Today morning I had a panic attack. I was done with packing for the last leg of the journey, and suddenly realized that my id-card (in this case, the PAN card), was not where it should be, that is, with the return ticket. I looked around trying to rack my brain as to where it could be hidden That is the one problem with people who are well organised (like me, of course). You are so much in the habit of putting things away exactly where they ought to be that when anything goes missing you are baffled and clueless as to where to look for the missing object.
My first impulse was to walk over to my gracious hostess, who is also a much admired fellow blogger, and share my panic with her. But I rightly realized that would do no good at all. How would she know where my PAN card could be?! So instead, I racked my brain some more, when it came upon me in a flash. Of course it would be with the ticket that started this whole journey. Sure enough it was.
Now, wait a minute!
Why am I talking about the ‘last leg’ of the trip and ‘return’ tickets? That’s not how travel stories go, or blogs about them for that matter. They usually start right at the beginning and move towards the end. But then let me ask the question I am
famous notorious for. “Says who??” I mean, why the heck should everything start at the beginning and move towards the end? Catch Shail doing what everybody else does anyways. So, as of now, the end is what you get first with the beginning coming later or wherever.
Today morning, I bid adieu to my gracious hostess cum blogger friend, and her wonderful children, after having spent a lovely week with them. Can you guess who this blogger friend is? Many of you already know who I am talking about. If not, this picture of myself with Gabbar Singh and Miss Mutt should reveal all.
Here is one of Sher Khan all by himself; he refused to pose with me. Now, that I must say is a cat with an attitude!
Thank you dear blogger friend for the warmth with which I was received and looked after, the fine food and the affection showered. I enjoyed every minute of my stay with you, your children and of course your cho chweet pets! It made my day (or should that be week?) to have met you and spent time with you.
I have now flown back home achoo-ing all the way. Yup, I have a severe cold and infected throat. But what does that matter when Luci received me thus?!
So see you all on the other side of the achoo-s and sore throat (and also a mild temperature) which is when I shall relate the rest of the story of a bloggers meet with a difference.
As I bustle through my daily life, quiet conversations with you play themselves out in the stillness of my mind. Whether kneading dough, taking clothes out of the dryer, grinding spices, or doing dishes, we talk of this and that, and everything else. They are dialogues we could have had for real, but which now take place only in the shrouded corners of my mind where imagination reigns supreme. Eerie silence, cold as frost, has filled the gaps left by words that once flowed freely between us. These imaginary exchanges are what shield me from the ice, keep me warm.
Sometimes when you are feeling down it is uplifting to read the nice things people have said about you. Yes, I have one such collection of ‘testimonials’ from fellow bloggers of Yahoo! 360. I took my baby steps in blogging at Yahoo and testimonials were part of the blogging scene there. Bloggers could write down what they wanted to say (good things of course) about other bloggers in a limited number of words, and if that was accepted by the person it was meant for, it showed up on their page. The ones I received came between the years 2006-2008.
I moved from Yahoo to Sulekha and then moved again to settle at my self-hosted blog Shail’s Nest by February 2008. I did not forget to painstakingly compile each of those virtual citations I received, just in time too in fact, considering that Yahoo as a blogging platform, flipped over and breathed its last soon after. I am glad I managed to do that, for now I can go back, read them all and marvel at the appreciation rained on me. I certainly don’t agree with all of what is said, but then I don’t have to. It is how others saw me; I simply accepted their views as theirs. In fact that is exactly what makes it amazing and a humbling experience for me.
So here goes, in alphabetical order:
I am not sure how many of them still think the way they do. If any of you have changed your mind, please let me know. If anyone wants their testimonial removed, please leave a comment and I will do so. By posting this I am also hoping to find some of those who I have lost contact with. Dayze, where are you? Carl, Sneha, Priya, Aadishpa, Mercy, Ishrah… all of you are remembered. I hope life is treating you all to the best of bests.
Thank you ALL for the memories and the kind words.
I wake up late. It is Sunday after all. As I open the bedroom door, my thoughts are solely about the cuppa that will shortly be in my hands. Yup, without imbibing the elixir that uplifts, my day can never ever have a start. I am listless and hopeless too, literally balking at the day ahead until and unless the system is appeased with the brew that cheers, chai.
As soon as I step outside the bedroom, Luci who has been waiting patiently jumps up to greet me. That peps me up for a while. It is amazing how dogs make you feel by their enthusiasm on seeing you. My face lights up in joy, and I chirrup to her, my lethargy forgotten for the moment. Strange indeed are the ways of showing affection. In Bollywood they break into a song and do calisthenics. Luci on the other hand shows hers by jumping up and trying to topple me over. If she can, she packs in a few nips too.
I make it half way down the stairs and then sit down to have a serious cuddling session with Luci, who is still excited about the fact that I have survived the gruelling sleep session at night and am back with her in one piece. That is when I look down and notice that the sitting room looks all spruced up. Wow, someone’s been doing some cleaning up. No prizes though for guessing who has been at it with broom and duster. Obviously it is not I because I have only just woken up. It certainly is not Luci either. Her job is to litter the room as much as possible and thus keep her ‘slaves’ in shape, not that it is helping any in my case.
Anyways, that leaves the L & M as the only choice. It is indeed he who has been up, with the lark, and been quite the busybody. There is a stack of ironed shirts and trousers on the dining chair to prove how industrious he has been. Luci’s bowl has milk in it though she herself has forborne to touch it. Oh man! I think to myself, the guy is giving me a complex (Sunday after Sunday) and me a homemaker too. Why can’t he emulate others and laze on a Sunday and thereby let me laze too?
What I need is an excuse, a nice shiny, smooth, solidly strong and plausible excuse to not only get myself out of work but also feel good about it. Tall order, I know. Tea, tea! scream my cells. No use attempting thought before downing the cuppa.
“Good morning! Good morning!” says the Colonel on espying me dragging myself down the stairs with a prancing Luci in tow. She rushes to Dad wagging her tail furiously (where do Labradors get the energy for non-stop tail wagging?) as if to say, ‘Look, look! She is here safe and sound. The Night Monsters didn’t gobble her up as I had feared. Phew!’
“Chai?” I ask him.
“Of course, chai!” says the L & M who has already downed one and is now looking for his second innings.
Chai is made and had. I wait patiently for it to course through my system and throw up that much needed excuse for shirking work today. Without fail (what did I tell you?) chai comes up with an infallible and safe one. It will suffice for today.
“Darling!” I say in dulcet tones, “I have something to write today. Can we get biriyani from outside for lunch?”
“Why not?!” says the L & M. “I will go at around 11-30 a.m. and get it.”
I sigh with relief. There will be enough left over for dinner as well. My day is saved. It is the perfect pretext to not put the clothes for wash or do any other work around the house. You see how easy it is? Blogging has immense benefits. It is the best excuse to get out of the day’s work. Try it and experience the results for yourselves.
Disclaimer: The author is not answerable to any untoward incidents that may happen or resultant damages thereof from trying out the suggestion prescribed above.
The prompt: “Write an excuse for not working today”