Thursday, August 28, 2008

Some Unremarkable Days

Paraphrasing EM Forster from The Longest Journey: I shall talk away. If I bore you, you have blogs. The blogger who has no blog will be obliged to listen to my story.

I believe I mentioned once that I was going to turn into a saint. I wasn't even one-thiry-six-thousandths of the way there when the decline began. The reason? Change. A whole lot of it. Oh well, all for the best.

Here are some glimpses from my life at work. While I've never said too much about life at college (most episodes from that period talk about bus-rides), I suppose I'll have to be even more taciturn when it comes to work. This is an environment I'm entirely new to; I don't know what I can safely talk about without being penalised for, there is a good deal of confidentiality, stiffness and unfamiliarity. Just a matter of time, though, before I get accustomed to the strangeness of it all.

Every morning, as I walk to my building, I watch preoccupied people walk swiftly to the food court or to their cubicles. No loitering, no ambling. No time to enjoy the stray ray of sunlight that catches a drop of water on the emerald grass, making it shimmer. And so they go, serious-eyed, sullen-jawed. Magnifying anxieties that don't exist. I bite back the smile that threatens to rise on my lips: do I look the same way when I'm just as preoccupied with myself, anxious about something to happen on a particular day? Certainly. There probably is that unrecognisable soul there then, camouflaged in the crowd that trickles in, taking note and laughing at people's imaginary worries.

I have had a relatively peaceful time here, haven't been involved in any major mishaps (which might explain, to a certain extent, the reason for this blog getting rather insipid over the past few days), not embarrassed myself or anyone else. Some minor excitement, though, came along in the form of an extremely rapid walk to catch the 7.30 bus on Monday evening. Which brings us to Monday morning, so that I can begin at the beginning.

I must have walked a couple of yards from the gate when the strap of my bag snapped; I was thankful it happened near home, and not someplace from where there would be no coming back for a replacement. I dashed back in, grabbed another bag, dumped my things into it, and re-started my walk to the bus stop. I always get there pretty early, so missing the bus, fortunately, was something I didn't have to worry about.

Should this have given me an indication as to what the day ahead would be like? No. Undaunted by omens (no matter what The Alchemist says), I went about my day with a clear head. Until evening came. I had to send an email, and when I pressed the 'Send' button, the time was around 7.20. I switched off my computer and ran into the elevator at the fourth floor, where I 'work'. That was when a group of four or five people chose to take their own sweet time getting in, and spent some precious seconds convincing a friend (who was busy with her cell phone) to enter the lift as well. Was she claustrophobic? No, I don't think so- just agonisingly indecisive. The time was 7.25 when I got to the ground floor.

Five minutes was never enough time to walk to the main gate from a building miles away, but a friend and I attempted it- at a walking speed that would have made Usain 'Lightning' (to use a newspaper cliche) Bolt squirm with embarrassment. We even made it to the main gate at 7.30. After which, I was treated to the sight of my bus taking a turn and speeding down (through a stream of cars; not quite speeding, but it lends the scene some effect) the road, mercilessly unaware of my pleading eyes and speechlessness. You don't need a splendid imagination to realise how it must have felt to miss the last bus to your destination; of course, there were alternatives, but it still was a rotten feeling. One good thing, though- the driver was an unscrupulously punctual man, and he must be appreciated for leaving at 7.30, much as I didn't care to, then.

So, the next time I had to take the 7.30 bus, I left by 7.10. This time, the bus left at 7.35. I should have known.

(Digression: I was wearing this particular dress on Monday that I normally avoid when I have something important to do. The clothes you wear can influence the things that happen to you, or so Brida says. I think I agree, to a certain extent. For instance, there were certain dresses that I avoided like the plague on exam days, simply because I'd worn them for some previous exam that didn't go off too well.)

That is about all I have to relate from two-and-a-half weeks of work, the newest bit of adventure in my life. Certain episodes shall remain censored, or will be dealt with offline, as they say here.

PS: One incident that I have to mention, for the indignation it aroused in me- a person here asked me where I was from, and when I said,"Vizag", he gave me an "Oh-so-you're-from-a-different-planet?" look. Vizag. Visakhapatnam. Not so very nondescript, is it?


Revathi said...

Lovely post.
I have a blog and i still love listening to ur story!! ;)
//I switched off my computer and ran into the elevator at the fourth floor, where I 'work'
Which floor are u on? anything less than 5 and u can take the stairs. trust me its the only exercise you will get in this industry!! :)

And i can so understand. Every time i say i am from Jamnagar 9 out of 10 ppl think it is Jamshedpur and i dont have the patience or energy to tell them "No sir, Jamnagar is a small towm 6 hours west of Ahemdabad"!! :)

Jaya S said...

Thanks, Revathi. Good girl :-).

I should think of taking the stairs. Actually, we do a lot of walking on the campus, but I guess when you're in a hurry, the staircase is the best way out, contrary to popular (read my earlier) belief.

Arun said...

ooh is this on your company blog too?! ;) :)

Jaya S said...

Never. Unimaginable. On second thoughts...maybe I should put it up there (and be ostracised for life) :-P.

>>Jass<< said...

/*For instance, there were certain dresses that I avoided like the plague on exam days, simply because I'd worn them for some previous exam that didn't go off too well.*/

Ah! A member of the superstitious pattern followers league, eh? :P
Long back when i used to play pool , i used to stick to lucky tables and if-i-pot-spots-first-today! :)

Jaya S said...

And now? Have you gone all practical and unsuperstitious? I hope not :-P.