woke up at 6am. No point in getting u so early after a night of partying till late (my late bday celebrations were held mid week). sleep. get up, look at time - 9am! Help! some frnd trying to convince to stay home. makes sense, but dont want to do that. manage to get ready and about to leave for office in 15 mins, when realise maid is has started washing clothes. have to wait for her to finish. so wait. and wait. and wait!! manage to reach office only at 09.42am. late. have been late on 2nd also (rains causing traffic jam). great begininning. but thats it for the day right?
pick up a coffee to drive away the drowsiness. doest seem to make an indent anywhere. anyway.
go thru the mails, look at list of things to do and (as usual) spend some time thinking on where to begin. when-hey thats yesterdays mail! open and check. meeting with the MD at 6 pm today. great. not only am i sleepy and tired (have not managed to sleep much since saturday), but now have to attend this meeting. realisation strikes. Thank God I made it to office!
make it thru the day in a sleepwalk. person responsible for some work not present. so one project gets stuck. wonderful. delayed deadline.
4pm. decide enough is enough. cant afford to sleep in fron of the managing director and 2 more directors. go to loo, wash face. perk up. pick up re-inforcements (read coffee).
go to meeting. feeling better. but presentation (to be given by 4 diff ppl including me-and i had not seen the slides yet) is 100 (97 to be precise) slides long! Help! a 50 slide presentation takes upto 3 hrs.Sit for meeting stoically. call up USA for the telcon. line disturbance makes connectivity a problem. manage to get thru after 10 mins.
meeting begins. some miscommuniaction on the slides. wrong ones in USA. great. i can see the clock ticking. my body will manage to make it thru without a painkiller?
operational issues creep in till interrupted by MD. Thank you Lord...for someone with sense.
meeting proceeds. rain starts outside in 2 hrs. it strengthens. shakes the building to its core. u can hear it thru the well cushioned elite conference room. through the marble floors. through the silence of the A/C. through the glass panes. window curtains are open. my back to it. view of the river behind me, can see the eyes of the MD and the person opposite me frequently wandering there. the storm is getting ready for a long stay. u can hear it say so. this is a cherrapunji monsoon for Gujarat.
we continue. static on the line worsens, audibility decreases. we strain forward to hear each other. MD recieves a note. cuts everyone mid-sentence. too much rain. water logging everywhere. if we dont leave, well be left in office for the night. not a very nice thought. no food around. im hungry. meeting cancelled. MD offers to leave everyone home. fortunately (for him) drivers and admin ppl still around. cars arranged to drop everyone. look at my phone (kept at silent till now). missed calls from my dad. he always calls during meetings. and few frnds who hardly call. yeah meetings are the best times to call. Flat mate and me manage to get into the car of the VP Finance. leave with him. all roads blocked. car can barely make through the rest. my house in lower area. more water. 4 ways to reach it. go 3/4 way on 3 of them. hopes reducing. seems like will have to leg it. again. (FYI-a'bad roads are very dusty, and there is a lot of cattle around). 4th way is last hope.driver manages to go 1/2 way. leave the VP for pity. leg it. knee high water. shit.
reach home take immediate antiseptic bath.
tiffin wallah (my dinner source) could not make it. eat ommelette and maggi. console each other in the vague hope that the roads will remain blocked the next day if rain continues.so will have excuse to bunk work. message all ppl who called as to y i dint take call. now that bed is underneath sleep is elusive. read book. listen to music. chill out. manage to sleep at 2am.
6th August 2004-the follow up: (till 11am)
phone ringing. is it the alarm? does morning come so early? manage to open eyes. see it is 630am. dad. mumble. enthusiastic conversation from other end. clock ticks. 10 mins. oh are u sleeping? mumble. ok. bye. look at watch. 640. turn. look at window. clear sky. sleep.
alarm rings. seems too soon. wake up. look out. water receeded. damp roads. 'there has been no rain' we tell each other. needlessly.
get ready. got a cold. hurry maid. pick up bags. it starts POURING. has to. after all we we re about to leave. torrential rain. cant 'not' go now. totally prepared for the day. look in resignation at each other. sigh. leave.
get wet while trying to get a conveyance (auto). get into auto. take normal route. everything under water. take another route. almost there. i can see the building...one Km more.too much water. turn auto. take another route. thank god they made so many roads leading to the same place. push the guy to drive over more water. push him to take auto thru flooded office gates. am damned if i get too soaked in the morning. while sneezing.
reach office. rain continues. think of the evening ahead when home will beckon again. and so will rain. decide on buying a sleeping bag and canned food to store in office.