Rat – a – tat… followed by a prolonged creak. I found myself waking up to the sounds of the ceiling fan slowing to a standstill. Beads of perspiration were already beginning to form on my forehead, when the sound of the fan creaking to a halt was replaced by the ominous droning of the friendly neighborhood mosquitoes. My final vestiges of hope of salvaging any sleep that night were thrown out of the window by a sudden flurry of thoughts that came rushing into my head. Disjointed faces, facts and figures flashed through my head in organized pandemonium, with the sole purpose being not letting me get back to my dreams. I opened my eyes with a start and as if on cue the commotion inside my head ceased.
With the accuracy of an arrow leaving a champion archer’s bow my hand shot out and found my Nokia 2210. It was 2:05 am and there were no new messages or missed calls. I sat up trying to organize my thoughts and cursing everyone from the Chief Minister sleeping peacefully in his AC room to our watchman snoring on his string cot in the open air. Just as I decided that going back to sleep was no longer an option Mr. Murphy and his wretched law reared their ugly heads and the fan creaked back to life. I plopped back on to the bed relieved but unable to close my eyes. Five minutes of struggling and a host of unnecessary thoughts later I sat up again. Instinct took me to the edge of the sink and I switched on the lights, while avoiding looking into the mirror, lest I scare myself. Adjusting to the light forcing its way into my eyes I opened the tap and splashed water on my face. A few drops left my hands and landed on the mirror.
I looked up unwittingly to see the drops racing each other to the bottom of the mirror, paths crisscrossing at times. At these junctures the drops stopped as if to exchange friendly banter before hurrying off along parallel paths to oblivion. Each meeting seemed to take place in a time warp, the intersecting drops too engrossed in each other to notice the others hurrying past them.. Some seemed to defy this rule as they charted the rest of the course clinging on to each other. A solitary drop slowly made its way down wondering what all the excitement around it was about. I couldn’t help smiling as the glaring similarity with human lives stuck me in the face.
I was jolted out of my reverie by the sound of my father’s bed squeaking as he shifted in his sleep. Hmmm… so here I was up and about at 2:15 in the morning, with nothing to do in particular. A lemon tea seemed like the perfect way to start the rest of my day. The first and possibly the worst of the half a dozen lemon teas I have during the course of my day. The rest are in the company of friends, in the lobby of my office building ogling at pretty faces and cracking raunchy (at times witty) jokes. Emboldened at times by the sense of being in a group I sing “Duniya Hasseno Ka Mela… Mele Mein Yeh Dil Akela”. Akela (alone/single) and Sumod (great happiness) are the words which define me best. Since my parents couldn’t possibly have named me Akela, without having the rest of the world look down at me in pity, I am called Sumod. Till now these words have only made sense as a pair. I am still waiting for someone to come along and change it (not desperately though). It’s scary at times when I think that Sumod might lose Akela and have nothing great to show for it.
I smiled once more thinking about the water droplets, feeling increasingly proud (ok a tad haughty) about my power of observation and interpretation.
I started looking for the lighter or a matchbox in order to start the fire on the stove. After 15 minutes of frantic but unsuccessful searching I could practically feel the frustration starting to seep in. If necessity is the mother of invention then frustration must be the father. I began to think about innovative ideas to light a fire. I came up with a few absolutely brilliant ones. Can’t really tell you at the moment what they are though. I will probably let you know once I get them patented. I was about to put one of them to test when dad walked in (probably woken by the decibel level of my frantic search), and relieved me of the duty of making tea.
As the tea was boiling and the water level rising I began to think about my rising frustration level. I realized that I was frustrated about quite a few things. From my love life (actually about the lack of any love in my life) to my job, everything at that moment seemed frustrating in one way or the other.
For now I am “optimized” (for lack of a better word) to being another Software Engineer. Like they say in Bangalore if you spit out of a moving vehicle it will probably land on a Software Engineer and in 3 out of 4 cases the person will be from ******* (Eeeew, gross. I am not going anywhere near that place. Hyderabad Rocks.). Not that I hate coding. Code is actually the love of my life (till now). But, I hardly seem to be moving on to writing new or better code. Growth in the software industry ironically and sadly so is indirectly proportional to the amount of coding one gets to do. Lethargy starts to set in, and once it gets a grip on your life, you are all but doomed (in my humble opinion). I think it’s time I did something about my directionless attempt at work. Various career options have been running through my mind. I have to narrow them down to 2 or 3 and then do some serious thinking.
Anyway that was enough of contemplation and frustration for one morning. I have better things to do now. Lemon tea anyone???
P.S: Those who are thinking that this guy deserves to be a boring philosopher. Yes, am actively considering that option too.