The Recharge

It was a marathon, no less. Five hours of conference calls non-stop. She sat hunched over the laptop, peering closely at the codes and excel charts as she responded to quibbles from the other end of the line. She had not made time to do so much as a simple shoulder stretch. Reckon the statue of The Thinker? Yeah, more or less that kind of a posture.

It was not a random analogy to the famed figurine, one could bet. She was thinking hard alright. Every time she looked at her five year old sitting right across her, alternating between a picture story book, a puzzle and a blank stare, she would think of the sheer futility of it all. What really was the point of all this slogging?

Ummm, Roy, how about we break for lunch and get back? She uttered confidently, knowing people would be mindful of the long hours the entire team was doing.

I think that’s a great idea. Alright chaps, it’s 1PM now. We shall reconnect at 1. 45. I know, it’s been crazy, but the damn project has to go live by tomorrow at any cost. We’ve sought enough extensions already.

OK sure, the rest said in a heartbeat. She sighed to herself. She didn’t want to be the one to throw a spanner in the works.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Rajuuu, it’s lunch time! Come, let’s quickly eat.

Did you make bhindi masala today, mommy? The son asked with an anticipating smile.

Tomorrow for sure, sweetie! How about khichdi followed by Rasagulla?

The kid’s face dropped. OK, he said. When will you be done with your work, mommy? He asked as his mother waited for the khichdi to get heated in the microwave.

It shouldn’t take too long. OK shall we watch Coco this evening?

The boy smiled. OK, he said. He added, can I also suggest a few other titles? If they aren’t good, we can watch Coco.

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Photo by Mathilde Merlin on Unsplash

When did he grow up so much? She wondered to herself resignedly.

As they began to eat, the boy rolled the coaster on the table into a tube, and play acted a ship’s captain, shouting, ‘Hard to starboard’! He liked the stories of mariners, including Captain Haddock from the Tintin series.

She was shaken from her reverie. The project delivery was on her mind. Aadi, you need to eat faster. Aren’t you hungry?

The boy dropped the coaster, flashed a big toothy smile at his mother, and bent his head down to focus on the plate.

By the time they finished lunch, it was 1.20. She thought of engaging him for 15-20 minutes with some conversation. So, can you sing Brown Girl in the Ring completely? You know so many lines already.

No, he said, that song bores me. Can we do the arm wrestling again?

Aadi, you can’t be playing all the time. What did I tell you, the more you learn, the sharper you become. See, when your school reopens, they won’t wait for long. They will expect you to know so much.

When will the school reopen mommy? This is boring.

I know, sweetie. But what to do, all kids are stuck at home. In a month or so, your school should open I think.

Hmmm. Mommy, the clock says 1.25 now. You have a call again right?

It is in another 15 minutes, baby.

OK, I’ll play the piano for a while in the room.

She didn’t ask him to not go. She didn’t know how else to keep him interested at that time. She just went back to her chair. She thought of the brat who was so unrecognizable now. The boy wouldn’t wait for his turn to talk. She was yet to see a more curious kid. There was no electronic device he hadn’t pried open. Ever ready for sport, ever ready for music. Her thoughts tumbled one over the other. The lockdown had seriously changed her son.

At 1.45, just before logging in, she just peeked into the room to see if he was really playing the keyboard. He was staring at the wall, humming Brown Girl in the Ring. He would doze off in no time. She let him be.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

One hour into the call, the boy came running to her. Her project lead was rambling on. I remember you saying this bit was all done. Why are we facing issues again? You don’t seem to be taking the deadline seriously.

She was losing it. She wanted to hit back. But her son was clinging to her, pestering. The battery for the keyboard is dead, mommy. It needs a new one.

She tired shush him, animatedly.

He wouldn’t listen. I need the batteries, he raised his voice. Mommy, I need the battery! When will you be done with your call??

She excused herself for a second, muted the mic, and turned to her son. The battery won’t be available till tonight, got it? Let us pick it up this evening.

No, I want it now! He was adamant, and went closer to snuggle in his mother’s embrace.

She exulted! It doesn’t matter if he pestered her all evening. He was getting to be himself. He wouldn’t let the air defeat him. And he would take her with him. Not let her be morose!

She unmuted her mic and spoke into it.

Sorry guys, I’ve got to go. The battery needs recharge! I’ll get to this bit later tonight. And don’t worry, the project is going live tomorrow. You can hold me to it!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Surviving Self

Everyone says we are actually living the dystopian life today. You know, the eerily calm and deserted streets, people dodging the mere hint of physical contact, the morbid silence in the air offset by a deafening clamor on the Internet (which for many including yours truly, is regrettably as bothersome as noises in the head), food supplies vanishing right under your nose at the shopping aisles, jobs hanging by a thread, the urban poor shell-shocked and defenseless, China becoming the global bear bug, and a very hazy perception of time for those working from home.


That makes you gloomy? Let me recount a personal experience.


The night our dear leader announced the nationwide lockdown, I was bending my elbow at my friend Manju’s place. I was naturally out of control and considering a stayover. It took me a full ten minutes and a lot of paraphrasing by Manju to make me understand the import of the PM’s televised address. There was no way I could stay back. I had to return home at any cost. I shook myself free of Manju’s protests and attempted embraces, exited his apartment and started making the first of several futile efforts at getting an Uber or an Ola. After several typos on the app before realizing the cabs were actually off the roads, I was still on the footpath at the end of a full hour. Whatever was left of my conscious mind told me it is safer to get back to Manju’s. I started tracing my steps back when all of a sudden I felt a sharp pain shoot right up through my left leg. A mongrel had got me. Fuck! That was some bite – I still shudder ! I’m a chap who has gatecrashed into strangers’ houses abandoning my footwear on the street, at the very sight of a dog running behind me albeit chasing someone else. For someone positively paranoid of canines wherever he walks, this was my worst nightmare come true. So I had to scream at the top of my lungs. And scream I did. But not a soul on the street to come to my aid as I writhed in pain. I desperately hoped a cop would come along, bark a different bark, and put me on a rickshaw to the nearest hospital.

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Photo by Tania Melnyczuk on Unsplash

No ma’am. None of that happened. I guess everyone on the damn force was either watching the blasted TV address or digesting it at leisure. Not a soul on the road. What if it was a rabid dog? What if I‘d go crazy by the crack of dawn? Though my stupor had started to wear off (a most inopportune moment, I tell you), I took a good two-three minutes to fish out my cellphone from the pocket. And what do I see on the screen? Nothing. The sweet little thing had gone dead just then. I mean, was this for real? My mind raced. Scratch that. It hobbled. Feeling despondent, I thought of pausing my agony for a bit and finding succor in a cigarette. Yes, there it was in my knee pocket. I lit one up, took a drag and started to believe that I could now clear my head and think. The long drag had made the cigarette look ugly with a long smoldering end, and I had to tap it to get the flakes off. And the cigarette slipped from between my fingers. You see, I had hauled myself up on the kerb, with the bitten leg stretched out and the right one folded and lending support. The kill-throat landed perfectly on my right foot. Before I realized that the sudden pang was caused by the cigarette, it had managed to bore a nice little crater right at the center of my foot.


I now had to obviously divide my attention to the two sources of pain. Both of them were like uncontrollable kids, believe you me. I don’t remember much about what happened that night after these two little incidents, because I must have passed out.
When I woke up, it wasn’t well into the day. You see, I wasn’t at my home. The first rays of sunlight had barely made their way to this part of the world. I found myself right where I had passed out. Only, I smelt of dog pee, was covered with dry leaves fallen from a tree, and staring at a nice big puss had formed where the dog had found its mark. A dog had left me to the dogs, what? I lifted myself up only to slump down again.
It was the first day of the lockdown, so even the grocers, the hawkers, none of them had turned up. It was only a good couple of hours later that the evidence of the lockdown started to fall in place. The cops came in teams and started erecting barricades and check posts. I hollered at the one nearest to me. He looked at me for a second and turned away. I hollered back with, “you motherfucker, are you deaf or are you blind?” in Kannada. That got him. The expletive was my flag of the castaway! I rejoiced. The constable came charging at me, ready to thwack me. I said I need help. Look at me, I need help. He did help me. He called up someone, interrogated me enough, got me water as well, and put me on a police jeep to the nearest hospital. Not before sending my spectacles flying.

I’m lying on the hospital bed now. I have been treated, and should be out real soon. They want me out as fast as possible. The hospital is getting Covid-ready. As I read news reports about state of the world out there, they don’t register a lot inside my head.
If you ask me, I’ve already been to hell and back. A personal hell. I look forward to the quarantine and a loooong stay-put.

Action Manifesto

‘Controlled aggression’ was the headline of an ad for a mutual fund in today’s newspaper. The image was that of a bowler pumping his fists and screaming after scalping a wicket. I gave a hint of a smirk before turning over the page.

Forget a newspaper ad, no force on earth could change my mind.


Amol Badwe, Learning & Development Manager with an MNC at Pune, used to think that genuine cordiality was the best demeanor one could have. Winning over people was very important. No, he wasn’t too keen about collecting a virtual army of ‘friends’ on Facebook. They were just names for most part, he thought. Winning over people at work, his professional contacts, and his limited set of friends of course.

Amol never said ‘no’ to people. Even if he had to, he would take extreme pains to get them to empathize with him before letting him off the hook. There were instances when people would tell him irritably, “theek hai yaar, tension kashaala ghetoyaes? Naahi jamnaar tar naahi jamnaar. Its Ok”.  He never missed an opportunity to compliment people on their attire. While he was more vested in women, he would do an occasional, “that’s a nice shirt, man!” to the men around him too, just to reassure himself that he was being fair to both sexes. He knew it himself that he was looking for avenues to flirt. Yes, he was married and, in a love-filled one at that. But who has set in stone the definition of propriety?

People well-acquainted with Amol knew that he wore his heart on his sleeve. His face betrayed emotions. He was aware that people could manipulate him, but rationalized it saying it was because of the face God had given him.

If he hadn’t rehearsed, he couldn’t lie. When Ravi, an old friend had once asked him on phone what his weekend plans were, he had said he’d be traveling to Andheri East in Mumbai to meet his cousin, the latter had exclaimed, “Wow! You’d better have made plans to meet me. You know I live in Andheri right?”. Amol could have said any random thing to Ravi and shake himself off obligations. What he instead was, “ohh.. yesss.. of course you live in Andheri!! You see, my wife will be a little impatient. I’ll be done with my meeting at 6.30. To meet you would mean another hour. If I leave at 7.30,  I won’t be at Pune before 11.30-12! I’m sure you can understand”

“Why would she be impatient? You would have driven down, right? And the day after is a Sunday anyway, how would half to one hour make a difference?”

“I agree with you buddy. In fact, it would be so great to catch up with you after so many years. But I’ll make proper plan and visit you sometime soon. We should do a good lunch with drink, what say?”


It was on one of the pleasant Friday afternoons, when the general mood at office was to not work, with many of the folks ready to leave early for the week and board a train or flight to their hometown, that Amol Badwe’s idyll was disturbed. Milind Raut, the guy who he had no clue about the existence of, came visiting. The receptionist got Amol on his desk phone.

“OK. I’m coming. Ask him to wait for a minute.”

He entered the reception lobby and caught Milind, flipping a newspaper. Milind, a scrawny bespectacled chap wearing a steel watch that placed itself perennially on the dorsum of his palm, a checkered slack with sleeves curled inward in an effort to hide his tubular arms, and jet-black denim trousers standing heavily on colorful sneakers.

He came up to Amol at the glass access door, looked right into his eyes, and said in an unexpectedly gruff voice,

“Amol Badwe na tumhi? Yaa majha barobar. Please come with me”

“Hello, boss, I don’t know who you are? Aani Kuthe yaeoon?”

Abbe saale! Kaana khaali ek dega na, you’ll understand!”

“What??? Please get out of here, right away! Prerna, ask the security to take him away please!”

“Call the security if you have to, but before that here goes”, Milind took a step closer to him menacingly, and whacked him hard across the face, sending Amol reeling. Amol heard these words before he collapsed, “Bhenchod, next time you send those Whatsapp messages to Gauri and act like a saint na, saale bajaake rakhdoonga!”


When he came to, Amol found himself on a hospital bed. His colleagues had rushed him to the hospital, just to be sure. They had imagined that a defibrillator or some such technique would be needed to revive him. But the doctor had just shaken him up violently and given him water to drink. He presently asked Amol to take rest for a while before heading back home.

 The  motherfucker mentioned Gauri! I could just chokeslam him and he wouldn’t get up ever! He looks puny, but I must give it to his temerity! Whatever happened to the thing called civility? Maybe he is Gauri’s boyfriend; others wouldn’t have given a damn! And whatever on earth did I do that he almost finished me off? A Whatsapp message? Really?

These thoughts swam in his head. He was anything but resting.

Gauri Verma was the girl he used to chat to at the gym. A joke or two he would have exchanged with her at the most. And maybe a compliment here and a harmless coffee invite there. Not that anything ever materialized. It’s the cheap thrill I get, seeing the Whatsapp notification with her name appear on my phone, he rationalized to himself. The bitch! She has ratted on me, though I can’t for the life of me understand whatever on earth had I done to tick her or that good-for-nothing boyfriend of hers off.  If this is the kind of people she hangs out with, then to hell with her.

But something still needs to be done about Milind all the same.


At the start of the week, I launched a Blitzkrieg of sorts against Milind. I didn’t have to do many enquiries before getting to know where he lived. Wanowrie. I went over to his apartment complex, told the security my name was Gauri Shankar, and he only had to say Gauri, Milind will know. I was let inside. I knocked on his door on the 2nd floor. To my luck, he answered. I had carried an old defunct laptop with me. I smashed it on his head with one lavish swing. His mother came out alarmed. I held a Whatsapp message on my phone, to her face. It said, “You’ll get your money if you fuck my mother”. Obviously, I had stored some random number as Milind Raut. In the fury and shock of the moment, she wouldn’t bother to check if her son could indeed write with near-impeccable grammar. I told her to have a hold on her son, else he will be a confirmed sociopath. Having ensured Milind wouldn’t move an inch and that his mother would spend all night wondering if she should finish off the work I had started – breaking her son’s head – or attend to his evident concussion, I headed back home and flipped open my other functioning laptop. I dashed off an email to the editors of Pune Mirror and Sakaal, who I knew personally. I tipped them off on the newly surfaced menace called Milind Raut,  a gerontophile on the loose. A photoshopped picture to boot. I was confident they would publish the story with discretion. The next morning, on the way to work, I lodged a complaint against Milind at the police station. Showed the inspector the doctor’s report and the morning’s newspaper. That evening I tracked Gauri at the gym and told her that her boyfriend was done for. All thanks to her brainless tip off. It was a pleasure to see the horror on her face.  Finally that night I went over to Mlind’s apartment, bribed the security to stick a note on his door, which read, “try acting smart, and you won’t know what hit you next time. Tu gelas re!”


The next morning, nothing seemed to have moved. It looked like a lazier Saturday than usual. Amol had woken up late. Of course, having dreamt a revenge dripping with venom, he’d needed time before he had soaked his illusion in.


But who on earth was Milind Rau ? Gauri, whom he met later in the day at the gym, denied knowing him. She may have lied, but I’d made it known to her she would be on my radar right then.

Later that evening, he got a Whatsapp from an unknown number.


“Hey Amol. Don’t trust Gauri. Regds, Milind”

Amol was visibly flustered. And he thought, ‘this time, real action, no shit’.

 

——-  Could be continued ——

Packets!

The light isn’t flashy. It doesn’t blink either. Nor does it light up the darkness. Literally and figuratively; you can take my word for it. Unless you opt to turn on the flashlight. Which you would invariably do when looking for something under your bed or the settee or inside the bonnet, and not in many places else. But there’s no escaping it. Not a chance. For it contains those precious packets of potion to get your life going. But of course, I’m talking about your dear old latest smartphone, silly!

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The Internet is that potion which you, I and all the denizens of this goddamn planet have crowded under a giant tap to drink greedily from. And the very same potion is now available right by your bedside, in packets. Those little colorful apps without which your life refuses to budge. Right from the word go, right from daybreak! Apps to get you out of bed, to help you exercise, to monitor your pulse, to give you company while you take a dump, to jerk off on, to fix a better meal and snack than yesterday, to give you the headlines of the day, to get you to your office as quickly as possible, to remind you to pick up that gift for the family friend on your way  home, to play a flick you could never catch at the movies, to tell you which cinema is playing the latest blockbuster, to relive memories, and among many other Man Friday roles, to even help you drift off to sleep! And did I mention, to communicate with people? Man Friday is a misnomer, man. Man, woman, and the entire cosmos Sunday through Saturday!

A life in the mercy of those little square packets beckoning you from behind that glossy screen, sitting smugly in the reassuring illumination of the backlight. Which is effectively turning into one measurable in packets.  One hour of ‘me time’, measured praises, contained laughter, love separated from marriage, politically correct humility. Random occurrences but connected by packets. Little ones that lead you to believe  you’re leading a sane life.

Technology does inspire metaphors, sure! And these don’t come in packets, do they?

-Metafore

Happy, but lucky?

What is it like when you feel exhilarated, but the world around you goes about in blissful oblivion? Remember the bowler who sent the stumps flying, only to realize she had stepped over the crease? No madam, I’m not once questioning the validity of your excitement. If anything, the crease is probably an accomplice in conspiracy. No, I meant the feeling of having to swallow your pride along with all that booze, after your invitees do a no-show at your party. The world just doesn’t give a damn about you, does it?

Just in case you thought this little essay is about the virtue of being happy for others, it is not. Of course, one needs to be happy, all the time! If you are of the multitasking kind, as most of us are, you make space for happiness for others while stealing those moments of glee for yourself. Happiness here being, a state of being! It’s more about, shall we say, people syncing to your state of exuberance.

‘But how can you expect that? The world isn’t programmed that way!’ would probably be a standard response. Sure, they got the keyword right. Programmed. Imagine a charade at work where you go about giving hi-fives and back-slaps to every second chap you bumped into. (And please, can we keep Karan Johar out of this?) An observer of slightly higher refinement would whisper to their friend, ‘she must have smoked up some real good shit’ or ‘this is what comes of smoking cheap weed’. The masses would probably mutter among themselves, ‘bhai, bachke rehna usse! She is probably putting on an act’! Bad programming, maybe.

How is it then, that we end up talking zestfully to some people, keeping up with their demeanor? One would think we have a great party coming up, that our lives are a bouquet of pleasant surprises, and that we are perhaps well endowed. They may well be forgiven for assuming that we belong to similar worlds. How lucky! Step back a little and you’ll see that the people whose bearing we match will likely have many such circles of friends or connections. Positive vibes they give, we would like to attribute. Heck, they don’t even need a cause to celebrate. It is they who should be high on something.

So, the next time you got that award at work, or picked up a sexy new car, or even got your book published, make sure some serious overhaul of your facial expression precedes that event. But who’s to say when something big will come your way?

 

 

The travails of hyperstardom

During the audio release of his last blockbuster Enthiran/Robot, Rajinikanth while addressing the star-struck audience raised his right hand and twirled its index finger in air saying, “once one reaches the top, one has to come down. That’s life. If you remain right there, there’s every chance you will disappear” and signed off with that staccato laughter. A good measure of what he said seems to apply to the great man himself today. His popularity has reached stratospheric heights, but his movies are apparently taking the fall for him.

If Rajini were to be stationed high above this lonely planet, in the stratosphere, how would a conversation between him and ground control look?

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Rajini: Ground control, I have a situation.

Ground control operator to his colleagues: Oh my God!!! Anbu, Ilamaran, Umaa seekiram vaanga inga! Guess who’s on the line from stratosphere? Enga thalaivar da! Rajini has called.

Anbu: Comedy pannaadha (don’t kid me)! Speaker le podu, let’s hear

GCO: I’m serious! Thalaiva, is it really you?

Rajini: Aamam da kanna (yes dear), it’s me! Now listen, I don’t have forever to talk. Up here, I’m alone and getting really bugged. Can you get me back on earth?

GCO: Impossible thalaiva. You shouldn’t have gone so high up. We have never had anyone reach such heights, and don’t know how to deal with it.

Rajini: Dammit, I’m stuck! OK, here is the real deal. My movies are not keeping me company

Ilamaran: What happened thalaiva?

Rajini: You bloody well know. Last five years, none of my movies have done well

GCO: Very true annai. You should choose good scripts

Rajini: Dei, you think I’m doing time pass? We need to keep evolving, yes? I can’t keep warning every baddie who comes my way with my finger and pack him off with a punch line. So I try to do something different these days

Umaa: Sir, we want you to give us movies like Baasha and Padayappa

Rajini: Ayyoo, the ghost of these movies will continue to haunt me even in my grave, I’m sure! Can’t you ever get over these?

Umaa: That’s difficult sir. But we also like different movies….

Rajini: Where? I try an animation flick, that too motion capture, and you say ‘kuppa padam’ (trash), ‘bomma padam’ (doll movie). I try some history and add amusement, and you say it’s too long and boring. I play a gangster again, just for you, and you still aren’t happy. What shall I do?

Ilamaran: We understand thalaiva. I feel you need good directors

Rajini: You fool! KS Ravikumar has given some of my biggest hits. You call him a bad director? Ranjith is young and promising and critically acclaimed. That’s also a mistake? I’m getting tired I tell you

Ila: Shankar, sir. See how good  Sivaji and Robot were

Rajini: I can’t book Shankar for a lifetime, can I? Anyway next year 2.0 is coming. Working with him 10 years now

Anbu: Why do you worry so much annai? We will continue to love you anyway

Rajini: (to self) When will these jokers understand that a string of flops is not good for a superstar. My resume is starting to look pathetic anyway. I don’t want to end up like Rajesh Khanna.

(to the kids at ground control) It’s for your sake I’m trying different roles guys! Today you watch movies from around the world and choices are varied. I need to give you something that matches international quality

Anbu: All that I agree. But you are special, you see! You are bigger than your movies.

Rajini: Karmam! (all my doing)

(to self) no point in discussing with these kids!

(to the team) ok guys! I’ll see what I can do. Thanks for your time, nice talking!

Hangs up.

Then to his accounts manager, “do you think I will do fine even if I announce retirement?”

Accounts: Yes sir. You can also endorse some brands on TV

Rajini: Kanna, I will never come on TV! Understand? You better understand!

An image too precious

Can you pick out three individuals from your life and think about  your image of them? Now then, I’m unsure whether you are going to share your list with me or not, so let me pull up a fairly generic selection from our collective experiences. Does that work?

The chap who knows that you – and countless others – have a crush on him

Your man, the dude, has caught you fawning over him. And you, like your other similarly smitten classmates/colleagues, haven’t mustered the courage to tell him that he looks like a billion dollars. So, what does the dude do? Raise the bar. Not for you to jump over, but to outdo himself. He brings on more enigma. A clever line here, a smirk there, and of course, making himself a little scarcer than he already is.  You end up convinced that he deserves all the adulation no doubt. But if there’s even a hint of curiosity inside you, you have to know more about him at any cost. You try to dig out more. If your dude is happily settled (not necessarily married, mind you), he’ll probably insulate his personal life from work; if he’s foraging about, he may likely play hide and seek. He will only present to you that side of himself that you first fell for. You finally decide to get closer to him and try to chat up a little more. Not much comes out of him. You gradually start wondering if you are really talking to a human. If you are not persistent enough, you let go and wash down your consternation with, wine probably? If you are of the other type, you take him head on, and say “hey, is this how you are all the time?” For which, the dude may say, “how?” You know he’s up to his evasive tricks when you say, “hell, I wonder if there’s anything more to you than just show off”. If that ticks him off, he will say, “bhenchod, dimaag ka dahi ho raha hai mera! Just what do you want?”

Whatever happened to the suave and smashing young man you salivated over? He still may be one, for all you know. But didn’t fit your image of him, right? Did we hear a burst??

Your sarcastic bossimgmgmt

So you have this manager who can never spare a sweet word for you. Even if he’s approving of your work, it will be with a sneer. Hard to say if he has complimented you. Like, “this is wonderful! Some precious talent you have, huh?” Now you don’t know if means that your talent is really precious, or if you have been hiding it all these days that nobody has noticed it.  But the same chap talks very cordially with others at his level. He’s probably nasty with juniors then. Maybe he has some soft corner for you after all. You think he will look out for you if you continue to deliver. You are cruising along, when one day by a stroke of bad luck you goof up in your work. And he has a go at you. With a vengeance. You then feel that you shouldn’t have given him the benefit of doubt at all. A few days later, you are at a dinner do with him, among others. The wound has healed. You think he might socialize with you and talk general things. But not a peep from him. You then walk up to the group he’s talking to amidst laughter and quietly blend in, whisky glass in hand. And in no time you hear him say, looking your way, “guys you need to involve our buddy here a little more in the strategy meetings. We need more people who can think. But hey, tell your wife you may get home late in the days to come huh? Let her not get worried” You are like, “really? Did he just show some concern, and also appreciate my work?” You try to catch him when he’s alone a few minutes later. He throws half a glance your way and moves away, appearing to responding to someone

Your favourite movie star

She’s vivacious, intelligent and dignified. She sounds just so right in all her interviews. You catch her at the inauguration ceremony of a huge store. She certainly all that she is known to be. You manage to shake hands with her. She is all smiles, but did she meet your eye for half a second even? Of course she has to satisfy a hundred other fans. But hell, what’s a handshake without proper eye contact? Do you mean anything at all to her? You wonder, what if you write to her. Would she respond? Yes, you should try that. You go home and turn on your iPad. Your fingers are raring to tap the keypad. But you just aren’t getting the words. And then something dawns upon you. How’s a fucking email gonna help when she gave herself away in real time!