My typical week begins with me traveling from Mumbai to Pune bright and early on Monday mornings. Once I am in Pune, time crawls. It crawls so slow that it makes the snail look like Marion Jones (considering that the snail is female). I count days for Friday to arrive. On its arrival, the counting changes from days to hours, and subsequently into minutes too. Now, the question that comes to mind is, what’s the countdown for? Well, no prizes for guessing that it’s for the return trip from Pune to Mumbai (home). When the countdown is in its last few seconds, I hoist my back-back on to my shoulders, turn off the computer and give the other weary souls at my office who are from out of town but cannot go to their homes, a big wicked cruel laugh (inspired from Gabbar Singh, Mogambo, Shakaal, and their kind). Sometimes when I am in the mood to push my luck a little bit, I walk up to the desks of other hapless souls to wish them sweet goodbyes. These hapless souls are also from Mumbai who, like me, go to Mumbai every weekend. These goodbyes would only be made to those people who I know have loads of work, and hence, they would end up slogging their derrieres over the weekend at office, let alone going to Mumbai. They have been kind enough to educate me with some very emotional and heart-felt adjectives (obviously the vulgar kinds and I had not even heard some of them) and moiself has been lucky enough to not get physically injured so far from the regular office stationary objects which get thrown at me.
You might say, this sounds all very fairy-taleish and what has that got to do with the ‘Woes’? For this, we will have to delve a bit deeper in time. We will have to go back to Thursday, to that dreaded which I attended. We have team meeting on every Thursday afternoon in the post-lunch session of the work day. These meetings are very boring, since, everyone is made to give a small report of the work which they did over the previous week and what sort of tasks do they have over the coming week. People here are not even interested in their own work, then, how can they pay attention to what the other person did over the weekend? This meeting is conducted over the telephone, and hence I have to pay even lesser attention to whatever is being discussed. Most of the time, I dish out my cell-phone and play games on it, and only on hearing my name being called thrice**, my attention is thwarted back to the meeting. The only other word (other than my name, that is) that jolts me back to reality is the word ‘Saturday’. And I sit up and listen at the very first mention of the work ‘Saturday’.
This weeks meeting was one of those where the work ‘Saturday’ was uttered 978324 times. So, you can very well imagine how attentive I was. If I had a tail, it would be very erect. The reason for so many utterances of the beautiful day was that there was some very important activity was scheduled for Saturday and the entire team had to be present in office to perform that activity. Once the initial shock was absorbed, it dawned struck that moiself has to stay back this Friday in Pune *sob*. It was very shocking to me, and it had completely caught me unawares. The last time such a thing had happened, I was made aware about it almost two months before the actual occurrence. So, considering only two days notice, it was a big shocker for me. I sunk a little bit in my chair and after pondering a bit about it, I found a glimmer of hope, a ray of sunshine, a silver lining, etc, etc. I thought since this work has to be done on Saturday, I can then leave for Mumbai on Saturday evening. (Half a day at home is any day better than one whole day of Pune). But alas, the glimmer of hope was just what it was, a glimmer. It diminished pretty soon. The manager then proceeded to bring out the part two of the bad news, and it was that we are not to leave the city on Saturday or Sunday, as we might be called in to work on Sunday too. The probability of that phone call coming is minimal, but, the instructions were clear, and they were that we are not to leave Pune for even a single minute. I was a POW (prisoner of WORK. I coined it) for the weekend.
Its not that I do not mind working on a Saturday, but, I like to be informed a little bit in advanced about such things, so as to be prepared for it, psychologically as well as in other allyies as well. The primary problem is clothes. Every Monday mornings, I only bring clothes that would only suffice me for the week, along with a spare set of clothes, for the just-in-case instances. And every Friday evening, I carry the dirty load back to home to get them washed. So, a little bit of notice time would have been nice for such shockers. So, I would have to wash clothes on Sunday so that I would have something clean to wear for the subsequent week. For the all the time that I have spent outside my home, I have washed clothes exactly three times. One time was when I was in Bangalore, and the maid decided to go for a month long sabbatical. Second time was again in Bangalore when the washing machine decided that we, its well-fed masters needed some exercise and third was during an out-station trip, the reasons for which cannot be covered here.
The second problem is the time. The activity is hardly for 5-6 hours, and would have the better part of the day to myself. But, the starting time for this activity is 7 AM, and we all had to reach office before 6.45 AM. My mind is set to days of the week, rather than hours. It knows that since its Saturday, the sleep hours are extended automatically. With due thanks to my roommate who heard the blaring alarm on my cell-phone and woke me, otherwise, I would have come to office and left immediately after collecting my relieving letter.
Third problem is that no good movie released this week, and the movies being played are all pathetic. So, have absolutely no clue as to what to do with the entire Sunday. Also, I forgot to mention that my apartment does not have a television, and all that is there for entertainment is an old desktop computer without internet. So, you can very well guess why the countdowns and rushes are done on Friday evenings. Also, the IPL has kick-started yesterday, and am missing the good ‘ol TV and cable connection like something misses something (could not think of any example). A Marathi movie called ‘Tingya’ has received good review. Am thinking of going for it, or might go for ‘Race’. (You can now sense my boredom here now).
Fourth problem: The manager before leaving came over and told me that this activity has to be done for next Saturday too. So, I am stuck in Pune for three weeks, back-to-back. This is a record.
Fifth problem is that the sound card of the desktop which I use is really screwed up. The internal circuitry of the sound card has fried. Whenever I play any music or video file, the sounds emitted sound like the ones coming out of Looney Tunes cartoons. It sounds like someone speaking with a very sort throat. So, even though have some movies in the hard-disk here, I can’t watch them, since Amitabh Bachchan sounds like Sreedevi on my desktop.
And last, but not the least problem is the weather. It is so dry and hot here that outside the office premises, it feels like a microwave till 6 PM in the evenings. The mercury touches 40 degree Celsius in the daytime, and there is not much reprieve in the nights.
So, here I am, sitting in front of the computer from 7.15 AM today morning (Saturday morning, for crying out loud). And because it is so hot outside, there is no point in going home too. So, I wrote a long post about it, so as to kill some time.
Would really like some suggestions on ‘How to spend Sundays in a fun way’ though.
**Thrice because, first time I would not have heard it. I would have (sub-consciously) heard it the second time, and then would wait till someone calls one more time, just to confirm whether it is really me that they require. I have had experiences in the past, when I have, without an inkling of the topic, just started blabbering away imagining that someone had called out my name in the meeting.