Life is so not straight or simple. It is downright exhausting. I used to think that I will have plenty of time for creative pursuits after college, what with no stress of assignments and tests, but I was so wrong. True, we do have plenty of time when we do not have to burn our brains over homework, but there are just so many other things! Those things existed even before, but somehow, they seem more prominent when you start working. Besides that, most of the times you are so mentally exhausted that you cannot bring yourself to do what you really would have liked. Blogging, for instance. Some days, there is no energy left except to:
- Slump in a comfy chair and have tea and snacks after coming from work.
- Browse Facebook and feel terrible and realize that the world sucks so much.
- WhatsApp message friends before feeling like doing something; ending the conversation and still not doing anything.
- Read a random book, one page at a time, ignoring the ones on the to-be-reviewed pile.
Some days, it is not even about energy. Or maybe it is, in some form anyway. Some days you are too mentally exhausted, while on some, you just cannot bring yourself to think of more than two sentences to write. I often get ideas to write/blog (after all, despite my absence from the blog, happening things have happened in my life) but it is a struggle to want to write. Rather, it's easier for me to do other things like cleaning up some part of the house, making a greeting card, actually cooking a vegetable (yesss! Perhaps the biggest change in my life so far. I know how to cook more than two things!!)
Anyway, why are my blog posts so much about monologue (or, a dialog with the blog, for want of a better phrase)? I do have story ideas, article ideas, fantastically serious topic ideas but I usually end up writing about my day, weeks, months, life. Now that I've written it down, it doesn't seem like a bad thing at all. (See what writing does?) After all, when I'm old and read old posts, I would want to read about something fantastic, or anything that moved me, really. Let's start with yesterday.
The night before, we had special instructions from dad to get ready and leave the house by 9AM sharp, and we know that for him, 9 means 9. We were to spend the morning and afternoon at our relatives' place. They had organized a small something for which we were to reach early to help with arrangements. We slept on time. Well before time, actually. So much so that nobody woke up when a cousin arrived at our house at 12.30AM and he had to go back because... well, nobody picked up their phones, and he hadn't rung the doorbell. Eeps.
Morning was, as usual, a struggle. It wasn't that bad, though. We all got up on time, and engaged ourselves in the various morning routine activities. By 9AM, I and my mom had been entirely ready for the past 15 minutes, complete with bags and everything. Dad and G were still leisurely getting ready. Talk about being on time. :P Then, the impending rain changed everything.
"It is about to rain!" exclaimed mom, rushing inside to relate the horrifying news to dad.
"God, we must hurry!" he replied, somehow, magically, standing entirely ready, complete with a quick smile. "We must reach the metro station before it rains," His tone implied that it was a challenge, and we all have a crazy streak where we actually enjoy such challenges. I do, at least.
"Ashna, you take V on Scoot," he continued. (V is our househelp) "I'll take mom on scooter. G... you finish getting ready, shut all doors properly, bring all the keys, and come in a ricksha. Quick!" (By the way, in case you are wondering, the metro station does not have a proper parking space yet. I mean, they did come up with a ridiculous place as an excuse for parking till the time the new parking is constructed--multi-level, hence, the three year time period, and still going, is apparently justified, but we haven't used it because it is such a time-waster, and there is no space for car-parking. Plus, driving in Delhi is insane, and none of us prefers taking the car out.)
One drop, two drop, three drops!
"Mom! It's about to rain!" I called out while taking Scoot out, and asking V to quickly hop on. It would really be a challenge to reach the station on time. I revved up Scoot twice, feeling quite enthused about it all. Mom and dad took their respective places on dad's scooter, and we all rushed towards the station.
I drove like hell, as was evident from the genuine lack of conversation from my pillion rider, who is regularly chattering at the most inopportune moments. I could not see mom and dad behind me, but that could be because one of the rear-view mirrors is now broken. Soon enough, we reached the station, and effectively beat the rain to it. Woohoo! As I parked Scoot, I saw our scooter carrying my parents, mom laughing hard. (She always laughs hard whenever she feels light. It's almost as if she has a laughter button that goes off at the drop of a pin even. I'm not complaining. It's kinda cute.)
"It's just so funny, the way we're going," she replied in between giggles. "Us after you, and G after us. Besides, dad forgot his phone at home."
"We asked G to bring it," she replied.
"Oh, oh," said dad, fiddling with the scooter's race-handle (or whatever it is called). "The wire broke. We'll have to get it repaired later. Let's go. It's about to rain."
|Rain captured from the metro|
As soon as we reached the station, it did rain, and turned into a strong current. Uh, oh. Poor G, I thought.
"Call G and ask where he is," said dad.
*picked up phone after ages*
"Are you guys mad or what, man?" he said in a pained voice.
"Um. Where are you?" I asked.
"This is the second time you've called and I've had to rush back home and take the phone out of the polythene! It is raining badly! Let me leave home, at least!"
"Okay. We're going," I replied, "you can take the next train. If we wait for you, we'll all be late, okay?"
I did feel bad for him, but we had to go. We were called early, after all. Now, we had to take a train that normally arrives after at least three trains for another destination have passed. It turned out that the amount of time we spent waiting was equal to the time it took G to reach the platform! We were finally united. :') And then segregated again as the girls went to sit in the women-only coach. :P
We enjoyed just looking out the window and chatting randomly. After a while as the train stopped at a station, V exclaimed, "Oh! B bhua!" (Her name starts with B. She also has a married name that starts with V, and also a 'real', official name that starts with S. Like most Punjabis, we prefer nicknames.)
That was a weird moment. We forgot that there were people on the train (and train-people are incredibly nosy), jumped up from our seats (Mom and I) and went towards the doors. As soon as the doors opened, mom called out to her, while I waved frantically. She looked at us, gave a start, turned around to pick up her bag from the floor to come join us, remembered something crucial, and called back, "No! M is coming! You come out."
"No!" mom called, "R and G are in the train, too!"
"Okay! Here, take this then," said bhua, picking up the big bag she was carrying. It contained stuff needed at the relatives' place. I stretched my arms out of the doors without moving outside, while she stretched hers, and I finally took the bag. The doors closed, and we went back to our seats. The ensuing calmness of the train bogie was eerie.
Anyway, we reached the place, experienced all that there was to experience, remembered God and loved ones who passed away, and had a fantastic lunch. I quite over-ate, in fact, because I had "forgotten" to have my breakfast, which I had first realized when we had reached our metro station. Dad left soon after for work, handing us the scooter's keys and asking us to take the scooter to the mechanic who was nearby.
When we returned to the parking, G took hold of the scooter and dragged it to the place where we've seen a mechanic for years. We all followed, feeling proud that G had become competent enough. Quite alarmingly, we did not find a mechanic over there. That was the first blow, not counting the breaking of the wire in the first place. We walked around for a while, asking random strangers, mistaking cycle repair shops for scooter repair, and the whole process was interspersed with convincing mom to go home, the heat-after-rains, and muck all over the roads. Add to that the extremely unhelpful and over-the-top annoying people on the roads who would just turn around to stare at us as if we were dragging a spaceship and not a scooter. -_- Idiots, seriously.
Finally, mom assented to leave for home with V. G and I decided to first take a round on Scoot to find the nearest mechanic. After all, the scooter is heavy. Nearly halfway home, we did not find anything, so G suggested that we just start dragging the scooter and look around again. We could not leave it at the station unattended. We could, actually, but as G pointed out, dad'll have had to drag it as well, and with lesser energy than us. (I do think he's quite a grown-up now :') )
It was weird being on an incredibly slow Scoot, so slow that I could have competed well in the slowest moving two-wheeler competition! (Do not laugh. It is difficult to balance a slow two-wheeler) After two minutes of riding like a tortoise and watching poor G drag the scooter, I hopped off Scoot and dragged it along as well.
"Are you crazy?" asked G, fighting a snicker. "People will think you're crazy."
"Huh. People don't know that Scoot's all right, do they?" I replied, my arms already tired with the strain of dragging.
"No, please get on Scoot right now, and do not interrupt me again. I'll get angry," he replied as politely as he could. Some serious self-restraint, I call it. (I can't imagine what a ruckus I'd have made had I been in his situation)
As we reached a T-point, G got a call from dad, who suggested a mechanic exactly half a minute's ride away from where we were. Yay to dad!! We reached the dingy place next to a huge garbage dump (that's India for you). The men at the shop looked positively shady, and when their leader quoted a price quite over and above what dad had told us, G got agitated and suggested we go somewhere else. I did not question it. Apart from the fact that they did not have the required part for replacement and quoting a high price, the place was incredibly off-putting and the men displayed absolutely zero customer-service skills.
G dragged Scoot to the very mechanic/petrol-pump that's near our place. That's about half an hour of scooter dragging. Talk about resilience.
"G, would you like to have some cold coffee when we go home?" I asked as we reached "our" mechanic, feeling thirsty and hungry at the same time, nearly drooling at the mere idea of cold coffee.
"I'd like some mango shake, please," he replied.
"But there are no mangoes at home that are suitable for shakes."
"Any mango! I want it!"
I called mom.
"Hello!" mom greeted, sounding quite happy. "Hello, comedy of errors!" She broke into giggles.
"What? Listen, please make mango shake for G, and cold -"
"Yes, yes, I'll make everything for you two. Except that we aren't able to open the doors!" she replied, still laughing.
By that time, I seriously did not find anything funny in that situation. Yes, the old door's been giving trouble specially during monsoon, but this level? She explained how they've already tried so many times.
"But mom, push the door hard!" I cried. "I want cold coffee!"
"You come and make it open. I think we will have to call a lock-guy. There's one who sits at --"
"No, mom. Please let us get the scooter repaired first," I replied, already exhausted.
"Okay... and do get Limca for us as well. We're exhausted."
Now I am exhausted writing such a detailed post. G managed to get the scooter repaired by that guy. The expenses came out to be the same as quoted by the previous guy, but hey, this one was great with mannerisms and surrounding environment. I went back home while G watched over it. He came after about an hour, actually driving the scooter for the first time. *claps*
|The star of the day!|
"Oh no," he muttered. "Where's Scoot?"
Scoot wasn't in its usual place.
"I left it at the mechanic!" he said to me. "You go get it now."
"Me? I'm already in my pyjamas! Oh, all right! I'll go."
"Okay. I'll go with you too," he replied. "Where's my mango shake?"
"There's no mango shake. Take your cold coffee from the fridge," replied mom. (By the way, I was the one who had ultimately made cold coffee. No one bothers about us at all! It's horrific!)
G and I then walked down to the petrol pump to bring back Scoot. "I will drive, please," he said, for Scoot's mine and I always insist on driving it and he feels awkward sitting pillion. "Okay."
Just when I sat on the back seat, G said, "Well, what was the point of you coming anyway? I could have done this just as well."
I really had no remark to make. I was caught in the midst of a rebuke and a laugh.
It was quite a nice day. :)
PS- I really, really need to provide an update. How else will I know the details when I'm old and reading this? I have made a decision that's both easy and incredibly hard. Without much further ado, I've resigned from my job! (Perhaps that's why I finally could write something here) Do not give me the gasp-y look. Almost everyone seems to be either shocked or reproving, but I ask you, doesn't a person have freedom? If I want to take a break, it is my choice. I am happy with it. Take a chill pill!
Along the same lines, I will soon start searching for a new job. Anyone here who could refer me to some place? Or provide any leads at all. I would be highly grateful. I work as a book editor. :)