Sunday, April 19, 2009


“Shiela. Help me find my laptop” Shouts Anand. The domination in his voice evidently shows he is her husband.

“It is your laptop Anand! You must have kept it somewhere. Search…” Replies Shiela.

Anand feels someone kick him. He walks around the house in redundant path-ways throwing everything that comes his way in a random direction. He opens the shoe rack. He shuts it off. He bangs the cupboard door hard. Scatters Shiela’s clothes all over the bed. The search gets violent with time.

Shiela notices everything. She does not give up on enjoying her book. She slides a little down into the couch and increases the volume of music on the deck. One of her hand is on her little dog. The dog is sleeping lazily. Sheila is wearing Anand’s T-shirt which is very long for her. Just that. Her hair is let loose. She lies cross legged. She looks beautiful. The rays of morning sun falling on her legs through the glass roof make her look radiant.

Anand walks to her briskly. “Help me out, god-damn-it! I am struggling to find my laptop. I needed to finish my presentation yesterday. The boss is on my head for it. You dint let me do it last night. And those friends of yours. What a nuisance it was! Are you even listening?”

It was a party in Shiela’s house last night. Her college friends and their girl friends had come home. It was a wild party till late night. Anand did not have a good time. He was worried about his presentation. However, he put up with the mood of the night and postponed his work for the morning. He did this for Shiela. Because he loved her. But here she was not even helping him find his laptop this morning.

He feels guilty for what he said. He shouldn’t have said it…

“Anand. It is a Sunday, and I want to relax. Please do your work yourself. And about my friends – I invited them, and we had a nice time. I did not expect you to enjoy anyways.” She said before going back to the book.

Anand seemed to have recovered back into his senses. He pulled himself into a jeans and wore a black T-Shirt over it. Poorly dressed Anand finally found his car-keys in the mess and left the house. He did not tell Shiela where he was going. He dint even tell her he was going. He just left.

Sheila was alone again. In a big house…

 Sometimes, everything changes but still life seems to remain the same. How much life changed after college! She got a job. She started earning. She could now afford expensive clothes. She no more had to ask her dad’s credit cards. She could buy any book she wanted. She fell in love with Anand. She got married to him.

But she is still alone.

 Anand had been a nice guy to her. But she was still not able to fit into the marriage. She felt nostalgic about all the freedom college life gave her. She was always striving to drag that element into her current life.  She dint try to understand that every phase of life is different and there is no point looking for one in another.

Anand had seen four more years and a few more girls in his life. Shiela was not his first love. He settled into marriage with her because he was twenty seven and she liked him. He liked her too.  But now, he was more ambitious about his career. Life has taken him on. He now dreams of power. Shiela is only that part of his life without which everything else is incomplete. He calls it love. He loves her.

This morning was just one morning among the hundreds since they were married. They were both confused about what each meant in the other’s life. They dint even know if life was happy together. Both tried to bring in everything they could from their past life. Except the girls Anand dated. Anand also dated Shiela before marriage. Occasional coffee shop visits and candle light dinners. He longed for them. Women in life were very interesting for him. Like the spice in everything else that was blande. But now he seemed to have got used to it. Life-was-better-before feeling takes on him.

Shiela wanted a life partner. Partner for life – that is exactly what she meant. Someone to live with, because living alone was not a possible case for her. She found someone who was old enough for marriage, dated him for a while and finally married him. And now, she happily reads books and works. Fights for her freedom and enjoys it. Longs for Sundays. Drinks coffee.

The phone rings.

She attends. It is her mother.

“Ayioo papam Anand. You dint make break-fast for him? And he is gone to office on Sunday? What kind of a wife you are. I pity him. How bad will your mother-in-law feel for him?”

Anand’s mother used to boast that her son would marry a girl of her choice till one morning she discovered his love. Shiela. Then she stopped telling people. Later, she married them off.

“Chinni. Today is krishnasthami. Pray for chinni Krishna that you should have a son like him by next year. A cute little boy. Make payasam. And cook a nice dinner for Anand tonight. Pavam Anand, he dint even eat his breakfast. He is a good boy. ”

“Kids?-Now!!- Sari amma- I will do it- Okie okie- Aba amma! Okay I will wear pavadai- Okay now stop it!”

Shiela disconnects the phone.

She is in no mood to go back to the book. It is another one on love which looks so screwed up in reality. How beautifully they portray it in books and movies. It only builds expectations. It is a delusion. She calls off on the peace of morning and heads to clear all the mess Anand made in the morning.

She says to herself – “My life was better. It was much better without him. Unmarried Shiela was happier! She could do whatever she wanted to.”

She takes a bath and changes into a pavadai. She remembers her childhood days when she used to make footprints of lord Krishna all over the house. She does that in her newly married house too. She makes payasam. She cooks a good lunch. She waits for Anand. He doesn’t turn up. She eats and sleeps.

It is four in the evening. The door bell rings.

She opens. It is Anand.

“Hi darling. Have you been sleeping?” He asks her.

She smiles. “Yes honey” She says as she adjusts the pavadai which had got distorted in sleep.

“You look beautiful. So does the house.” – he says. She smiles tiredly. “Did you have lunch?” He asks.

“Yes. Yours is on the table” She says. He walks to the table. He eats and eats. He is happy about the good food.

Shiela switches the television on. It does not interest her, but she is watching. He is eating and she is watching. Nothing else is happening.

He finally finishes eating and walks to her. “Want to go out for a drive?” He asks.

“Yeah. In the evening. May be you could first have a bath” She suggests.

“I am sorry for what happened in the morning darling.” He says to her. “You know, Ive been busy this week and the party tired me out. You know I dint mean it right?…” He says.

She smiles. He goes off.

People fight. But when one tries to put a genuine effort to make up, it looks beautiful. Life suddenly looks more optimistic. Shiela is again happy about it.

They both go out for a dinner that night. The morning to evening experience does not affect the night. They enjoy the dinner, count the stars and walk on the sands of the beach.  They drive and drive and drive all night. Talk everything from boss to ambition to life to philosophy. They talk till her make-up dries. And finally come home in the early hours of morning.


Another Monday morning waiting for both of them.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Campus Blues

This blog is the result of a funny conversation with a friend.

It is eight in the night. I am walking back to my hostel after some hair-oil-and-bread-crumbs shopping. I am poorly dressed and taking rescue in the anonymity of the dark night. The road is poorly lit. I think the dim tube lights separated by extra large spaces filled with bushes were specifically designed so for the merit of the large number of couples sitting on the road divider and doing whatsoever. I don’t care about what they do. Talk or further enhanced forms of romance. Whatever. All I care about is that they look up to me and wait for me to walk by them impatiently to resume the activity they were busily engrossed in. And unfortunately, there is an old couple walking in front of me. The old man has been a professor in my first year and they walk as though the road is one in the back yard of their bungalow at a pace which is extraordinarily slow. They fill the space between them with an aura of silence which makes the sound of my heels awkwardly loud.

Life on a small campus with little number of girls can be painful. This evidence is little, trust me!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


It was warm that afternoon in October. I could smell a coat of sunscreen and moisturizer on me. The chiffon fabric on me was not comfortable for the weather. I was on one side of a heavily crowded road. My mother was still wondering if she had to wait till I crossed the road. She drives me almost everywhere. She also offered to help me cross the road. I refused. She finally made her mind to drive away. I felt free for a second. But my eyes were back on the flowing stream of cars that I had to navigate across.

I stood for almost ten minutes. I wanted to go to a book stall that was just about a hundred feet away from me on the other side of this never ending fleet. The road was neatly partitioned into half with one half escalating as a fly over. A well defined concrete pavement separated the two.  I decided to walk onto the pavement and then cross the other half of the traffic stream. As I almost neared the pavement, I could not sense what happened to me. For a few seconds, everything around me was dark. A few sounds and a couple of nervous screeches is all that fell over my ears. My hand hit against the divider and I could sense pain in a few seconds.  Blood was wetting my dupatta. My eyes moistened with tears. I felt really bad.

I saw a man emerge from his new car which was on temporary registration. He had not even cut the ribbon of it. The mighty H of Honda was scintillating its bonnet.  He was dressed in a grayish trouser with a blue formal shirt. He looked handsome through my glistened eyes. He walked down to me nervously and said—

“I am sorry Ma’am. I could not make up my mind whether to use the flyover. ” I could hear shrieking horns by then. “I will drive you to your destination. Please Ma’am. Let us get out of here.” He said. I looked blank in anger. I was still on the road and the pain was increasing. May be I had to call my dad for help. But this man was no where sensing the anger in my eyes. The traffic was getting congested, and I was standing fine by then. I felt I could help myself to a clinic or home. “Well, here is my identity card.” He said flashing a card across me in a hurry. “I am a doctor. Apollo Hospitals. You could trust me with a ride.” He said and smiled trying to be confident. By then, I really wanted to get out of the place. Every one looking at me with a so-sad-she-was-hit look was the most uncomfortable thing I could think of. I said yes. I got into his car as he drove it over the flyover. One of the longest in the city. I was still in pain. The traffic cleared out and I felt better.

He dint say a word. He was really nervous. I was also nervous to death. I have never been in the car of a stranger. Further, I was alone. I carefully summed up the courage to look at my dripping hand. It did wet his new car. He must have felt bad for it. I tried wrapping the wound with my dupatta to protect the stranger’s car from being tainted by a girl’s blood. I was pale in shock. The flyover was too long that day. It ran across the city’s biggest shopping malls, cinema halls, jewelers and what not! It finally ended. The guy indicated a left, drove aside a less densely populated place and switched the engine off. He dint say a word. He opened the dickey and hurriedly rushed out of the car. I got down too. It was difficult for me to stand. He paused on the mining activity he was doing back there, and instructed me in gestures to be seated in his car. I did it. He was in some kind of a hurry. What the hell was this man doing? I was not supposed to be here. I should have asked my mother to drop me off at the shop. What the hell happens to me every time I get arrogant to her feelings?

“One second Ma’am.” He says as he suddenly opens the rear door and reclines my seat. I try getting support onto my spine but fall to the back rest in pain.

“Let me get some first aid for you.” He gets back to the driver’s seat. He quickly covers himself with a white towel and gets some cotton chunks in hand from the establishment he landed in the rear seat. I feel drowsy to the blood loss. I say “Well, that’s alright. I am fine. You could drop me off; I will take care of myself.” I was curt in the way I said it.

“I will surely do that.” He says and smiles. “Stretch your hand first. I am a qualified doctor. I promise I will do you no harm.” He says and jerks my hand to position in authority. What gives doctors this authority over us? They can do anything like pulling your hand or looking into your eyes without asking you. I turned my face away in pain. He was nothing like gentle. He scrubbed my hand with those miniature bits of cotton wildly. I nearly fainted in pain. I jerked the hand off from his custody and yelled – “Just leave it now. I don’t need help.” I could feel tears in my eyes. It is probably the first time I did before a stranger. He was still smiling. He was no more nervous and I was all the more.

“I am sorry.” I said regaining myself. “It was really painful, so…” I blurted a semi-finished statement.

“I should.” He said. “I am sorry I caused you the pain. I am not-so conversant with the driving routes in Hyderabad. I’ve not been here lately. I really dint know if I had to take the flyover to jubilee hills.” He said. He carefully removed the bangle I was wearing on my hand and gave it to me. He made me stretch the hand twice to ensure there was no fracture. He was then bandaging my hand with white gauze while he was talking. It was still paining but I had to be attentive to his speech. “I did my schooling here. I later moved to Pondicherry to do my medicine. I went on to do a Masters in Neurology in the States. I came back to be my parents medical practitioner for a while. It is after about seven years that I am driving on these roads in Hyderabad. It seems but-natural I bump into girls like you” He narrated his autobiography. “By the way, I am Dr. Anand Vishwanath, a shot of tetanus and you will be fine!” He said, as I looked at the hand on which red was replaced by white. I dint know what I had to say. Courtesies were not defined for such moments.

“Thanks a lot for the help” I said, as I summoned the hand bag and prepared to leave.

“No no. Wait. I will drop you off where I knocked you down. How will you go home? Do you want me to call someone?” He asked. “No I think…” And he was already adjusting his seat belt and starting his engine. “No. They will get nervous. I can go myself.” I said. “I am anyways late for the day. I could offer dropping you home.” He said. “No thanks” I replied as he was getting into the main track of traffic.

“So, what do you do?” He asked me. “Engineering final year.” I said.

 “Engineering! Wow!” “So how come here at this time? Not at college today?” He asked me.

“I came to buy for myself a few books. I don’t study here. I am here for vacations.” I said.

“Which college?” He asked me. “Indian Institute of Technology.” I said.

“Wow!” His statements were excessively wowed. ” That reminds me something. I was great at math. My parents believed I would end up being an IITian. Those thirty five and forty five rank types. They even wanted me to. I could have done it.” He said. “But here I am a doctor. And now struggling for a MBA in India” He said pushing into the fourth gear and accelerating.

“MBA?” I said. I was here looking for an MBA which would give me a fat pocket. But this guy was already driving an Accord. He was consulting as a neurologist at Apollo which means money. And why the hell does he need a MBA?

“I don’t know how it works for these IIMs and ISBs in India. It has been nearly nine years since I came third in the JIPMER entrance exam.” He said. “I am again wanting that experience of cracking a national level exam in India come back to me. It is like running a marathon of forty kilometers or doing five hundred push-ups which say back to you – hey, you are still young dude!” I smile. People write competitive exams for the kick of succeeding in them. Weird. I was silent for a while.

“It looks to me you in the MBA race too young woman. Am I right?” He asked me. Is MBA or CAT written all over my face? How could this guy guess I wanted to do an MBA? And what is this calling me young woman. It was funny. I smiled over it.

“Yes. That was a smart guess. And here is Walden. I’ll get off here.” I said.

 “Want to go back to Walden?” he asked. “I advice you don’t. I’ll give you some pain killers. Take one before you leave for home. I could home deliver books if you want” he said. I smiled finally. I felt I could pardon him for what he did to me. The pain felt better.  I said bye to him and found myself a way to get home.

I was still wondering, what is this whole MBA craze about? Our country needs doctors more than managers. And the fever doesn’t even spare doctors?  

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fan Fiction : Five Point Someone

The story nears an end. Alok and Hari find jobs while Ryan is still an unemployed Indian citizen. They flock at Sasi’s. Retrospection is the mood of the wind.

“Ryan, we got screwed man. What did we do these four years?” Alok said in despair. A drop of sweat was tripping off his fore head onto the table. It was balancing itself on an end of the curvature of his eyebrow which was raised by a centi meter generating ridges over his fore head that looked like lines in a notebook in which I learnt to write cursive. The reds and blues were not there. They would have looked ugly on his face. “There was so much that lay before us a couple of years ago. Why did we choose this way? Why did we end up something like this?”

“Screw it! The argument takes us no where.” I said. I said it out of a discomfort his questions caused to me. Some hurting conscious that told me things could have been different if not better, had I thought a little differently about them. I was tempted into guessing the end points of all those alternate paths, evaluating them by their returns and ranking the path I have selected. “Let us get to the parathas. The butter melts fast in summers creating a pool on them quickly.” I said, as though it was the only thing on my mind.

“No Hari. Fatso is right. It is time to retrospect. What he asks is sense dude. Let us look into it this way.” Ryan got started. My intervention dint rescue the conversation from tipping of the edge of a mountain on which it carefully sustained into a valley of unending enigma which gets worse every time we invest into such conversations. The parathas seemed to be the only rescue to me now. The silent spectator in me took over.

“We rewind the play to fatso’s tenth class” Ryan says noticing my inattention. This guy wants every one with him. “Fatso mugs physics, mathematics and chemistry”

“We also had Biology in our tenth” Now this has to be from Alok!

“Yeah fatso. Okay. Physics, Chemistry, Biology and mathematics. But the point is that fatso doesn’t really enjoy doing all that he is doing. But his friends and parents tell him it is a crucial year and results of the boards determine his future. So, he looks at it like a problem which has to be cracked.”

“Yeah Ryan. But what the hell are you getting to?”

“Listen on. Then fatso gets great marks in his boards…”

“Yeah a ninety four” Alok announces proudly. He looks around with a brief smile.

“Okay a ninety four, and he thinks his problem is solved. But then the twelfth class boards. And the story repeats. That just means the solution fatso thought he had attained was a mirage and the problem still existed. Right?”

“Yeah. So?” The statements Ryan needed for continuing his saga were getting briefer from me. The parathas engaged my jaws better and deserved higher priority.

“So, fatso was deceived. But he pulled himself into it again and did the same slogging again, believing that after the IIT – JEE, the miracle would actually happen. This time the solution he applied to the problem would actually solve it once and for all.”

There was silence now. It was a brief pause in which Ryan waited for an acknowledgement, but chose to go ahead when he got none.

“But the problem was not solved this time either. This increased his frustration. He was deceived every time he tried to solve it. So instead, in his engineering he chose not to solve it. He chose to leave it as a problem. And fatso ends up here being a five point someone.”

“We all know that Ryan. There was no need for a rewind replay action here.” I knew Ryan had more to say, and displays of my frustration pushed him towards the end faster. My indifference was a veiled form of my curiosity.

“But nothing really went wrong with what fatso did in his engineering. It was just a consequence of what fatso thought and did earlier. It was a result of his ignorance of the fact that the problem was in an ever appearing infinity loop.” Ryan had this excellent way of exemplifying things and fatso was the victim.

“ It all started when fatso thought in his tenth class that a problem appeared and it had to be solved.”

“Ofcourse Ryan! Now you don’t tell us that problems need not be solved.” That was me!

“Yeah! Here you get it from me now Hari! I don’t say problems need not be solved. They should. Rather, they must. But they must be solved such that the solution used works every time the problem arises, and infact gets better every time it is run on a problem.”

“What?” I say. I indefinitely pause on my chewing while I say it. The conversation sucks me into it.

“You get it right. Solutions we seek should be of the nature that can be run over problems that keep coming up in the future and should more importantly get better every time they are run” The repetition was for our understanding. We needed it. “Fatso looked for a solution which solved his problem for the tenth class boards. He slogged despite the fact that he hated it. The solution did work, but it worked only once. He tried the same solution again, but it dint get better this time, however it also did a fair work for his twelfth class. But the third time, in engineering, the evolutionary process eliminated the poor. His solution failed to evolve, so it died out.” Ryan said. So, here was Darwin resurrected in Ryan. “So, now you get it? Solutions have to be good and should evolve with the problems they solve. They cannot be the kind of static rigid patterns we seek. ”

Now that was Ryan. Anything from him had to be good. But I had to give a fight to the argument.

“Hold hold. So what do you think is a form of this evolving solution shit you are giving us?”

“Simple! Fatso should have understood that he could not hate studying. He had to find ways in which he could like it. If he did that back in his tenth class, he would have got better at doing it in his twelfth and finally, he would have got to be an expert at it now. He would have known what he likes and how he should like things he does. This solution evolves. This sustains the evolutionary requirements of the system, hence saves itself from elimination. Fatso could have been a nine pointer without the dissatisfaction that muggu Kumar holds.” Ryan finally concluded.

Fatso sacrificed on the parathas feast and listened. He was delighted at the possibility of having been a nine pointer. And Ryan, as usual, sounded fancy. Screw the nine point GPA attainability that Ryan displays but the insight was a valuable one. Plucked off its feathers, it looked to be like the first sensible one from Ryan. Infact, it was one which changed the entire viewpoint from which I looked at problems. Afterall solving problems is life and to find better ways to solve them means better living. Better living may mean being a happy Five Point Someone!
The alarm rings in darkness. My watch is no longer working, it is now disturbing. It is not yet dawn, so why get out of bed? Why raise to work? Relax, there is more time, lots more of time and lots more. The hectic day out there would encounter a dashing scenario with my boss. Unending controversies. It has become more hectic after being transferred to the product marketing section in a company which has no sound product. The hilarious moments at work place no longer exist. Every smile is retaliated with a frosty noser. My patience in learning the art of admiring every trivial and unmarketable strategy of my Marketing Director is nearing a logical end. Always sitting under his nose and being viewed in the range of a narrow gap of his risen eyebrows and dropped spectacles has taken me another step towards my dream resignation. Every day begins with flipping the pages of an employment news paper, visiting web sites and hopefully checking the mail box with unending optimism to expect a thousand dollar offer from a leading multinational. Disappointment takes me off for a cup of coffee at the cafeteria.

However nothing happened today. It is quite calm. Not much that would have to take place has taken place. Some feeling of uniqueness and strangeness, but, still seemed normal. The feeling of having more time to rest was comforting. But the guilt in me forced me to rise and check the clock hung in the main room. Making way through the books, the hand bag on the floor which resembled a boozed cat in darkness, the desk which once used to rest books but now was more burdened with the so called cosmetics, I finally reached the clock. I was wondering how the corporate world has changed my life and killed my passions. Career has taken my life through many a pin curves and maneuvers. Suddenly the thoughts went blank. This clock also showed a time well past the time I had to be in my car driving to the place I call hell for myself.

Amidst all the confusion I was into, there was some peculiar noise. It took me a second to recollect that my colleague changed the ringing tone of my cell to one of the favorite rock numbers of his. Damn, it took me further ages to find my cell buried systematically under my pillow, bed sheet, bed?! Oops, it had probably slipped down through the narrow gap I leave between my bed and the wall to reassure that no crawling insects invade my bed, thanks to the unending fear and dislike I have towards lizards. Finally, I managed the cell into my hand and attended the call from Mano, my friend. I dint find a reason why he had to call this early in the morning.

Mano is now one of the most relevant living examples I would love to choose for my case study in office for understanding the market of westernized Indians residing in America. His outsourced job in India has evolved him into what I call half an American. He has changed not only in the outlook of his but also in the ‘inlook’ of his. I mean, he is no more the person he was by heart. After years of working on outsourced jobs in India, the best thing according to him that had happened to him is the transfer to his head office, here in Chicago. I suspect he has grown to be fascinated by the female voices that are heard across the phones and their images that flash on his computer screen. He tells me the miles of optical fibers are what he finally eliminated. I’m sure that was what made him forget Ammu, the girl whom he loved for her smile, hair, heart and not to forget the most beautiful eyes. This fair, tall, girl was admired for her long platted hair well below her hips which made her look awesome. Always dressed in cotton outfits, her innocence was probably the first thing any one would notice about her. Mano has totally forgotten his days of college when they spent time across the banks the a lake which are a part of the vast residential campus we had. He has totally forgotten her and more deeply the reasons he loved her for. He had forgotten the bare footed walk he loved to have with her on the dew filled grass. No surprise, he no longer pays attention to even respond to her mails on his mail box these days, leave alone the occasional phone calls once made. I remain as a silent spectator, sympathetic to Ammu. She still can’t forget him. She runs a Montessori school now. The last time I spoke to her was on the New Year eve, of course to wish her. My relations with my friends have been degrading in the past few years. Although I immediately blame the corporate world and work pressure for this, I feel guilty of being lazy enough to not even pick up the phone and dial a few numbers or message some friends on mail.

It dint take minutes for my mind to wander deep enough into the past when Mano spoke up briskly. I alerted myself to listen. There was a feeling of caution radiantly visible in his tone. I had to listen. There was something serious he wanted to convey.

“..Good Morning Hema, well I don’t know if I should call this morning for us. Here I have a piece of information for you. Please listen cautiously, but don’t panic. There is the most unusual and unexpected thing in the world that has happened today. The sunlight has not reached America this morning. This day does not have a sun rise for us. Scientists are trying to find out the reason behind this. They expect the occurrence of a space dust explosion which has released enough dust to envelope some parts of the earth making our atmosphere opaque. However the satellite images are still clear. There are several other theories which news channels are flashing across their tabs. So, everyone is advised not to go outdoors at any urgency either.”

He almost reported like an automated response system. It dint take much time for me to understand he was informing this to quite a few people. I was still half asleep. The effect of the late night working in office is leaving me with passive mornings. I was a bit more agile than normal, but not enough to face the most astonishing phenomenon of the world. After all this talking of Mano, finally I responded. I said- “What... Mano...”

Mano was really quick. I guess he was trying to find a rescuer in himself. He spoke even more briskly than he did all along. He quickly interrupted me.

“Sorry Hema. I am not in a situation to answer anything either. Please wait along and try to update yourself with the help of the buzzing news channels. Yeah, try to inform other friends of yours. Thank you and have a nice day mam.. oops Hema”

My mind went blank. What was happening? How could the world topsy-turvy in just a couple of hours I spent in deep sleep? This would have been the last thing any American would have expected this morning. Today was not April first either. Also, there were further more reasons why I had to convince myself that this was true. How could all this happen so instantaneously? My mind was clogged with thoughts for a while. I was still worrying about how my boss would react to the fact if I was cheated on such a improbable event even by chance. I just hoped I wouldn’t become a laughing stalk for any reason. For once the intellect in me advised me to get to my lap top and cheek something different from the standard client mails today. However the television remote, I least expected to find, was very much lying just below my feet. I found the electromagnetic signals easier to communicate with. That was probably the only part of electronics I still remember after doing my masters in business administration and working as a marketing executive of a leading consultancy, or a ‘cult comp’ as we called in the days at B School. I switched the television on. Sentimental Hindi serials were being telecasted. The television at home is most used by Vasanta, the only Indian maid servant of the entire Indian Community here in Lavelly Avenue Arcade, Chicago. Skimming through the channels, I heard a lot of familiar words of the language I had learnt to speak first but did not speak for long, my mother tongue, Hindi. I was to find a news channel. Finally I immigrated into one. I listened cautiously to the well dressed American lady exactly like the one in the vegetable stores I visit once a week, the one at the tube rail enquiry counter, the one in the adjacent cabin at office, in fact everywhere in America. I wondered a million times if all American women were clones. I further wondered why Indian youth was so obsessed by these well presented lasses. I always found a feeling of artificiality in their presence, not just because I was a dark female and envied the lighter shades of their complexion. My male friends well argue that a woman never finds anything good in another woman. They tell me that jealousy is the first characteristic property of a female. I’m sure there would be many comments they would like to add in here, however, I had taken the initiative to write, so I am the only one who has a right to pen down my views here, at this point. I have a couple of American ladies as friends of mine who are few of the best people I have ever met. Further I have all due respect to America as a country. It is only the fact that Indians tend to worship their culture that hurts me.

The clock showed 11 A.M and the lights were on by necessity. On any other day I would have given my servant a good management lecture on management of power consumption, cost management, financial optimization and what not? I realize I have been talking and thinking a lot more than that I used to, after doing my course in management. Often I decide to isolate the strategies, planning, and all in all, management, from my personal life. However, they seem to have got injected into my genes after the course. Management has become everything in life for me. At that hour I was more deeply wondering how I got so much of time to think after ages of running, rushing, hurrying and what is called managing the organization. Every thing in my mind went back to those days when I studied in college. The story continued. All I knew from the tone of the news reporter was the fact that everything unusual that was happening in America at this instant was true. My mind no longer could keep tune with the flashing tabs, rolling trailers, and aggressive reporters on the screen. Thoughts rolled back into the
College days. It appeared that these thoughts inside me were kept under millions of kilo Newtons of force, hence were just submerged under the stressful, routine and exhaustive corporate life of mine. The darkness in America by now did raise a lot of havoc in the country. The television telecasted almost everything that was happening in my virtual absence from this world. I continued to live past the laws of time in my under graduation campus.