June 25, 2009

Code of conduct while in a meeting!


Ever so often, me and Anjali go through what we call ‘pointless and endless meetings’. It is a way devised by our boss to ensure that we spend atleast sometime with him and take notice of him. Ofcourse the exercise is futile, because after every such meeting, we emerge even more wary and sick of him. I know, we hardly talk to him but that is because his personality is such. His huge frame, his fair complexion and very well taken care of features (ewww) and his strange fascination to red and pink and happy girly colours doesn’t do much to make us even remotely happy about the fact that we are associated with him at work.

Everytime he calls up on my extension and says, ‘Mrinalini, you and Anjali come to my desk,’ I feel nausea. There are times when we are at lunch in the canteen, and he smses from the fourth floor, ‘Meet me at my desk.’ Sigh!
Lately, his meetings have become even more painful than usual. He gives us this hogwash about how he is now delegating us with ‘higher’ powers and how we should feel privileged in these trying times. In our language, we call it ‘more work.’

We tell Nandini about our woes on gtalk, on sms, on phone. And pretty ‘khurafati’ Nandu has come up with this absolutely brilliant plan to keep us happy and perky during these meetings. She sends us smses, which can make any normal person roll in hilarity, but me and Anjali cant laugh inside a board room, so we keep a straight face and burst within.

Here are a few Nandu gems:

‘Meeting, is it? Time to play another round of K I L L E R! Whoopah!’
‘You must wink at Anjali and if someone notices, wink at them too and mouth- I am Killer!’
‘You must accidentally by intention step on someone’s toes!’
‘Look around blankly for a while and after five minutes say, Why are we here? What is our purpose?’
‘Or or you both can wave around hands and pretend to talk to each other in sign language. And tell your boss it is to prevent Noise Pollution!’
‘At any given time, raise your fingers to make a V sign and say- Peace brother! Lenon died for it. Show some respect.’
‘Look at everyone with great attention and then announce in a quiet voice- No, everyone loses. Anjali has the prettiest eyes.’
‘Scribble in your diary-Ten things to do while attending a boring meeting and then flash the paper around.’
‘Coordinate with each other and then show the thumbs up sign. Add sly looks. You could also mutter- hehehehe.’
‘If someone is addressing to you, make your fingers squiggle and say- Talk to the hand!’
‘Before raising any point, just raise your hand and jump in your seat and mouth- me me me!’
‘Are you doing all that I’m saying? Ok, when the meeting ends, announce- I was killer, who is the loser detective?’
‘Say- I have an important point to raise, and then draw a point on a piece of paper and raise it in the air.’
‘Take my photo with you and say- She insisted’
‘Just randomly scream- Hello Hello. I think I’m picking up some important signals.It’s the cute boy from the eighth floor.’
‘At the end of any point, look at Mrinu and say-I concur, do you concur?’
‘Look at nobody in particular and mutter rhinoplasty, liposuction, rhinoplasty, liposuction…like a chant!’
‘Say-Lets observe two minute silence for all those who no longer get to attend meetings such as these. Then close your eyes and fold your hands.’
‘Just hum a song and say – My inner singer could not be contained!’

So ya..having a friend like Nandini has its benefits. She makes life-in-the-times-of-recession-hit-working friends so much much much fun! Wouldn’t you agree?

PS: I suggest you try some of this yourself. I often wink at Anjali, mutter stuff, show thumbs up sign et al. It is FUN!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It poured that day... Piya's Version


It poured that day. But still, having tea with him outside after ages was worth it. Not listening to mum, she left for the back alley. The small tea shop was deserted, the shop guy was the only one sitting there with a flashy raincoat on him. He expected customers even now, she smirked. And with a jolt, she realized that she was out for the very purpose.
She went and sat on the somewhat cold and wet wooden bench, not conscious at all. It wasn’t one of the things that could get her worked up. Her appearance, her clothes were all very normal. In fact, she was wearing her dad’s t-shirt and her baggy jeans. The rains always made her wear something of her dad’s. Warm and comfy it felt against the skin.
Time passed, she had a phone, but didn’t want to sms him..He would be coming anyway, didn’t need to push it..Instead, she lit a cigarette, rainy days deserved a smoke, she always thought.


Through her smoke rings she reminisced the times they had spent together. There was no space for formality back then. He would often sing to her from his varied collection, bother her with his silly boyish jabbering ,and, every month expected her to cook chicken curry, which she gladly did. In college, Friday evenings were dedicated to spending nights at each other’s place, baking cakes, cooking maggie late in the night and giving impromptu singing performances. She smiled at her silliness now- how out of tune she must have sounded back then- since she barely qualified as a bathroom singer. But she wanted him to know, know that she appreciated music- a lot.

She had fallen for him and he knew. But they never got around to discussing the “possibilities”. Post college he went away to the states to pursue a ‘fancy’ degree while she stayed back to pursue a diploma in advertising. That day, just before he left they met up at this very place, it wasn’t raining then. The streets were dark, dimly lit and the yellow light from the lamppost soothed her mounting restlessness. They walked holding hands (it was deemed normal), he sounded excited and she appeared lost. She noticed from the corner of her eye that he was staring, he had also abruptly stopped now… at this point they had kissed. A second later he was back to blabbering about his soon-to-begin adventure, almost as if what transpired between them a few seconds back dint matter.

She kept mulling over their kiss moment time and again. Why, why had he kissed her and why did she let him? And why could she not ask him what it meant? The questions and lack of answers always left her irate.
He was smitten by his new life, while she chose to be pre-occupied with studies and work. They would chat online once a week; where he typed the most. He would call on all the festivals and her birthday. She was amused at his fake accent. At work, most of her time was consumed with constant browsing through his orkut account- album after album. His charming life made her envious and her desperate attempts to match up to it constantly failed; for he didn’t notice. Gradually the calls dropped, chatting became less frequent, he seemed content and distant. ‘Oye ’ sweetie had given way to ‘hey’ and eventually ‘hi’.

‘You fill up my senses like a night in a forest Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain’ HE was calling, after sooooo long. She jumped outa bed ran to her phone and almost screamed into it. His accent sounded real now. “Hey’ ill be in town day after tomorr-ah lets catch up”. He ended the call saying “I‘ve missed you and we need to talk”.
She did her little ‘happy’ dance and began to construe various implications of “we need to talk” the good and the ugly. Now she was just waiting for him to come and put a rest to her impatience.

The cigarette had finished long back, she finger-combed her hair, got off the bench and dusted the moist mud off her backside; when suddenly she felt a tap. He was there handsomely dressed, smiling, looking and smelling so good. Delicious - she thought. They hugged, may be a little too long. It didn’t bother her, he was here and she could handle it. Yup she could. He handed her a bag- “this is for you……let's go”. He took her hand and led the way.

Monday, June 8, 2009

It poured that day... Anjali's Version


It poured that day.But still, having tea with him outside was worth it. Not listening to mum, she left for the back alley. The small tea shop was deserted, the shop guy was the only one sitting there with a flashy raincoat on him. He expected customers even now, she smirked. And with a jolt, she realized that she was out for the very purpose.

She went and sat on the somewhat cold and wet wooden bench, not conscious at all. It wasn’t one of the things that could get her worked up. Her appearance, her clothes were all very normal. Infact, she was wearing her dad’s t-shirt and her baggy jeans. The rains always made her wear something of her dad’s. Warm and comfy it felt against the skin.

Time passed, she had a phone, but didn’t want to sms him..He would be coming anyway, didn’t need to push it. Instead, she lit a cigarette, rainy days deserved a smoke, she always thought….and so did crappy days at work. She suddenly realized, that how off late, she had been smoking quite regularly. She took a puff ‘ahh it felt so good’ she thought, but at the same time felt a bit guilty. She should try to quit, she thought. “Some other day I guess, not today” she murmured to herself.


Her phone beeped. It was his message. “Babes, its pouring here n am stuck in a stupid jam. Will be late. Leave after sometime ok? I’ll meet u at the chai wala in an hour or so?” She read and re-read. ‘Now what?’ She thought of going back but it was raining hard and she felt quite comfy here. She could wait for sometime and then see how far he was. Ya she would do that. “Ek Masala chai” she placed the order and lit up another cigarette and looked out.

Rain always had a calming effect on her. The water, the greenery, all made her happy and nostalgic. She started humming Country Road and smiled to herself. 'Why cant all days be like this?' she wondered. She was enjoying the randomness of the day. No rush, no deadlines, no phone calls. Only the sound of rain falling on the asbestos roof…

Masala Chai arrived in a small glass. She took a sip and cooed. “Perfect” she said to the chai wala to which he just gave a toothy grin. The big tree outside was swishing along with the wind. Suddenly she saw a small head peeping at her from behind the tree. She waved and called him out. But he hid behind the tree. She called out “idhar aao!” He again peeped and this time stared at her. She waved and called him. The little boy was drenched to the core and was shivering a bit. He kept standing near the tree and smiled shyly at her. She called out again, “idhar aao”.


He finally started walking towards her. The little thing came and stood at the entrance of the shop. He kept smiling shyly. “ Idhar aake baitho” she said and slowly he came and stood near the wooden bench. He was in an old dirty oversized T-shirt and shorts. Drenched, the thin T-shirt stuck to his small frame. He looked about eight. Although tiny and frail, he had bright eyes and chubby cheeks. She offered him a biscuit that had come along with her tea. At first he just looked at her and did not take it. When she insisted, he took it and gingerly took a bite. She noticed how quickly he finished it. She offered him more and this time he took two without any hesitation. He continued to stand at end of the long wooden bench she was sitting on. She looked at the small cabinet that was placed near the stove at front of the shop. There were biscuits in a glass jar, eggs neatly stacked next to it and paos in a basket. She ordered for a plate of 'anda bread' and another cup of tea.

She looked at the boy lost in his thoughts, gorging on the tasteless biscuits. “ Kahin kaam karte ho?” He looked up and nodded. “ Peeche ki dukaan me” . “Aaj kaam nahi hai?” “Dukaan band hai”. Ah well, that explains why he is hungry, must not have got his day’s meal.


The food arrived. “Yeh lo” she pushed the plate towards him. He looked at what was being offered and then gave a big smile. She noticed that one tooth in the front was missing. He took a big bite and sat down on the bench. She enquired about his name again. “Mohan” he said. “Kya kaam karte ho tum Mohan?” “ Peeche dhaabe pe kaam karta hu. Sab kaam kar leta hu. Chai dena, table saaf karma, sab kuchh. Baarish ke liye maalik ne dukaan nahi kholi” he said. She smiled at him and listened intently. She took a sip of her chai, and lit up her third cigarette. ‘I really need to quit!’ she thought and took a drag. “Didi aapko cigarette nahi peeni chahiye, sehat ke liye kharab hai” Mohan said solemnly and then took a bite of the bread. She looked at him and chuckled.



Image courtesy: http://mesimagesdinde.blogspot.com



Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It poured that day...Mrinalini's version


It seems the idea worked. The Rain Gods did bless us with two divine rainy nights..Now wishing for more..Sigh!
So, here goes my version:

It poured that day. But still, having tea with him outside after ages was worth it. Not listening to mum, she left for the back alley. The small tea shop was deserted, the shop guy was the only one sitting there with a flashy raincoat on him. He expected customers even now, she smirked. And with a jolt, she realized that she was out for the very purpose.

She went and sat on the somewhat cold and wet wooden bench, not conscious at all. It wasn’t one of the things that could get her worked up. Her appearance, her clothes were all very normal. Infact, she was wearing her dad’s t-shirt and her baggy jeans. The rains always made her wear something of her dad’s. Warm and comfy it felt against the skin.

Time passed, she had a phone, but didn’t want to sms him..He would be coming anyway, didn’t need to push it..Instead, she lit a cigarette, rainy days deserved a smoke, she always thought..


She reflected on how rain was the answer to so many of her questions..The rains came and poured over the heavy feelings she had kept in her heart for so many months. He was now a different person, no more hers to have. It was all very different now..The equations had changed so very much, but yet, she felt she hadn’t changed. He had. The metamorphosis had been his ever since they had split. And now, it had been two years to that.
He still hadn’t come. What was this? Cold feet? But this wasn’t a date. It was plain ol’ her, and it wasn’t like renaissance. Life had moved on, and so had everything else with it..Paths were chosen, there wasn’t much looking back to be done..Then why was this difficult?

He came, in his track suit..she smiled..Somethings never changed..
“Smoking? Been here long? Am sorry..gym just got over..” he said.
“Yes, I guessed that much..want to have tea?” she asked.
“Umm, thik hai”

On two small cups of tea, they acted like this was the hardest thing they were doing..
It was a mistake, coming here today. It was good the way things had become silent, possibly forever..she thought.

Oh lord! When will this feeling go? When will I look sane and capable to hold one normal meeting with her? he thought in his head..

"So hows work?" she asked..
“It is great. Never thought I’d be anything other than a hospitality guy. And here, I am with a MBA to my name!” he said.
“Yes, that indeed was a great career move..Am glad..And..how are things with her?” she asked, sounding normal..
“It is the best, we plan to settle down soon..Even our folks are happy. What about you? Becoming an old lady, you are..” he nervously joked..
“Yes, very soon. It is upto us. We are planning for spring next year.”
“Oh wow! Congrats! That is news.”

Weird. Weird. Weird.

It is time to get up and go. And never look back. This idea was a bad one. All your fault! her mind shouted things randomly..

“Chal walk me home, will you? Its started to rain again..Mum goes berserk, you know..” she said quickly, not knowing what else to say or do.
“Yes I know your mum. Chalo..” he said. He felt glad she took the call, as always..

Neither spoke, or maybe they did, but it was almost as insignificant like the meeting they had..Reaching her house, she said, “Take care. Bye and good luck with life..”
“Umm..yea..you too..umm..ok then, see ya..” he trailed..

And they parted.

There was nothing more to it. Remembering just caused distress, and a little bit of pain. That was then, and this was now. Memories were like ecstasy, they just caused a whirl of emotions that weren’t meant to be. And reality had moved on. Way beyond to what had been.

Just the rain had remained.
 

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