Friday, July 08, 2005

Not my fault

Sometimes, I feel that I have a hard life. Yes, a really hard life.

I have to sleep on the floor. Well, not exactly. I sleep on a Dunlop mattress on the ground. But if I hurt my back by sliding off the mattress onto the floor during the night, it is not my fault, is it?

I have to wake up at the unearthly hour of 9 AM. I mean, after staying up late to watch that movie on HBO at 2 AM, and then flipping endlessly through channels on the telly, and surfing the Internet aimlessly, I dropped off to sleep at 4.30 AM. Ofcourse, I should have fallen asleep at 12.30 when I did decide to, but if I cannot sleep due to the lack of exercise and mental stimulation, and end up having Insomnia, that is not my fault is it?

I have to brush my soft, delicate, bleeding gums, and my sufficiently yellowed teeth with an abomination of a green speckled toothpaste from a leading Multinational Consumer goods company, that is so heavily involved with social causes, and upliftment of its executives, and the fattening of it's bottom line, that somewhere down the line, they deluded themselves into believing that they could fashion an aeroplane from toothpaste tubes. And then fill them with toothpaste, that flowers into foam the moment it hits saliva. I have to make use of a hard toothbrush to ensure that the white toothpaste refuse is laced liberally with flecks of blood from my weakening gums. But if I wanted to eat those gooey choclates, with icecream after indulging in a completely heavenly dinner of chicken curry and rice, that is not my fault, is it?

And I have to tone down the shower to make sure it is luke warm, because hot water scalds my sensitive skin. And cold water chills me to the bone. Because of this, it usually takes me between 30 and 40 minutes to prepare, begin, and complete my shower. Ofcourse, if it takes me over 15 minutes to work out what temperature I should be having a bath at, every day, it is not my fault, is it?

I have to make do with a mug of Complan/Tea/Coffee, or a bowl of Kellogg's wheat corn flakes or frosties, and then have a breakfast of either ham and eggs with toast, or probably just an omlette if I'm in a hurry. But then, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it's not like me to ignore that tenet in a hurry.And because of this, if I am running late for work, then that is not my fault, is it?

I then have to work on a 1 year old Centrino laptop with just 512 MB RAM, and a 14" Screen and a DVD Player. It is very difficult for me to concentrate on work with my screen going off, my computer moving slowly, and my internet downloads not holding up. I would have been able to dispose of my work much better if I had a really state-of-the-art laptop. Ofcourse, the fact that I dont deserve it, is not my fault, is it?

I sit at a table that is less than 18" square, and on a stool that just about supports all that is needed to be supported. I dont have any back support and my back is bent and hunched, and doubled over from the effort of sitting so uncomfortably. Ofcourse, If I am unable to sit upright, and work on straightening my back, it is not my fault, is it?

I then proceed to eat lunch at my smallish kitchen that doubles as a dining room. Very cramped, if you ask me. A simple lunch of 4 Rotis, Bhaji, Dal, Chawal, and some raitha. and thats on Monday and Tuesday. On wednesdays, we have meat. On thursdays, we have an exotic vegetable. And friday, saturday and sunday, we usually have meat again. I try to maintain a balanced diet the best I can. But if I cannot keep off the fried papads, the oily achars, and the ghee, and the buttered breads, and the potatoes, and the egg yolks, it is not my fault, is it?

I usually put in a few hours of light work between lunch and closing time. But, if I have not slept last night, and I need to catch up on my sleep, it is not my fault, is it?

I am a net-savvy individual, and I feel it is imperative for me to keep up with the happenings worldwide through the Internet. So, I make it a point to check all my yahoogroups, my e-zines, my joke mail, my numerous email addresses, and I also make it a point to surf the Internet for about 3-4 hours during office hours so I can get a balanced view of the world - by day AND by night. And for this conscientous effort of keeping myself in touch with worldwide events, if I let my work slip slightly, it is not my fault, is it?

I work for my father, and our business is exporting garments. I sometimes wonder, if I would be happier working for someone else, rather than stay and watch (and someday, help) a business grow, mature, and flourish and rather than work my way through to financial success, I would rather aspire to a life of moderation, with a small 3 BHK flat in Thane (preferably Ghodbunder or Manpada), and a Maruti 800 (low on maintenance, you see), and probably just one child. Ofcourse, if I also want the goods things in life, and I cannot tolerate a superior authority pushing me around, and I am averse to risk taking, physical labour, and extension of my mental faculties, it is not my fault, is it?

I like new cars, and I especially liked the Hyundai Getz. So we bought one. Ofcourse, we needed to employ a driver, preferably one who can drive a Hyundai and can work late. So we employed one. And we have now fired that driver, I now use public transport. Ofcourse, if I do not know how to drive, and have never bothered to learn, it is not my fault, is it?

And finally, when I am tired of working so hard, I want to go out and party with whatever friend will come out with me. And I want to go to Enigma, at the Marriot, and I want to go to Insomnia at the Taj, and I want to go to the special Club section at all the new discos that are opening across town. But I end up going to 80's, and Cafe Coffee Day and Barista, and Independence Cafe. And if I wish to drown my inadequacy in a few drinks, and use my credit card to wipe my bills away, it is not my fault, is it?

And when i look at my life, and when I pass by the slums that are on the outskirts of our upmarket colony (nowadays they call these monstrosities, townships), I look at the children playing around with rabid stray dogs, in the gutters, and I see the women cooking their midday meal (and probably their only meal) on a open stove, with the rain playing spoilsport around them, and the menfolk, after a gruelling day in the damp, hot, humid conditions, having a cold bath at the neighbourhood handpump, I feel that maybe, if I could have had a little more money to spare, and had I been slightly better looking, and if I were in the films, as an actor, maybe I could have championed their cause. Ofcourse, if I am balding, and potbellied, and I cannot earn enough money to support even my own vices, it is not my fault, is it?

Yes, I know. It's a hard life. But I am working at making it better.



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