‘It was the best of times, It was the worst of times’ said Dickens in not so recent history .As I step outside my black bold archaic gate into this vociferous vulnerable vile environment. Everyday is a battle, yet my longing heart hopelessly searches for another novel breeze but all I see is gloomy glorified mask covered caricatures. I feel I am playing a video game just this time, Mario in me ain’t that brave as the Nintendo one nor I can jump in those crazy clergy bounds.
I watch Lala as he gives a wry smile from his half covered napkin turned mask. Then as I approach a recently converted Covid hospital on my way, an uninterested watchman reads inevitably depressing news on his borrowed brown paper. Yet, he felt content to be alive.May be, we all are. Even this girl who just went past me in her Hercules cycle wearing a designer dock mask. Strange times calls for better luck but I usually get any as I stumble upon 67 years old wrinkle faced uncle on my way to battleground.
“Hello, Uncle”, I greet him in not so spontaneous manner
“Can you give this medical bill in office” he asks in not that polite demeanor.
Then,without giving any clear warnings,he went about complaining on how he doesnt approve of his son’s second marriage and how he cannot afford to waste a rupee on taking printouts.I listened with patience and at the same time prayed in silence that my bus driver shows up his schumacher skills and reaches my place in no time.Time is such a funny thing yet extremely painful at times.I looked at that tame figure and wondered what life he must have lived.
They say “real character of a man is determined by how he behaves with older people”, but trust me or just face him. It hasn’t been easy at all and he usually meets me at this time to narrate his usual adventures of saving every penny and straightening up his gangster son.
Beeep,Beeep.Oh that sound felt like symphony to my ears.My Bold Bus driver Rajkumar,arrived 2 minuted early today.I greet him with a sense of relief on my face like a prisoner who has been released on bail for a crime he has no clue of.
As I make another unsuccessful attempt to take a peaceful nap,I hear a not so poignant apoetic voice reverberating in my soul.Do employees don’t understand public behavior,the man behind seems to have lost his last cell of sanity and is mindlessly breaking my head with his virgin vain voice.
He seems to be throwing barrage of not so beautiful words to an unlucky one on the other side.I can’t even say anything to Bapu.
I remember old times,when I tried to bring some sense to his madness,he almost ran a bus over and then threatened with a stick.But still as Brutus says,Bapu ji is an honorable man and I,an ignorant fool.
After surviving his bullets of words,I managed to find some solace in my playlist.
I inevitably reached the gate of Fortune unfortunate company.
Bewildered half sleeping belly show stopper,my precious Security man makes an unsuccessful attempt to check my temperature from a device that always shows the same value.As I sense my storky surroundings filled with air of ignorance,insanity and intolerance,I bravely cross the border.
Sappy:Hello sir,Today I saw a snake shed his skin and walk away.
Me(in not so surprised tone):Was it in our lpg unit?
After what has happened in my LPG unit over past few weeks, a snake shedding his skin seemed like any other frivolous and funny event.
I carefully walk to avoid alligators and snake,but I know I will inevitable meet one,once I reach office.
Note:All reference to any creature does intend to hurt both man and the creature.
I almost trip over a well placed rusted grating on my way to my darling den.
I see kaka bringing tea in his usual amicable demeanor. I smile, he smiles and we walk past each other. There are many smile relationships I have developed in my life and I totally love it as I need not speak and there is no conflict.Sometimes,I feel,language has created more problems than it has solved and man has created language.
I sit on my half broken chair and stare curiously at the pyramid of non essential documents.I drink my super immune fluid and smile at the eternal idiosyncrasies of my space.I almost complete a breathe to see Rocky waiting with half torn white paper in his hand.
Rocky:Sir,I have to get sign for the work.
Me:But We don’t have fireman today.
Rocky(in shameless tone):We will do it with utmost safety sir.
Rocky shows no sign of remorse in uttering these syllables. Rocky’s Team specializes in creating glorious Diwali lights scene whenever they undertake any welding job. To listen safety from this innocent evil`s mouth was an insult to the man/woman or whosever created this term.
As Rocky leaves,Prasad enters.There are more memes on Prasad than Donald Trump. Dull Damaged Bathroom Slippers reflects his commitment to minimalism, mockery and stupidity.
Me:You Stay out,I will meet you in the field.
Prasad:Sir,I need a sign
This surely wasn’t a good sign.This work,these characters and on top of that we have Prasad. A Proud Maratha who plays more with welding torch light than a mighty Sword.But then his work kills my Soul.I reminded him again after taking few voluntary breathes.
In unabashed glittering suit, enters our Chhota Don:Chintu.I wish, I could play some music or drums to welcome this infamous man. But then, his usual unabashed voice aren`t music to my sensitive ears.
Chintu:I need a Crane Permit
Me(in a suspicious tone):What did you do last time you had one? You remember right?
I simply cant forget how poetically he broke the nozzle of an exchanger on a scorching Sunday Noon and vanished in polluted air when called to custody.
Me(in an affirmative tone):I will talk to Transport and Wear a N95 next time you enter.
I get up to change my costume from mysterious casual attire to Communal Orange Boiler Dirt Suit. I skip few breathes to check on my lungs, gulp my antibody shake and raise my brow only to witness another imminent disaster.
An Army of barely uncovered unmasked men waiting with permits in their filthy hand.
I politely request them to assert themselves one by one towards the podium. This is a Race I do not want to see.
Before this even begins ,I get another call from Big Boss.
Big Boss: Did the unit start? Coordinate and do it.
I simply have utmost honest hate towards this word: Coordinate. It is such an overused delusional concept just like efficiency or society or Democracy.
Me(frivolous attempt to act serious):Yes sir,I will.
Now, begins another circus of finding rare ravines in my workplace who may be willing to help me with this task. Or in other words :Coordinate.
A journey of million idiosyncrasies begins with a harmless one.
So it started: A Joke Called Job.