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.

9 comments:

Calliopia said...

Phew, that was one hectic read. I wish I could say slow down, don't move too fast etc etc but sigh, life is fast-paced for me these days too. So just one piece of advice - eat well. That's important.

mesjay said...

good advice, calliopia. we rush through the day and have a late, heavy dinner that deposits fat at the wrong place. guess that's better than not eating, though. it keeps you going. btw, i'm getting a five day break - yipee! off to rajasthan tonight.

DayDreamBeliever said...

hi mesjay...hope rajasthan was good! am so happy you got to take this break. Will look forward to reports of the trip. I could actually visualize the rush and sweat as I read your piece. I think i have at least a faint idea of what you're talking about... working woman, wife, mother, writer... you have my sincerest admiration!

mesjay said...

yeah, daydreambeliever. had a great time in rajasthan, thanks. good to see you back too. hope all went well?

monazo said...

Quote>>The dentist had told you to brush each tooth at least ten times, so you count each stroke

wow. i bow down and genuflect to you. that's IMpressive.

mesjay said...

Monazo, if you had bad, decayed, uneven teeth like mine, you'd do anything to improve their state just a little bit. I haven't got many to count, you see, as the dentist had to pull out a good number of them!

monazo said...

Hm, i didn't otice!

Going to the dentist can be a bit like Gump's Chocolate Box full o' surprises. The last time i visited mine, he gave me a running sermon on dental care, religious faith, women and marriage, men and marriage, corruption in Mizoram...and i couldn't even move my jaw to argue back. Nice chap, nevertheless. But i'm *never* watching Dr Giggles again.

mesjay said...

Happened to me too. Once one got my mouth wedged open and worked on a badly decayed moler, scolding me non stop for having neglected it so long, if educated ppl like me does such a thing what about the simple folks, and so on and on. I couldn't move my tongue in self-defence. Fact was i had been to a foreign trained one with lots of degrees but he had left it like that. Any way, he did a good work and i'm grateful to him even for the scolding.

feddabonn said...

break over yet?