Sunday, June 29, 2008

Give me a break!

The alarm rings. You open bleary eyes with great effort and get up. You shuffle into the kitchen and brew strong black coffee. Sitting by the window, you sip from the steaming mug. As the hot liquid glides down your throat, you begin to wake up slowly. Opening your Bible, you read a short passage and try to meditate, praying for guidance for the day. Then the day’s rush starts.

As fast as you can move you cook lunch, get breakfast ready, make tea, and pack the lunch boxes. You gobble a sandwich that refuses to go down as your gullet is constricted with tension. You force it down with tea. You dump all the dirty plates, cups, etc in the sink and sprint to the loo. The dentist had told you to brush each tooth at least ten times, so you count each stroke, making the movements fast. You take a hot shower and dress with hands trembling for fear of not moving fast enough. You quickly run a comb through your hair that’s been cut short for the sake of convenience. No time to apply make-up. How often have you envied a well-turned-out face and resolved to try for it! But that Lacto Calamine lotion and Lakme lipstick are still lying unused. Congrats, you managed to dab on some moisturiser (though sweat will wash it off in no time) and eye-liner (that’ll at least leave some trace). You grab your bag, chunni and sandals and race for the door.

“Have you taken your phone?” hubby asks. “Your watch? Glasses? Train pass? Umbrella? Bus fare?”

Oh no! Both lifts are moving and in wrong directions. The one below your floor is going down and the one above going up. You press the button and wait, hardly daring to breathe. One stops at your floor at last....

The bus is crowded as usual. ... You somehow manage to wedge your handbag between you and the man’s paunch rubbing against you. “Itna bada pet leke kyong aaya?” (“Why did you bring such a big belly?) you complain in your mind....

At the station, you edge your way to join the current of human mass moving the way you wish to go. If you happen to be caught in the wrong one, you’d move in the opposite direction. Crowds, crowds, crowds. Whew! You make it to your platform just on time. The train’s already there, about to move. You slump down on a seat and shut your eyes to catch up on a bit of sleep....

After the day’s work, you retrace the steps. Human jam. Traffic jam. Your nine to five job takes up twelve hours of your day. Piles of washing, cleaning, and cooking waiting at home. And writing to do.

Guess i need a break. Got to slow down. Or break down. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

As we rush

With apology to James Thomson. His rushing in a train with a travelling companion seemed so sweet and peaceful. But then, that was way back in early part of 18 C. Compared to his, our daily rush to, and with, work sometimes feels pointless.

As we rush as we rush for our train
Our bags in a hurry we pack;
But at times all the haste is in vain
For traffic jams hold us back.

As we rush, as we rush with our work,
Our friends and our families keep moving back;
But the threats that in dark corners lurk
Will never leave our track.

We will rush on in tension and fear,
Though machines are fast, and our brains we rack—
For we carry the back-logs with us, dear,
On our way more and more tasks stack.