Sweet and Sour Satire Season X

Life is funny ,tragic and interesting at the same time, only if you keep repeating same mistakes in different styles otherwise it is dull, dead and easy-Shailesh Tripathi

Hope is an addictive thing and no addiction easily dies unless an external hit is experienced on Head-Show Stop Presumption

It looked a normal naive day as I stepped outside with dreams of meeting Lunatic Languid Lala,Sleepy Suspicious Watchman and of course my cuddly crazy morse coded dog trained by the most boring Moustached species on the planet:Middle Age Man.I strolled through a rather gloomy day,with clouds waiting to burst in tears as if they sensed my pensive mood.I prayed to God not to meet that Old man again.Yes,the one who hands me receipts and advise at the cost of my peace of mind.Ripping it elegantly in pieces.

I silently admire my neighborhood Fitness Enthusiast who is sweating it out with a freaky expression on his moon like face. I call him Road Runner, as he is always seen in brisk bloody mode. I adjust to my ever rebellious mask and see three dejected diligent nurse walk past me in Salwar Suit, each covering their beautiful face with red, green and blue Mask. With clock ticking down I become restless to get my day started or at least pretend to do something meaningful. I remove my sleek white airpod and my 6″ addictive companion from my black bag and I instantly find relief. Ah! The greatest drug of 21st Century. This 6″ electronic distractor, that lures us into believing that we are intensively engaged. Only to realize, we are just dumbing down an entire generation as there is no law on access time for miraculous monster.My Frankenstein and my friend, my fire and my water, my hope and my fear. All trapped in this strange 6″ Chinese product.

BEEP! BEEP! Schumacher Uncle wakes me up from my dwindling delirium. I hop onto my traveler and immediately take my usual seat .Another day of notoriety, madness and dullness awaits .On my way ,I deeply connect with vibrations of road, disappointed faces on the road and my dangerous dreams. Sudden increase in vibrations of my body indicated that Main gate of my Arena wasn`t far. I hopped off, skimmed through miserable faces, play acted at the security and took a deep decisive breath before I saw Mubbu waving at me.

Mubbu: Good Morning sir

Me(Trying my best to stay mindful):I am good,Good Morning.Can you drop me to my first pitstop:C2C3 Control Station.

Mubbu: Get in

Mubbu is a marvelous middle age man with enthusiasm of a child. During this short journey, he keeps asking curious questions. Sometimes I tell him the truth, rest is mere spontaneity and metaphorical inner state of my mind.

Among all the Citizens of my Arena,I find him among the smartest.

Routine dulls the mind-J Krishnamurti.

As I enter my fireground,I take a detour to interact with my younger versions.More vulnerable and less affected by this joke called Job

Faiz:Sir,We have a problem in lpg unit

Me:Did you inform mechanical?

Faiz:They arent picking up phone

Some of the departments in my Arena have this superpower of disappearing at every working hour.

I scan through process parameters,make few more high fives with my young batch and move upstairs to meet another batch of unannounced Jokers.

On left of my door stands Mr. Monorail and on the right is Mr. India, both giving not so comfortable looks. I humbly ask them to let me enter first. Security is a myth but not stupidity. It is real and raw and tangible only if you keep your eyes and ears open

Mr. Monorail: Can you give me permit for my monorail?

Me: Will you complete this before our government falls?

Mr. Monorail: I am making luxurious electric marvel.

Monorail here refers to system that enables us to lift heavy equipment not the failure project of Mumbai.

Although, this one has a strong potential to be a failure, only if it ever completes.

As I take in few more conscious breathe ,Mr. India vanishes before my eye. I had intended to give him a very important dull job: Valve servicing.

FBI can track Julian Assange but we at our Arena,can never truly guess the whereabouts of this unassuming potter head.

My day had barely started when I received my first call from Mr. Einstein

Einstein:Follow up on air leakage

Me:Yes sir

You have to defy gravity or logic or both to understand Mr. Einstein.

I pulled out my weary warrior,now faded but still absorbing my load:my gritty blue bag.It has a bottle,raincoat and fruits to save me on my adventurous field trip.

Only when I felt a moment of silence and a gentle rain in background,I heard loud longing voice of Sappy

Sappy:Sir,we can solve this line leakage today

Me(in slight state of shock):Which leakage?

Leakages in my Arena are more frequent than good morning messages on WhatsApp group.

I know, the analogy was neither poetic nor deep but neither is work in my RING.

I put on my Yellow Fragile Helmet, walkie talkie and a bit of sarcasm. I stroll down the stairs with sappy to start another day filled with frenzied runs, lost communication and multiple idiosyncratic events perfectly set up for another roller-coaster ride.

The Only Way to Enlightenment

Spirituality is the new entertainment and Yoga is the new sports and I am an Enlightened Fool.- My Sane Stupid Self denies!!

My first glimpses with this glamorous glittering glorious world of enlightenment began when I visited Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore few years back in Auspicious month of August. Energy is a funny variable, it can wobble about just by mere thought and brought back to equilibrium by curious Chanting of Om. There was a perceptible difference in energy inside and outside the campus.

After a surreal serene Welcome, I along with my fellow Enlightened Fool, entered the mighty mystical marvelous cave.All devotees sat down to meditate in the dark with a hope to get Sweet Samadhi by evening or at least a sumptuous buffet or simply a cosmic high. I was carelessly calmly curious. Intense activity of sitting down and closing your eyes(just like our government response to any legitimate issue) went for an hour with reverberations of OM touching every cell of my being. I was sure, I saw Halo, until I realise,it was a torch light lit by my noisy neighbor in a desperate attempt to find his leg or wife or wallet or senses.

Intense, tragic and funny experience stay with you for a long time, especially when the food is delicious. Fast forward few years, here I am again meditating with an ear to my Super Guru-Sadh guru and a funny dream to attain the ultimate. Only this time, my taste in spirituality was expanded by my lovely lively wife who introduced me to this rather unassuming extraordinary being-J Krishnamurti. Ever since I laid a hand on one of his book. I went on a mission to read ,read and read, listen, listen and listen, to whatever this eccentric yet extraordinarily brilliant man had to say about living or dying.

J.K as he is usually called by his followers, is an extremely serious and funny man at the same time.Yet,he denies space and time and questions mere mortal to explore comedy in tragedy and tragedy in success and thought in entirety. JK was always animated while delivering his sermons yet kept audience bewildered by his clever curious questioning. As I read, read and read,listened,listened and listened, I realised,realised and realized that I didn’t realise.He kept on pushing me to see the division and go beyond while I kept on multiplying my misery and stayed in treacherous time.

Essence of any idea only comes to fruition when you can brag about your new found fantasy or en-lighten-ment to your friends, foes and family. Life is seriously funny.But when you start taking it seriously, it ceases to be funny.The very word itself has the root in lightening yourself of all past burdens accumulated as thought. The point is, whether you see Halo or not, listen to sound of silence or desperation or hallucinate. My only goal is to make you realize that there is nothing to realize.

On this trivial significant silly road called life, you will meet teachers, preachers and saints. Hold your breathe, sit down and expand your lungs. There are jokers everywhere on your path, some jovial others a bit nasty but if you stay sick serious, you will miss the fun. Join me and other marvelous mortals in unraveling mysteries of this extraordinary creation or may be it`s just a big old joke.

A Joke called Job

At my Workplace: I feel like Greta: Angry, mysterious, activist and a time traveler

‘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.

Adios!!

Resonance, Reality and Reflection

Resonant Frequencies Chapter X:

“This is vibrating like Hell, we may fall off anytime”, I said with terror in my bewildered eyes.

“Yeah, if it matches our resonant frequency” said Abhinav in a cool callous demeanor.

This idea stemmed from a shaky start ,we both were stuck at a working platform vibrating at frequencies faster than our heart beat. An idea that how we are instantly attracted to some people and hope others simply vanish in front of our eyes is worth examining. Is there any meaningful relationship between connection and frequencies.

I wish there was a mathematical equation that defined who will get connected to whom. We live in a non-Hogwartian world and we know most folks we meet on the road fall out of frequency with us. Yet, there are few that instantly get connected. Can we increase the connection frequency or simply rule out out of zone personalities? Can we expand our personality so that we can connect with more than few? These questions always put me in perpetual dilemma about what is true connection? Is getting a resonant frequency just coincidental or can this be achieved by directional effort?

Yet, how can we connect with everyone with same frequency. There are over 7 billion distinct maniacs unlike us, floating in this vast expanse of delusion and desire. I wish, I can create an App, that instantly tells your level of connection with fellow being. Yet, in this seemingly ordered sane world, we find ourselves lost in this battle of finding perfect frequency people(pfp).

I look outside and see a man teaching morse code to a dog.May be,that`s an interesting man I can connect with or may be I am going out of range in terms of my sane frequency. I walk further and see a girl taking a short break from her cycling and with a smile on her face rejoicing the moment with her fellow sapien about how playing with children was refreshing. Another case of interesting being yet I still can`t find relevant frequency to connect.

I look further and find a crazy man mumbling to himself, I look no further. I sit down in a nearby park and scribble down my dumb idea of connecting people with equations. I look for an equation that can be applied to everyone from: The king to a beggar from the sane to insane from boring to super-boring. After hours of brainstorming and frustration, came my eureka moment. That golden equation to connect people with numbers. Hold your breath, vodka or ego or whatever you are clutching onto. Check if you have corona, laugh at your neighbor and then scroll down the page.

Mighty equation that will shake this world:

Frequency of connect(Fc) =comfortable silence in minutes*mutual love and hatred*same sense of humor*curiosity in related subjects * honesty in conversation.*pure randomness

Out of 7 tricky terms, honesty in conversation is the most important one. Look for this sign, whenever you are finding your resonance. If you find this, then look for curiosity part then go for sense of humor then…I hope you get it. Weightage of this mighty equation increases with each term. Except the last one: pure randomness-It just happens.

Good luck on finding perfect resonant matches in your life. Until then keep exploring muggles, maniacs and jugheads and do not forget to apply Frequency of Connect equation next time, you say ‘Hi’ to someone.

Gangs of Belapur Season 2

I put on my stylish black non-threatening wildcraft mask,tie my seemingly strong super slippery shoelaces as I simultaneously struggle with my half broken glasses.I look a different animal in this pandemic.Infact everyone is an unrecognizable beast this year.2020 has woken,shaken and taken heart,soul and freedom of every being.Even the most cutest of soul looks threatening with a mask.Now,You understand why criminals and super heroes wore mask,it does set you apart and instills an air of uncertainty around you.Nowadays,My fear of dying of suffocation due to mask is more than fear of virus.I have changed my mask a gazillion times yet each one disappoints me in a rather special manner.Just like relationship these days,mask only stick around for few days that too if the weather is not too sweaty.

Carrying my eternal idiosyncratic mind with my gritty blue bag,I strode ahead, looking forward to another intense bout of insanity waiting to be showered upon me in my beloved arena.I catch my bus after making some path breaking conversation with Sardar Ji(Bus driver who sings and eats Parle G(Staple biscuit of India) while driving on surprisingly silent roads these days).

“Just bring that bus to nearby circle,Sector X”,My voice is making an unsuccessful attempt to be assertive yet this time it surprisingly works.

“I will check the barricades and tell you”, Sardar Ji replied in a jovial tone.Sardar Ji is a nice person just that he doesn`t get what I say.Anyways,nobody understands what I say.I accept my frivolous funny fate when I see my essential services bus racing towards me.9 minutes on this zombie looking street and my black panther mask is already making me feel asphyxiated and ennerved (if that actually is a word,even Shakespeare created some stupid words,I believe,my chance has arrived or is it,anyways my idiosyncrasy will go on).I put on my loyal headphone and open my last unread audiobook “how to make art by Leo Tolstoy”.As wisdom enters my vulnerable wild mind,I simultaneously think about vaccine,Relativity and enlightenment.

I reach the main Gate of my enterprising eccentric Arena.AK-47 detecting machine was as usual in OFF condition.I greet energetic smiling sheepish Security man:Yadav.Yadav has unseen superpower,I was stunned when Yadav asked me to open my gritty blue bag and without taking a glance inside,knows it is safe.He allows me inside after a rather strange inspection of my courageous bag.It started pouring as I made my way towards my boxing zone.I am surprisingly greeted by Kaashi on the way.

Kaashi is our coolest gang member,always donning a black bold goggle and a funky monkey mask with a non-sense serene expression on his face.He speaks only 2-4 words in a day yet resolves the most tricky problems without breaking a sweat.A change in expression on his face is as rare as Halley`s comet.Today must be something special,I wondered as I saw his rare smile hidden beneath his mystic mask.On my way I meet another unique soul:Mr.WittyHat.As he walks past me,he unconsciously sprinkles precious drops of wisdom on my impressionable spirit.

As I walk past dilapidated walls of my bewilderingly bleak building,I am greeted by Boisterous BodyBuilder. BodyBuilder always has an advice on how to raise your testosterone levels,amass black money and build dynasties.I am greeted again on my way to my cabin, by Affabble innocent Nana,who is genuinely heartbroken after I stopped buying tea from him(post corona decision).I finally settle down in my British era built chair when privy phone rang.

“We need Fireman in Arena X”

I take a deep breathe(an activity too crucial to miss out,essential for survival in my crazy witty world),drink my indigenously prepared pulpy protein shake and look with amusement at another day of mindless running and convincing folks to finally use their advanced pre-fontal cortex.

I barely took a sip from my bottle when a series of uninvited invasion in my room(despite Warning sign attached on my door) stunned me.Contractor Sincere is ever ready to get permit for me before I even swap my suave shirt and Classy Joggers with Orange Jail Costume.I know,I must respect my work attire,I would have only if the greedy contractor would have chosen a different color(even grey or black was fine but Orange does feel like I have been enslaved).I call my team member AngryBuddha.AngryBuddha is a mystical character with myriad shades to his personality.I try my best to lighten him up without much success.I must learn to be funny or firm or plain stupid any other trait won`t work in my arena.

After giving series of unconvincing permits to ever notorious contractors,I head towards my pilot project location.My driver:Muddu is still trying his level best to learn English.

“Where we go sir?” He enquired in an amusing tone

“Pilot Project”

“Why do we light flare in our Arena”

After hearing quite a potent technical question from Muddu,I was taken aback and amused.I wanted to say,mate it`s a sign that War is still ON.Yet,I didn`t want my satirical mind to ruin his honest query.

“When there is excess pressure,we have built an efficient system to release”

I wonder,why we still haven`t built an efficient pressure release system for humans.I reach my pilot plant with this tricky thought.I was surprised to see SameShirt walking in a T-Shirt(This was 1st time since last 3 months,that he has changed his shirt).

” Innocuous In-charge is still not on site”

“He is coming with Capitalletter soon”

This project has characters that can match even the toughest gangs of any place on Earth.If you want to learn art of passive aggression without effective work,this is the place to be-My ARena.

I was beginning to lose Hope when I saw my superhero Sappy coming with a blazing step towards the Arena.Sappy always has adrenaline rush around him and he was eager for another dopamine shot by some unseen heroics.As I gazed on the otherside,he had already bought a Cacophanous Crane and few fiery workers to start a mega project.

“What are you upto,Sappy?”

“We will change this pipeline,thickness has come down drastically”

I wish I could change the prefontal cortex of my team members,their thickness must have reduced phenominally by daily delirious acts of sustained stupidity.

As I sun was beginning to set,my hope rose by seeing Innocuous In-charge walk towards the arena with a paper and smile.

Everyday here is an example in notoriety,insane eccentricity with flashes of heroism to somehow save the day.I opened my gritty blue bag to sip in some water.It had been an another swashbuckling silly suave day at the office.

Until Next time,Wear Mask,Use your brain and Drink sanitiser.

Chasing Butterflies on Mountains

4th May 2019:Sleep deprived yet filled with hope and anticipation,I set out for my next adventure.Mumbai Airport always feels a dreamy place during this early morning hustle. I had my usual coffee at rather unusual place.The price was unusually high considering the taste,but that`s the specialty of Airport drinks.It was a special day,for I was about to begin a special journey with a special person to a special place.Excited,nervous and ecstatic all in the same breath,I completed my check-in formalities in a flash.Fact of the month-Staff at Mumbai Airport are far more efficient,polite and helpful than at Delhi(after a decade of travel experience and close honest observation).

I boarded my favorite Airbus 320 with semi comfortable seats.They say,celebrities put a lot of efforts on Airport looks(they hardly put any effort on acting in movies though).You are mistaken.In this modern narcissistic era,Sapiens who regularly fly or act like they are always in air(high flying attitude),do experiment with unwavering energy on airport looks.I was amused by seeing ladies sporting flashy lipstick with over the top golden glasses and men sporting designer kurtaas just to contrast with seat color of their modest looking seat.I observe these cute idiosyncrasies and dream of having another memorable adventure.I plugged in psychedelic music,and in two bleak boring hour,I arrived at Delhi Airport.

Only thing I love about Delhi is it`s Metro connectivity.It is easy,reliable and less risky than Mumbai local trains.I seamlessly changed metro to reach Rajeev Chowk.Rajeev Chowk is a place that shows everything that is wrong with our country-Chaos,Rush and ever expanding population,shamelessly suffocating this beautiful place.Everyone is in a hurry,even I was,to meet this special person.Finally,after traversing miles within the metro,I met her outside Gate No. 6.With a childlike innocence and charm on her face,she looked eager for this unknown adventure.It was her first ever trekking experience and she looked all set with her bold blue backpack,determined spirit and inspiring smile.We both quickly marched through streets of Connaught place to search for a good restaurant.After circling around for quite a while,we finally found an art cafe.Soulful tracks,beautiful paintings and sumptuous food was enough to get us going for our venture.After few hours of crazy conversations,experimental coffee shots and berating Delhi culture,we were jumping in excitement.We reached ISBT to catch a bus to Dehradun scheduled for 10 pm.We reached ISBT at 9 pm and felt we had many light years before we catch our bus.In this deluded state,we sat down on the only seat that was empty.We had our usual tea and accidently bought an unusual book:5 am Club by Robin Sharma.To this date,I wonder why I bought that book or Why did I never woke up at 5 am or Why did Nikki suggest me this gem?

Dehradun has a special place in my heart.We imagined ourself being awestruck by upcoming thrilling Himalayan experience,talked endlessly on human values and bought kachha Mango Candy(it was that phase in our relationship) at 2 am.I made an unsuccessful attempt to sleep and she was already asleep as we reached Doon Station at 5 am.(Sleeping is her passion and overthinking is mine)

Himalayan Experience:I had already trekked once with India hikes and had an incredible experience.Scenes outside Dehradun Station resembled summer fair; families with children, enthusiastic youngsters and spirited older folks were all waiting in excitement.Summer vacation, unlivable city life and newly discovered mountain spirit of Indians was responsible for this grand festival.We had to wait for an hour before we started our journey.My partner was jumping with joy, excitement and bit of nervousness.I assured her of an incredible and beautiful journey.

As we drove over hills, capturing the beauty of Ganga Asi river,breathtaking valleys and mesmerising trees,I felt completely at home.Nature always brings me back to peace.After absorbing pristine sights for few hours,we halted at a small Dhaba(road site eating place in India) for lunch.Just leaving the city and entering hills gives me immense joy.My dream in life was always to chase butterflies on mountains rather than green notes in the city.I wish,someday I achieve this dream.We reached Kaflon campsite around 2 pm.I,my partner(let`s call her Nikki,because she is a total character) and unfamiliar families stepped out with a dream of exploring lower himalayas.After a short circuitos trek up(even this was challenging for Nikki yet she showed grit and anger and climbed with a sarcastic smile).Shining bright yellow tents welcomed us on this awesome day as we saw the leader and his team waving from a distance.

Day 1:Kaflon Campsite:Our trek leader Vijeet welcomed us with welcome drinks.He introduced us to his amazing cook Harpal and his masterchef team. Ever smiling Pankaj bhaiyya was our co-guide.Vijeet made us play an innovative game to help everyone remember each other`s name. I could easily spot few 10 years old genius boys in that game.One of them was indeed remarkable.His name was Adith and he was unabashed,super curious and funny.I,Nikki and Adith had a short trek down the hill in the evening.Boy was indeed a genius rap artist with immense knowledge on history,geography,mountains and almost any subject you can recollect.His prefontal cortex was in advance stage of development.Nikki also had a special talent(apart from sleeping and talking).She invariably finds a serene,beautiful and perfect spot to simply get lost in nature.Yes, she found it in a flash and we could absorb the vibrant air,graceful aura of Mountains and mystical lights from the sky.We quietly listened to chirping of birds,soothing sound of water from the lake and ever majestic colorful sky.Campsite was sheer delight and with her it was even better.

Our team had dinner at 7 pm where trek leaders gave us basic instructions on precautions to be taken before the trek.Food was sumptuous and Night sky was even more beautiful with stars and galaxies igniting my already elevated mood.Another exciting part of trekking on mountains is sleeping in tents.They provide you with sleeping bags and expect you to sleep in a cosy manner.I struggle to sleep anywhere and mountains were no different.While my partner could sleep literally anywhere and everywhere and sleeping bags just gave her an additional boost to pursue her passion.

Trek leader had given us clear instructions to wake up at 5,breakfast at 6 and start trek at 7.Most difficult part of the trek is waking up at 5 and getting out of that cosy comfortable sleeping bag.Excitement to explore beauty of himalayan forests pushed us out of our tent.Team got ready to start the adventure.Before we could start our trek,we were taught how to dismantle our tent.It was fun to learn new skills in this expedition.

As we began our journey to our first campsite-Shiladuni,enthusiasm of adults was at par with kids.Trekking up the mountains with backpack is a skill to master,if you get it wrong,you suffer a lot while climbing.Nikki felt the weight of backpack while making her way up,it was her first time and she clearly was struggling.She never gives up and that is her strength,she carried on without assistance in scorching sun as we crossed a village on the way to our first pitstop.Adith kept us engaged by his astonising stories of himalayan wildlife and forest expedition,even Trek leader Vijeet was impressed by the depth of his knowledge.I meanwhile was trying out different stunts like crossing a stream on wooden logs(that could fall off and send me to heaven).While the crowd cheered me on,Nikki clearly wasn`t impressed by this stunt.She is never impressed by poems,letters and gifts or even genuine praise,she is a strange sweet girl.We moved on through pristine forests, decorated by rhododendrons, green oak, brown oak and a few maple trees.As we cross these lush green beauties,we could hear melodious sounds of Himalayan birds.This place is a heaven for bird watchers.As Adith and Trek leaders were sharing inspirational mountain expedition stories,Nikki was gasping for breath(her backpack was proving to be a difficult companion for her) and I was simply absorbing nature`s delight in the most innocent and spectacular form.I forgot to mention our loquacious Gujarati Fan boy group of 5,who were enjoying this trek in their unique yet loud obnoxious way.I felt bad for Himalayan birds for their tranquility was disturbed by overenthusiastic humans.We reached Shiladuni Campsite around 1 pm. Place was serene,green and beautiful as is most of the places in lower Himalayas with less human footprints.It felt as if I was finally home.

Team Leader Vijeet asked us to assemble in a circle.Stretching exercises to relax our muscles was a fun way to release tiredness of the day.Soon after,we got instructions to make our tent in this glorious place.Making your own tent was a fun exercise(not for everyone though,Adith and Nikki were least excited for this activity).After 20 minutes of struggle and help from trek team,everyone managed to build their tent. It felt like an achievement to build your own house from the scratch.After a short afternoon nap on this magnificent meadow,our team was bubbling with energy to play ball at 7000 feet.After much deliberation, we chose to play “Pitthu”.Pitthu is a crazy Indian ball and stone game,where you either hit the stone or get hit by the ball or simply run to evade attack.Anyways,it was super fun and exciting to watch everyone play with freedom despite the difference in age group.Forget everything,live the moment and just enjoy the game.That`s the beauty of any sports.Sports unites,brings out innocence and sheer joy in people.After this breathtaking game in which 12 years old Adith almost never got caught by mere old mortals like us,we decided to call it a day.Vijeet narrated some unbelievable stories on famous mountaineers and their indomitable spirit in extreme conditions.It was a day to remember for life as folks of all age group from 9 to 45,got together and played Pitthu (In reality-An Indian game played with stones and balls,where you break the stones or save yourself from getting hit by the ball as opponent chase) at such an high altitude.9 years young,energetic and swift Adith being chased by 20 and 30 years old legs was a scene to cherish.Effervescent Evening turned into a gorgeous glorious night.

Camping on mountains at night is an unforgettable experience.Star gazing at night, when our very own milky way with it`s fascinating constellations, welcomes you with glitter,hope and excitement.It is a sight you cannot miss.You look up,absorb the vastness of space and pray sincerely,you don`t want this night to end.

Next day ,Team got ready by 7 am as Journey was longer and more challenging.After having delicious breakfast,we set forth to our next campsite:Chaithathar.We Trek through a forest patch for an hour, where Green Oak trees are dominant. This is where the maple trees start competing with the oak trees in vegetation. Soon after that we cross a small stream using wooden logs and stones placed on it. We hiked for an hour with a steep ascent and then through oak and bamboo forests.Finally,we reached our campsite by afternoon.Nikki had a dream of camping in the middle of the forest and today her dream finally came true.Campsite was surrounded by dense forests on one side and a breathtaking view of valleys on the other side.

Playing games,making tents and enjoying sounds of melodious Himalayan birds(which you can rarely spot unless you are an expert in bird watching).Bird watching is a serious profession as displayed by two middle aged warriors of our diversity rich trek team.Sophisticated fancy cameras on their back and desperate dreams to capture Himalayan Splendour. My dream is simple:Chasing butterflies on mountains.It sets me free and I feel limitless.As I was lost in this beautiful meadow,I turned around to see what my precious partner was upto.My already sensitive eyes took absolute astonishment as Nikki literally disappeared in fresh air.I searched around her along with my crew.I almost had a minor heart attack when I saw a reflection besides a lake.On the other side,was a massive mystical rock.On it sat my magical princess,in a meditative Yogic pose.I was stunned by the equanimity of the moment and her serene reflection in the lake.My trek leader Vijeet had only yesterday told us about a spirit that roamed in this magnificent eerie lake.I began to wonder and rushed towards her in anxious careless steps.

Mystery of Mountains never fail to surprise me.Was that my illusion or is she really emanating that glorious rusty radiance?Suddenly,she had become Sun on this starry serendipitous evening.Stranger things happen in most beautiful of places.

Nikki,Nikki,Nikki,I shouted to only hear a powerful echo of “OM,OM,OM”

I always find something funny even in dark situations,but this moment stunned me in silence.Suddenly I was one with mountains and everyone and everything around.

Chance to Play

5pm,shoes,socks and hope inside

Taking his sizzling cycle ride

Carefully parks,walks and stand by the side

Smelling the grass,watching a thrilling game

Oh!He is not a part,what a shame

Everyday He watches in regret

Volleys,kicks and slangs on this dew kissed grass

Meekly makes an effort,a pleading sign

Ah,In hesitation, resign

He knows the bends,freekicks and razor reflexes

Why doesn’t he simply ask,is what perplexes

That day,it rained,something within him changed

He gathers courage,to mutter few syllables

Divine was amused by his incoherent babble,heroic yet hysterical

When the blue cap captain gave him a nod

A sign to wait,A glimmer of hope

A chance to play,that delicious dope

5pm,shoes,socks and excitement inside

Taking his steady subtle stride

He runs,reaches and waves at blue cap captain

Smelling the grass,watching the game

Oh,Finally a part,moment of fame

That eventful evening,he grabbed his chance

When Sturdy Sizzler fell into a trance

He entered with an uncomfortable stance

His tryst with football,a riveting romance

Blue cap captain in awe of his swivel and timing

I hope,story made sense with perfect rhyming

Alas! He got a chance to play

5pm,shoes,socks yet,a spirit that shone like a rising Sun

Notorious Gems

Scene 1:

Stranger days call for strange weather and strange weather calls for Stranger situations.I know,it`s a strange start to my weird witty venture.As I prepare to dive into another extraordinary day of freakish adventure in our enterprising arena,I am still smiling inside simply thinking about-my notorious gems(Sappy,Kaashi,Chintu…).Human mind is the most powerful tool yet our notorious gems are using power of thoughts to play havoc in otherwise seemingly tepid space.You can`t discredit them for the unintentional fun they provide by just being who they are.Yes,these unintentional natural adventure, at times take your breathe away,yet it`s a price I am willing to pay.I am a brave man.A wise man never said,”to survive among notoriety requires stupidity and courage”

As I enter the main gates of my Arena,I am greeted by rather tense looking grumpy guy:Rama.Like Lord Rama,it seems even he has suffered a lot.We had a mini conversation as we did a security check in( bags are screened to detect if we carry AK-47 inside).But our goons don`t need a gun,they kill most of them with their lovely logic.Most days our X-ray machine goes to auto sleep mode.Our sleepy insecure guy daily checks our temperature(post corona days) ,only to realise that gun is not working.What a wonderful start to this rather riveting day.

I look above,see a bunch of clouds gathering to play devil,As if our notorious gems weren`t enough.One thing that has bothered me the most in the post corona era is wearing a malicious mask.Struggle is real.I only hope that I find my perfect mask before the vaccine is discovered.I have tried all numbers from N95 to 85 to 83 to infinity,none provide the ecstasy I am looking for while running frantically in field in this moisture laden atmosphere.I walk further towards my office as I hear a loud thump nearby.As I glance further,I see an innocent aluminium sheet blown away by violent winds.It seems,even the roof wasn`t happy with the civil work and decided to throw away her clothes in protest of her poor maintenance.I am angry and amused,I am shocked and at peace,these contrasting emotions are common as you enter my blissful arena.Today,I was excited more than ever as I was given charge of a fancy project.I took a deep breath and closed my eyes for a second and when I reconnected with the world,I saw BlissedOutBoy waving at me.

“Are we going take shutdown of the unit” he asked

“Let me reach office first and then we will see,based on priority or weather or team`s mood”,I said politely.Unfortunately or fortunately to most of the folks here,kindness is taken as a sign of freedom.Freedom to relax as per our misty mood,freedom to vanish in polluted air and freedom to argue with the most beautifully constructed lame statements.Working with notorious gems is fun and risky at times.I am a brave guy,I take risks even if it only provides me some moments of insane laughter.C`mon,every man or woman deserves atleast few laughs per day.I think our company should provide incentive to smiling faces,atleast this will motivate our gems to be more cheerful.Already the weather is gloomy.

Scene 2:I reach office,put my bags on intricately made post independence charming chair.I gently greet Nana(our cool canteen guy who always has some mischievous stories to share about other families,mostly about how that boy ran away with that girl and how boisterous barber sneaked into his village in post corona era).Anyways,Nana is a no-nonsense guy and charismatic than most of the folks frolicking in my artistic arena.

“why are you feeling down Nana”, I asked(not to poke just a genuine concern).Poking people is another wonderful habit seen in my space.

“Nobody drinks my tea nowadays,Damn this Corona”,he said in a deflated tone.(Nana never talks in English,this is just an attempt to translate from Marathi language and Marathi I understand is as good as how Sappy understands rest,well Sappy never takes a rest).

Nana was refering to covid19 fear.Symptoms of covid19 fear are far more lethal than covid19 fever.We will get back to covid19 fear discussion later if you call me for tea in your house.For now,I wait for management to guide my heart and soul.I barely open my computer and log in when telephone rings.

“Today,you must follow up with this big project.” said,Management

“Okay sir”,I said. Okay sir is the most misused phrase used in our arena.

It rarely indicates agreement and in most cases it is just an acknowledgement by the gang members,sometimes polite.Okay sir may indicate it is not possible as there is no manpower or rather brain power.

Okay sir may be used in variety of situations.It is used mostly as an effective shield to save you from saying something embarrassing or even truth.Well,truth is mostly embarrassing because nobody accepts it.

As I put down my receiver,I take another deep breath.You need plenty of deep breath if you want to survive in my arena.I look for adventure bag to drink protein smoothie.Extra energy is lost when dealing with absolute notoriety of highest level.As I begin to plan for the day,another one rings.

“Sir,we need fireman in zombie unit”,said Shikari

“I will ask management to provide one,till then don`t start anything” I said.

Shikari and his team always throw tweaky tantrum whenever real work is assigned to them.Shikari clan are badass and fearless,they roam around like Elephants in my arena.They rarely listen to anybody and continue to eat grass(stone face clan).I know,this doesn`t make sense,but what does,in my cute arena.

Scene 3:

I get ready for the big project.I dress up in my fancy orange suit and yellow smelly helmet,with adventure bag and extra mask.I reach the site only to find my funny mate:sameshirt enjoying the shade of nearby banyan tree.

“Sir,thank God you are here,we can start now”.said sameshirt

“what do you mean? Where is the in-charge? it`s already 11”,I asked in a puzzled tone.

Sameshirt is an uncanny character.I always find him near a tree,wearing same dreadful shirt every beautiful day.I wonder,how many sets of that shirt he has or is it the same shirt. Ofcourse,I don`t make risky attempt to recognize the smell.Mercaptan(chemical whose smell remains with you even after you leave your body) is enough to put me in a dazed delirious state.(I love alliterations).

Drama begins.I search for Innocuous Project Incharge.His face looks like,he won`t even dare to trouble an ant.Here as well,he is showing no sign of troubling this project by his suspicious absence.I take another deep breathe and drink my protein smoothie.On the other side of the road,I find Birbal 2.0 making headway towards the Arena.Birbal 2.0 always has something intelligent and interesting to share.(A rare moment of sanity in my eternal timeline of madness).

“In-Charge is not on site and the permit is not yet ready,we shouldn`t allow the work as per XYZ.abc code.” He said

“You are right mate but I got orders from management.We are already running late”I said in a hurried voice.

Birbal 2.0 expects our gang to follow XYZ.abc code rules where our gems don`t even wear Safety shoes in the Arena.Birbal 2.0 is a stubborn and funny guy.Just as I was moving closer to the arena,I saw Innocuous Incharge(I.I) making headway towards the arena.

“Where are your warriors? I can only see Capitalletter walking aimlessly inside the arena”,I said in a tone mixed with angst and amusement.

“smallletter is coming soon.Till then,you can ask Capitalletter to line up the valve(a device that regulate flow)”,He said in a tone that didn`t sound enthusiastic or hopeful.

I was wondering how on Earth are we managing such a precious project with these bunch of comics.Well,even I was part of this pristine play now. Capitalletter is a bubbly boisterous badass character.He loves claiming big stuffs without a hint of embarrasment or fear.He knows everything under the sun except the work assigned to him.(He will have a great bonding with our notorious gems,I smiled in silence).

I.I(,Innocuous Incharge)ordered Capitalletter to check the pressure at the top of the tank as my blood pressure shot up watching his dwindling steps towards the tricky tank.Birbal 2.0 silently yet closely monitors the comedy of errors and notes down the details.Another warning mail to my team is in the pipeline.Play had barely begun and I can only jump,run,tackle or sit with my head facing towards sky as I wait for divine to save us from this dubious derilious activity.I miss my notorious gems today and Sappy`s coconut water shots as I direct this already misguided play to it`s comical conclusion.

Meanwhile,Sameshirt is still enjoying the serene shade of nearby Banyan tree.I smile and turn back to see an avalanche of water entering our arena.Another notoriety knocked on the doors,so I ran again with a mix of fear and amusement(my eternal state).

Wear mask,Drink coconut water and stay sane.See you soon.

Gangs of Belapur

Scene 1:In the Post Corona era,everyone looks a goon with a mask,some cute,others threatening and wild,while most strange and lost.It’s a weird new world that has led to evolution of already notorious eccentric characters in my land.

Sappy was just over five feet with an innocent illuminating face donning a green mask.Yet looking at his eyes,you could see he had the eyes of the tiger,spirit of a champion and was here to rule.Sappy had that affable yet powerful aura that shone bright in this unforgiving summer in Belapur. He was the leader of diligent goon squad.

Wearing a full cover mask with a fancy goggle enters our local dude goon,Kaashi. Guy is tall,dark and handsome yet full of poise,presence and serenity.He only works in emergency,a no non-sense guy who otherwise maintains a low profile.

I am greeted by Sappy`s benevolent smile.When I first joined the arena,even I was mistaken by his innocent smile,affable persona and boyish appearance.After witnessing few of his heroic deeds,I am in awe of his raw,ravenous and fearless personality.I refer to him as Tiger Goon,always on the move,hunting for a new leakage in our arena.

Then comes Chintu,small in size but always full of overflowing nonsensical gesture. Chintu possesses grit without concrete knowledge(common characteristics of his mini gang).Last night,there was a gas leakage at our arena and I,along with Sappy and Kaashi were called upon to handle the situation

Me(in polite tone to Sappy):Can we depressurise this pipeline?

Sappy(in super confident tone):Sir,Lords blessings are there,we shall do it.Let us first ensure that all valves are closed( For non technical folks:valve is a device that controls the flow in pipelines).

Me:Cool,lets go along.

Scene 2:In scorching heat and unforgiving mercaptan(chemical whose smell lingers with you for multiple lifetimes) smell,our diligent gang set out to arrest the stubborn leakage.

Sappy along with kaashi and his junior Nani,were walking along the pipelines as if there was a war on the other side of the arena.Purpose was to find a way to isolate the pipeline.Sappy was using every cell of his prefontal cortex to devise a plan to do this seemingly formidable task.Kaashi was as usual cool donning dark shades and carefully examining the arena.Suddenly,Kaashi starts sprinting for no reason.I look around for any danger and then follow him with both curiosity and fear.He saw a giant lizard sprawling around this bizarre broken arena.

Sappy(in strange tone):Did you see that thing?

Me(in urgent tone):We have an urgent leakage to attend.We can`t lose time,playing man v/s wild here.

Sappy signalled to Nani to bring 3 m long hose pipe.Thus,began our crazy rescue operation.It is far easier to learn quantum physics than to find a way to isolate lines in our arena.I ordered notorious Chintu to bring materials for fixing up pipe connection.Circus had already begun with Cool Kashi crossing crazy crevis filled pipelines with a spanner in his hand with an ease that is only seen when Roger Federer serves Forehand on court.

Nani brought the flexible pipe and some hope with it as sun shone as bright as confidence reflected on Sappy`s face.

Our Big Boss:Einstein,called to know the status.Just like Einstein,most of our gang members go numb,start floating in air or refuse to breathe for few seconds as he floats a genius idea in our innocent impressionable minds.This one`s hair is not as frizzy as Einstein yet his mind seems to be more complicated than our great scientist.Einstein encourages us to try arresting the leakage by making some provision to depressurise the line.Mere mortals as we are,we set upon this risky yet ridiculous task,as I come out of my momentary coma state(state I usually experience when I receive genius advise from Einstein).

I sat alone in the scorching heat,thinking of another idiotic strategy to solve this magnificent problem.Sappy said,he will take a break to drink coconut water.Sappy is an expert in climbing trees and on our minds(if you let it rumble free).How on earth does this petite figure gain incredible energy to climb coconut trees and bring us sweetest coconut water to drink,is unimaginable.Sappy is on drugs,I assume or he is a special spirit.As I further deepen my imagination,Kaashi and Nani vanish,as if in this polluted mercaptan filled air.I begin search operation by contacting them on walkie-talkie.Walkie-Talkie is a strange communication device,where you always end up talking to yourself because you rarely find the person you want to communicate to,on the other side.It`s far easier to track Dawood Ibrahim than to know whereabouts of our notorious gang members.

Alas,I finally found them.We began our never ending task of depressurising this rather stubborn line.It seems,God is filling it up every time we empty it.To lighten already comical scenario in our quasy arena,I strike up a conversation with fire man.fire man is someone who is supposed to be alert and active and put off fire to save us.This one seemed the most carefree,partially enlightened guy.

Pardon me for using this format for writing conversation.I will change it in my next story.

Scene 3:

Fireman:sit for a while,let`s enjoy the air,the day is long

Me(frantically):Day is long but our tender lives can be short if we dont act now.Already half a day has passed and leakage is still not arrested.

Fireman(in calm tone):Whatever has to happen,will happen.Why worry mate.

Fireman seems a big fan of Murphy.He has already accepted his fate,he has no fire left in his already protruding ballooning belly.

Sappy to me seems the only real hope in this comical tragical situation.I turn to him to resolve this problem.

Sappy(in perpetual confident tone):Don`t Worry Sir,Lord`s Blessings are with us.We shall conquer this.

In him at that moment,I could simultaneously see Russell Crowe(In Gladiator) and Tom Hanks(in Forest Gump),Always ready to fight and run.Kaashi quietly went about his task to fix the clamp on the pipeline.

By manual intervention of adjacent irritating neighbourhood pipe(lines are so close,I am really curious to find out who designed this system,must have been a super optimistic or total nut guy to have faith in this vulnerable arena).

Kaashi and Nani suddenly changed their Avatar and donned on dedication cap to somehow arrest this ever flowing divine gas.

As flow in the line reduced,my hope rose like a phoenix and in my mind,I repeated cliche Obama statement:Yes,We can.And we did.Even I was taken aback,part amused by the turn of the events.

Sappy celebrated the victory by climbing another coconut tree.Kaashi removed his glasses and helmet to set himself free.I along with Nani sat beside the nearby Mango tree.

Another astonishing day ended in the arena.Characters in our arena always keep it alive,arduous and light.

Until Next time,Sleep well,drink coconut water and Wear mask.

A day in the life of a maintenance engineer

I get up,take a deep breath and imagine what my day could be like.It could be anything but boring.As I move out of my house in this pandemic era,a strange serene feeling pulls me in,just when I seem to get lost in oblivion, chirping of birds reminds me that I must hurry up to catch my bus.Bus arrives,I hop in,apply sanitizer in mid air before I touch the handles(it takes courage to travel in bus in these times).Our Company has advised social distancing in bus.My colleagues(covered by mask),try their best to follow the rules.Yet,there are days we see bus is completely full.Why on earth are non essential employees coming for essential services,but it seems definition of essential has changed for our company.

I reach my gate,security uses scanner to check my temperature.I enter inside only to bump with this super enthusiastic jovial middle age smiling soul.

Joyce:Hi sir,today we will get the pipeline ready.

me:Okay,cool.

I move ahead to witness few contract employees already working without helmet or mask or shoes or all of them.I am amused as I don`t understand removing scrap as essential services in our site where most of the machinery have already turned into scrap(non functional).My conscientious self realizes and I instruct these risk takers to wear PPE(personal protective equipment).Safety has become a joke at my site.

As I move further towards office,I meet rather grim looking employee.Being a curious soul,I enquire about the cause of his unhappiness.

Unhappy guy:I have to come to office daily while my colleague is at home ,lying in bed and lying that he is in hometown.He is getting salary for free.

(Note that,this is lockdown phase and employees who are stuck in different states cant report to office but will be considered present as this emergency situation courtesy Covid-19)

I have never seen this guy ever work sincerely and how proudly he complains of other`s misconduct.I smiled in my mind after gently nodding at whatever beautiful verse he was reciting.It was rhythmic,funny and filled with pain.Pain of having to work in emergency.I can understand his pain,as guy never worked during normal times.I can empathize.

After 2 beautiful encounters,I finally reached my office where I meet Mr. 10x.

10x:I have heard a new study saying that Corona virus will engulf half of mumbai.

Me:Calm down,let me have tea first.

Right then,Kaka appeared with his kettle of tea and samosa.

Me:Just give me tea

Kaka: Why have your hair grown so much.In our village,we are inviting barbers to cut hair at home,you can come with me.

Me:Thank you kaka for your kind gesture,I am good.Long flowing hair sets me in a different flow state.

Now,you can understand.Characters in my office are special,unique and super funny. I havent even begun my day and I have already had enough humor for the day.I have a large appetite for laughs,one ought to,if working in my unit.You wont survive,if you take people seriously here.I am serious.

I call my junior engineer-Mr. deflated.Guy is sincere,hard working but lacks enthusiasm for work.I ask him to check the leakage of exchanger and convey me the status by Walkie Talkie.Then Mr. Sophisticated calls me and subtly ask me to check the status of another project. I am already feeling dizzy and only an hour has passed.My job here is not only varied,challenging and risky but is extremely funny because of the team involved.

As I get up to go to field,I call my super eccentric driver-MUbi

Mubi(in broken english):I am down,come soon.

Mubi is always willing to learn anything whether it is the technical details of my unit or english language.I love his energy and eccentric way to approach life.

I reach field to check on the special project.I go there and witness the usual.Workers toiling hard in unforgiving sun without proper mask or social distancing.I urge them to follow the rules and ask where their incharge is.I have never in my life,seen any project start and end on time.

Sweaty worker 1 -Mr. Zee has gone to get the permit.

I was shocked to hear that workers are coming to unit by getting bashed up by police(they haven`t got special permission to work in this pandemic).But then,the way he describes the incident,sends me in shameful laughter.

Sweaty worker says in a joyous tone:This is our usual routine(getting bashed up by Police)

Me:How have you entered the premises without one?

I empathised with them and assured them justice,.Its tragic and funny how inhuman we become just to get promotion in an organisation.

This is just the trailer,as I narrate you real stories of our special maintenance projects,you won`t believe it.

From running to get studs from stores to finding unusual sound in the unit to plucking coconut from trees.Woods are lovely and filled with coconuts and people go nuts drinking this holy water.Workers leave their assigned work and religiously pluck coconut like a professional.

Mubi drops me back to office for lunch.After intellectually stimulating discussion with the team,I am ready for post lunch drama.

I try my level best to contact Mr. Jovial on whether he has got the material Not even a trace of Mr. Jovial or material.My next search was for Mr. deflated.Ironically,my Walkie – Talkie breaks down,whenever I need it the most.Just like my coworkers work efficiency.

I have no option but to again go to field in search of my mates.I reach the destination and is welcomed by not so beautiful sight.Site was full of water due to leakage from pipe.I called in supervisor Mario.

Mario:Sir,stores are closed,we will replace the pipe tomorrow.

Me:Where is the fireman?

Mario pointed in a direction where I saw a stout lazy guy sitting in the shade.How will he ever save us from fire,sitting in such dilapidated state.I woke him up from delirious state.It was already 5 and exchanger cleaning was still pending.

I was in deep thought as I remembered my day.It started with false promises,complaints and comical idiosyncrasies and ended in gross violation of safety.I could feel the pain of that sweaty worker(who somehow came to office even after getting beaten up) and my deflated employee whose efforts wasn`t being recognized and of course Hero Mr. Jovial,who has his own independent style of working.

Everyday in office brings so many stories untold,characters unseen and situations imagined. As I continue to work as maintenance engineer at site,you will have many more stories to hear.

Until then see you ,stay safe and Happy Quarantine.