Friday, October 21, 2005

A day in the life....

The day starts early, you always seemingly get half an hour of sleep less than you would have liked. The morning is frenzied. I don’t know what it is about mornings, but it seems like however early you seem to get up you always take atleast 5 minutes more than you would have liked to have, and always head out a little later than you initially planned.

Maybe, we should all start taking the advice our teachers used to give us around about the 5th grade. “Pack your bags, Young men and always try and do tomorrow’s work today”

Well, I don’t think we can apply that to most things we do every morning. Nevertheless, I get ready to go to work, and it looks like I’m going to be a little more late than my usual 15 minutes.

I don’t know how this works, but it seems like, the one day when you are a little later than usual, the whole office by some divine intervention seemingly arrives on time. Or probably, this part is only reserved for me, your humble blogger, because of my propensity for eh well, being ever so punctual.

Work gets by, and you plan on going out, to get yourself a small bite for lunch. You reverse into the parking lot of a restaurant, and you have parked your car and are all set to go into the restaurant for lunch. When..

Its funny, how these security people come up to you, only when you have completely concluded parking your car in what according to them, is an imperfect position. Since when did these security people become such perfectionists in the first place, and if they were perfectionists, why on earth are they still security guards?

I re-park my car. Apparently I had committed the grave sin of parking my car about quarter an inch out of place. I enter the restaurant (xxxx Bhavan)

Its uncanny how all these Bhavans have such similar names, similar menus and a similar hierarchy. No matter how small the restaurant, there is always atleast 4 levels of hierarchy clearly demarcated by the color of clothing. For some reason, Khaki is always the color reserved for the blighters who according to the managers do the most menial work.

I scan the menu card. I order a Plain dosa and a Lime Juice.

Much to the displeasure of the waiter, who seemingly keeps repeating “Waarey, Waarey”. When he finds out, that all I want is a Plain Dosa (not even a Maasala Dosa), He begins to look down upon me like, I am the lowest form of subterranean life he has ever come across.

What is it with these waiters and their penchant for using the word “Waarey”. I’m quite sure, that if tomorrow I were to order 4 Arabian elephants, their calves and everything they had eaten in the last one week. The waiter would still turn around and scream “Waarey”. Somehow every waiter, in these restaurants either thinks that their customers are Multimillionaires, have appetites of Walruses or are both.

I scan the menu card, which is still lying by my side, I can’t help but notice that not for the first time, my juice is probably going to cost much more than my meal. My dosa arrives; the waiter rather disgruntedly dumps it onto my table. It was a plain dosa, so he very magnanimously decided that he would make the chutney double up as the masaala for the dosa.

Why is it that, whenever you order a Plain dosa, in these restaraunts, the chutney is invariably dumped on the Dosa. Isn’t one of the few joys of eating a dosa , the fact that it is crisp. And aren’t they people like me who maybe just don’t like chutney? There is an alternative view point which says, “The more the merrier”. As long as they are giving you something free, why don’t you just pile it up in your plate? I turn around and say, I don’t want the chutney. They are quite aghast.

I start eating the Dosa, (atleast the crisp part) sipping my juice and reading the paper. I turn back and swooshhhh….

My food has disappeared, along with it my juice. The ever observant waiter obviously thought that since I was reading the paper, I was done with eating my food. Or maybe, He was teaching me a lesson for not paying attention to my food. The fact that the dosa and the juice were only half eaten, was obviously too inconsequential a detail to have been noticed by the magnanimous waiter. My dosa now lies buried in his bucket, along with it my juice. It’s the not first time it’s happened. Do the waiters now decide, how much food we deserve, and since when did they get the right to snatch our food?

I am done with my lunch (atleast half of it). I leave, and head back to work. One of the occupational hazards of my job is to meet weird clients in weird parts of town, who often give me weird directions in getting there. One certain client, asks me to meet him in his office which is parallel to the Vadapalani Water Tank, Opposite the Reserve Bank Quarters and right before the Bus Stop.

I get there, call him again, he then says its bang opposite Food World.

I don’t know what it is with the people of our city and directions. Why is that they always relate places to post offices, police stations, Bus Stops and Water Tanks. I mean how many times, have you honestly looked out for a post office or a Water Tank in a locality and how much of a land mark is it. As for Bus Stops, all of them look alike so how are you to be sure if you are in the right Bus Stop in the first place? Why couldn’t he say Food World in the first place? Is it uncool to name a Non Govt. Institution as a landmark? Think about it.

The day’s over and done with, I head to the DVD store to return a few DVD’s, I had borrowed before my recently concluded holiday. He informs me, my DVD’s are 2 weeks late and my penalty charge is Rs1000 per DVD.

Did I really take up this membership in this library to pay something called “penalty” to a DVD library? What moral high ground do they have to charge their own customers a penalty? Is it a School or college, that they discipline their DVD customers? On this model, it would make great business sense to open a DVD library, then close down for a year, re-open and charge all those hapless people who borrowed DVD’s a “penalty” for 1 yr late return of DVD’s. You could even name the store, “The Penalty Millionaires” DVD store, with the tagline “We penalty a plenty”

I have sleepless nights of me envisioning going to the DVD store, trembling and saying,

"Sir, I'm sorry, the DVD is 2 weeks late"

And the DVD library owner turning back and saying calmy, "Not a problem at all, You could give me your house for compensation."

Its just been another regular day in the life, one of many more to come, I envision.