The following post is an old entry from my 2008 diary. Life was so painful back then.
Note: All people, places and incidents mentioned and described are factual. Any resemblance to any person living and reading this is deliberate.
Time & Date: 11:30 AM 05th May 2008
Venue: HSR Layout, Bangalore.
I yawn in my bed, my roommate sprawled on his bed at four arms length. I pick up my cell phone and look at the time, darn time doesn’t run when I want it to. The dim screen of my broken cell phone rudely gestures 8:00. I pull the blanket over myself and try to sleep. My legs protrude out; as if I were 8 feet tall. I curl up my legs and try to sleep again. The fan stops making any noise all of a sudden reminding me that it’s 8:00. I pray in vain, in silent tears that there would be a miracle and the fan would make its familiar 40 dB of whirring, but alas, it’s never happened before. I turn around in my bed, being careful not to fall down. The width of my bed restricts me from performing any other act on it other then perhaps rigidly sleeping out the night. My roommate grumbles in his sleep, “Put on the fan, you ******”. I perform a Kumbhakaran act, with snores to prove I’m fast asleep for the next 30 years… He rolls over and almost falls off. Realizing what just happened, he stands up straight, fully awake – wide eyed, makes sure I dint see him in his gymnastic act and goes back to the comfort of the hard wooded no pillow bed.
Living in the basement of a posh HSR villa doesn’t revoke your destiny to something more meaningful. I get up tired of scrutinizing the ceiling for flaking paint and cobwebs. My morning has just begun. My hopes of having a hot water bath diminish rapidly, I lazily pick my soap, towel and clothes and walk towards the bathroom making sure to carefully navigate around my roommate’s computer kept on the floor. The bathroom happens to be on the outside of the room, and it’s difficult navigating your way amidst broken furniture, two cars and three bikes parked outside. I reach the bathroom safely, without any nails piercing my feet for the umpteenth time, mission accomplished. I smile at my skills and resourcefulness of having reached the bathroom using the broken sofa and the metal drum. The smile fades as soon as I open the broken bathroom door. Half a million mosquitoes swarm out in haste perhaps realizing a human presence breaking their deep slumber or due to the creaking noise of the hanging hinges of the door. I step into the dark, relying on my memory of the bathroom’s structure since the only exhaust window is boarded up to prevent lizards from coming in. I hang my clothes and towel on the door handle and grope around the walls towards the tap. I successfully reach the tap without running my hands and feet over any slimy creatures. Nice day today. I turn on the tap and smile knowingly. After 3 buckets of muddy water down the drain, does the water tank on top promise me some liquid that I was familiar with in Goa. Pure water without the Magnesium or Cobalt (asphalt included perhaps…) or even a gram of maybe Thorium, has become a far fetched reality for us. I look at the ceiling, even though it’s not visible in the dark, asking God “Why me??” He never answers. I silently fill the lone mug with water to the brim, hoping against hope that I don’t find another dead frog in it, and with all the courage needed to talk to my girlfriend’s father, I pour the freezing water over my shriveled body.
I quickly dry up, dusting my towel before I use it and proceed to bring in the Tiffin that supposedly carries our breakfast every morning. My roommate, with his afternoon shift another 4 hours away, sleeps idly on the rock hard pillow-less bed. Before getting my plate and spoons out, I make sure that the dreaded hasn’t happened with the non-descript breakfast yet. My hopes crash without making any noise. I grudgingly pick out the dead flies out of the ‘sambhar’, and throw them out of sight. I pray for their dead souls. They looked like a happy family to me. I write a yellow post-it slip with the familiar “Biologically Unsafe to Consume” statement and stick it on the metal container, lest my roommate in desperation attempts to devour its contents.
I slowly open the cupboard but the hinges give way and the resulting resounding thud of the door banging the floor pierces the noisy locality. My roommate jerks out of bed, rubs his eyes, looks at the cupboard door in my hand with stunned silence, and peacefully remarks “Oh… that? That came out yesterday evening. Keep it aside and don’t open the other.” I nod my head with disgraced silence and carefully rest the door next to the cupboard’s rusted sides. I then proceed to get my ironed clothes out and thank God for providing us electricity between 8.00 PM to 8.00 AM.
I open the only tiny window in the hope that sunlight will somehow flood the room. I then search for my shoes under the wooden pillow-less bed and then go on to search for my socks amidst the pile of newspapers, the computer, a cardboard box, three suitcases and two large duffel bags. I finally find them rolled up near the cardboard box that originally contained the CPU, but now acts as a storage bin for unwashed clothes. I check the time and shudder at the sight of the digits on the screen. I make my way out, remembering not to lock the door, although I don’t see how I would manage it without any knob, latch or keyholes in place.
I then begin my 45 minute journey, by bus, to office where life is, thank heavens, a billion times better!!