Monday, January 30, 2012

When contemplating is just another word

A hiatus of almost 4 months and I finally had to give in to publish this post! Better, call it clicking the "publish' button at a gun-point. At this moment, I have 153 posts in the draft section. Thank heavens for Blogger to include such stuff. And why I decided to publish this is not-so-a-random reason. A was bored. He wanted to read something from my blog. So I got extremely annoying calls and texts from him until I decided to give in and publish it. Also, H for being so sweet she is told me I should be writing so as to let off my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for calling up random people at random times and forcing them to talk to me. Add to that, she mentioned she needed a reason to get online and read something, now that she got a LIFE after deactivating her Facebook account. Few urges and I am good to go. Oh yes! I am that gullible. Say yay!!

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The last time this blog had a post, I remember ranting about leaving Fashion Journalism for something deeper. Something which related me to the ground realities and also gave me that 'feel-good' factor. Yes! that factor tops my list. Be it buying that new pair to eyeing that cute-guy-at-the-counter. The moment I lose the 'feel-good' badge, I lose interest in the aforesaid actions. So here I was, searching for something that gave me a deeper edge and I stumbled upon this charitable trust which needed help with 'running the organisation' for kids. Now that felt good. Sooner enough, UNDP and UNICEF became more than just abbreviations to route for the next random exam. Also, I didn't have to wear a cotton khadi saree to help the society (yes! i had this feeling you can do service only in a khadi saree or a Herve' Leger and I wasn't good enough for any of them). Clap!

My folks made faces, put up arguments why would someone want to do that. A friend went on to say working for the society can be done after I have accomplished stuff, like after 30's! A said it was just another 'fad' which would wear out soon when I'd have to work under the sun. There were people who seconded that, also there was a poll on how long would I be able to survive this work. One week. They said. There were times I counter-argued and others I kept shut. But I did get on with it despite my mom's constant rumble that she will disinherit me if I don't land up a proper job. And it was more than fun.  Kids, storybooks, clay molds, fundraisers, good team, industrialists, activists; who wouldn't love that O:)
But as elusive as it sounds, sooner enough I got to the 'working-from-home' mode. Yes, I didn't teach the kids. The management realized I was a bad example. The kids more often had story sessions in the first week with me than actually learn the math tables. To this I was finally handed down my kind of work. But three months on, I still go to the school often and play with the kids. They need to differentiate between the 'right' and the 'awesome', innit?

Yes you heard right; 'work-from-home'. You awaken thrice before it's actually time for you to wake up. Sometimes you open the door to some guy who has come to hand you the brochures from the sponsors. Other times, its your mom calling up just to check "Did you finally wake up or not". Then the cook asks you what to make for lunch, you are aware that she is noting how you sleep, arm curled around the pillow, on your stomach. You murmur something and try to drift back to the endless slumber. She murmurs back, prepares something random and leaves. Which you never eat. Your alarm goes off. You press the snooze button. Ten minutes later, it goes off again. You surrender and finally open an eye.

The house is all yours. The way you like it. You cherish this. You put the kettle on for coffee. You go to the bathroom with no care of the door open. Still sleep bleary, you switch on the laptop. Take a pitiful look at your own laptop which is out-of-order for the past six months. A slight flaw in the internet and your day is undone. Other people are commuting,  you are in the pajamas and mop-cloth like t-shirt that says "Nothing". Either smoking the first of the day or checking the e-mail or doing both. To this you get a call from the good-for-nothing 'A' who reminds you how worthless your life is. Huh! Life.

Other people are commuting and working. They can afford to spend the whole day on the internet through the GPRS enabled devices or office wi-fi's. Just surfing and networking on the internet, by the virtue of clocking in. You feel guilty. You cannot allow yourself any breaks beyond lunch. You check if your ideas have been approved. If the sponsors are ready to fund. If any new XYZ geek is ready to leave his high-paying job to join the welfare of the nation you call your motherland. If they are, you start making phone calls. Still, you are at home and your body takes this as a cue to relax. Your mind however, doesn't. You feel guilty for the week you haven't done anything. You feel guilty for the two days you haven't met anyone. You feel guilty of not even once glancing at the book that says "Quantitative Aptitude". Guilt. guilt. guilt. You are racked by it. You contemplate over it for days, of going to the work station once. For work or for the kids, but discard it as impractical. At work, you are legitimately allowed to have weeks where you have nothing to show. Weeks where weekend feels like an excuse to do what you've done all week.

You forget what it's like to have conversations with people who are not your on your phone's receiving end.

Days when you have to meet people or go to work are filled with triumphant air. You wake up with a smile, with a sense of purpose. You dress early, finish mail-checking and head out. These are times when coffee and conversations are at its best. At work, it will be a session with the kids and then a 'Bergman' film over cuttings. Yes, you have the luck to be surrounded by a team who appreciate films. Finally, you file your story. Research a bit. Call a random people. Fix dates. Ask questions. Type at a fugitive speed.  Brainstorm. More cuttings on its way. Make few more calls. The team you just called 'good' leave. All of them. They are here since 8 am while you were dating that guy in your dream. You are still making calls, making plans. Fixing plans. Making more changes. Asking or answering questions on India's development and rural education system. Meanwhile making the uhs and the ums. Not from asking questions, but from typing it all away. These are times you wish you had admiring colleagues around you to see how rapidly your fingers move across the keyboard. Then you leave.

Some days, it is two. some it is seven. You need to leave the house. To go back to bed in the same nightclothes you are wearing from the previous night would be depressing in ways not imagined. While elsewhere people return home, so do your parents; you commute outwards. You know people. you are lucky to know many people. Someone out of all those offer to drive you to the place, knowing what a directionless driver you are. If you think that's sweet, think again. It might be less for you, more for your dad's car's good. Nevertheless, lucky woman you are. You meet the dinks. You meet the eight to eight guys. They get you the drinks. They get you food. You have it all. You talk more. You drink more. There is nothing else to do. You are on one meal a day. Your body does not seem to need more. You feel cliched.

At times, you meet new people. You tell them you work from home. You see them going a shade of dirty green. you hear envy in their voices. This is what you have wanted to have all your life. You are happy. You are guilty. With another night of peaceful sleep.


2 comments:

  1. Ah.. "nonsense" your compulsions seem very similar to mine- just that I do not have friends who ask me to write instead of calling them up! I took to writing coz it seemed like a good substitute to the verbal diarrhea that I constantly suffer from. I have been working with non profits for the last 18 years - unfortunately not from home- I go to an office and wear those khadi kurtis and tons of silver jewelery! I am now planning to look for a corporate who will take me on so that I can switch khadi for some branded stuff. But husband n daughter want me out of home- they feel it would be less trouble. Do visit my blog when you are in the mood. BTW I have another blog called Kaleidoscope where I write fiction. I am not a Bengali by birth but a Bengali at heart. So I guess we connect!

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  2. I loved reading your blog! 18 years in the non-profit industry. Amazing. And talking of khadi kurtis and silver jewellery, trust me I'm hooked on to it too! And kolhapuri chappals~! They cal me a brand FabIndia these days :p
    Yes we connect! Being Bengali at heart is more bengali'sh than being Bengali by birth!

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Why I write this ?

so you finally want to know. Well very often I have a writer's block. I am over burdened by my own thoughts. Sometimes i do take the pain of puttin them up, mostly i do not. This is a peek-a-Boo of what i see, what i feel and what i want you to know. Bear with me! Happy reading!