Monday, March 12, 2007

The little known joys of a weekend

Friday evening.

I'm inside the lift, on my way home from work. Along with me are three middle-aged firangs in business suits, from the office across the corridor. One of them is going on about a house-warming ceremony, drawing parallels across cultures. The guy he's talking to nods, apparently very interested. The third one wears glasses and stands too close to the door, head hung, lost in thought.

The lift stops. Mr. 3 almost steps out. The talkative guy restrains him, "No, not here. This is the third floor. Still three left."

He then turns to Noddy, "Statisticians need bodyguards, you know."

Laughter erupts. Mr.3 goes red in the face. I smile sympathetically at him.

I can so see this happening to me a few years from now.

*

Saturday morning.

The alarm clock wails. I smack it down with disdain, wake up and loll about in bed, staring at the ceiling, looking out the window, thinking about the long weekend stretching out lazily in front of me.

And then I go back to sleep again.

*

Sunday morning.

Nila kaigiradhu at 6 A.M. on the terrace. Harini, A. R. Rahman and my MP3 player.

Bliss.

*

Sunday afternoon.

Home-cooked lunch and then shooting the breeze with a friend.

Warm nostalgia.

*

Sunday evening.

The soft, furry feel of a brand-new tennis ball nestling in the hollow of my palms; a catch well taken.

Contentment.

*

Life is good.

25 comments:

Arundhathi said...

Ever made a list of things that you enjoy the most that come absolutely free ? Do let me know if you succeed in crossing 20

musafir said...

arundhathi

Now that's a list I should try compiling! Hmmm 20 you say? Let's see. Will give it a shot. Should be fun.

arundhathi said...

One of your photos titled 'Innocence' seems to beautifully capture a moment that comes 'absolutely free' ... you've got a real good eye!

musafir said...

arundhathi

It's a wonderul picture, isn't it? And yes, "absolutely free" in more than one sense!

They were having a lot of fun and it seemed a crime to capture them on camera. But then I got greedy :D ... as for the eye, I just get lucky whenever I have a camera in hand, which reminds me, I need to go shooting more often.

By the way, "seems to"? So it doesn't? Or does it?

Stallion said...

Sunday Night

Complaining like a school boy to go to office the next morning

Frustration

Anonymous said...

Why do i get the impression that you wrote this to push that down ?? Well !!

-MK

Stallion said...

Saturday Evening

Standing at the crease saying 'not out' after getting a mege edge outside off.

Thiruttu Gaaji

arundhathi said...

It looks so perfect that it almost 'seems' staged :-)

musafir said...

stallion

:-))

MK

Oh, you're just looking too much into things ... maybe it's just my way of not basking too much in the past. Or maybe I just had a wonderful weekend and had to write about it. Besides, if I wanted to push "that" down, I would use the option to feature just one post on my home page and not three.

I'm not prudish, if that's what you mean.

musafir said...

arundhathi

:-) ... thank you, thank you {bows}.

Anonymous said...

Hmm - prudish was never on my mind - lets say modesty ?? But somehow i found this post very uncharacteristic !! Well - maybe as u say i am looking too much into things !!

-MK

musafir said...

Modesty? Now, that's something I don't believe in. And you should know it :-)

And uncharacteristic? I've done similar posts before. Besides, I'm trying to write about everyday stuff (and yet not descend into the stupid), so this is as good a start as any :-) ... if it's uncharacteristic as in it's not melancholic, then I agree :-P

Anonymous said...

I'm tempted to say the last post wasn't meloncholic.And thats not a pattern ive noticed.I had to comment on the previous one,so here i go.

firstly What i dis-liked about the post;the detailing.Somewhere in the midst of all the little facts,the emotions went missing.Im not sure if a reader would be moved by it(irrespective of whether that was ur intent or not).It is impersonal and it wud have been impressive if it was written in first person.
U can write fiction and stil say "i" and vice-versa.Isn't it?

And what is it that loved about it?
The detailing,the way u describe everything creates a very genuine imagery in the reader's mind.Infact this has always been ur strength,be it story telling or writting.The way u narrate is impeccable.......I guess it is to do with ur "want to be a perfectionist" attitude.

I like the way u say everything and still leave a lot to the reader's imagination.

I like the choice of words in many places,like " amused by how natural it is to want without knowing."

Keep it coming :)

Anonymous said...

and yes,how could i miss this "Reality intrudes into the privacy of their physicality, pounding at the tenuous link between their heartbeats"

its a very "experiential" thing...i mite have been able to put this in words the way u have

The Soliloquist said...

Why were they little known ?

musafir said...

anonymous

Whoa some comment this is :-)

1) As for what you liked - Thanks for the feedback. Gives me something to think about. But in response, I don't think the emotions went missing and that the post is impersonal. Rather, I like to think I was aiming at an emotional plane different from that normally associated with such a post, emotions everyone knows already. The lack of a formal real-world situation was to create an emotional atmosphere that the two people are caught up in. It's ok if most don't (and I'm partly to blame for it), but then I'm sure the discerning reader will make out the emotional gravity that I've tried to suspend this post in. The poetry snippets should have helped, but as a writer, one can only take the horse to the water. And the decision to go for a third-person narrative was because it usually calls for a greater degree of skill than a first-person attempt and I wanted to see if I was upto it.

2) As for what you liked - Thanks :-). But I'm a far cry from "impeccable".

Thanks for the insightful comment -- appreciate it.

the soliloquist

"little known" because I have the weekends off in my new job, after nearly three years of working Saturdays.

Was waiting for someone to pick that up :-)

The Soliloquist said...

So an extra saturday brought all the knowledge that an ever-present sunday didnt... hmmm... saturday rocks !

Echo said...

Lovely post as usual,captures the essence of the weekend feeling(God knows I need one of those)

As an aside, I have realized that the best parts of the weekend are the friday and saturday evenings. For me atleast, the anticipation of "leisure time" gives me more pleasure than the official time allocated for leisure.

musafir said...

the soliloquist

Saturday does "rock" especially when you've been spending your Sundays shuttling home and back or washing clothes (household help is difficult to find) and catching up on sleep

echo

Now, now, weekedns are off limits for a few people. But then it will all pay off :-)

And yes, you're spot on. "the anticipation of "leisure time"" -- hear, hear.

That blog of yours needs an update badly.

The Soliloquist said...

yep... so does a holiday cos of a sudden bandh that makes a short weekend long... esp wen u hav booked tickets for home .. :-p

Read ur comment in catch22's blog... Uncanny, cos me too going through the same phase.. of finding contentment in routine... surprises me, cos I ve always been the first to squirm when things got stuck in a rut...

nothin to do with the post.. was jus flippin between your blog n mine.. dah.. must change my template again.. :-P

The Soliloquist said...

which field do you work in ?? jus curious.. noticed somethin in the comment u left in my blog...

musafir said...

the soliloquist

:-) ... agree about the chance long weekends.

Ah yes, that comment on Catch22's blog. Nice to see someone else empathise :-) ... I guess it's got to do with a lot of realizations coming together -- that there is no "perfect job" or "the number 1 job", that there is no one thing on this earth that one is born to do, that one could like doing a lot of things and be good at them and that a few of these things could be as inane as ironing clothes, that "here and now" holds more meaning than yesterday or tomorrow, that there is a kind of meditative peace in the everyday things that I do, that it's time I stopped dabbling and became serious about the things I like doing (blogging for one), and a lot of other little things that seem meaningful now that I seem to have reached an equilibrium state with the bigger questions in life. And more importantly, I've realized that in a broader sense, life and growing up is about confronting the monotony of routine. Some think of routine as a tyrant. Some find peace within its confines.

And yes, the colour combination on your template could do with a little fine tuning (in my opinion, that is :-) ... as for that comment I left on your blog, I had a feeling the part about the transistor (if I'm not wrong) might catch your attention (connecting with the target audience and all that ...). No, I'm not into VLSI :-). My first job (which I quit only recently) involved a little bit of soldering and testing the software I'd written on circuit boards. And I've blown my share of transistors and capacitors to know that the devil is in the details. For a living, I write embedded software for automotive applications, if you must know.

Anonymous said...

That comment cud have made a post by itself !! The 'no perfect job' thing too was good. I will tell u what my problems with a routine are - they leave you with an 'empty' feeling. Like - when you look back some 2-3 years down the line, u kind of have nothing much to remember !!(Is that a good thing or bad ?? Well that depends on the individual). I conciously try to avoid a pattern in small or big things i do - like for example 2 years ago when i started drinking, it was whisky, then i got bored with it and switched over to the milder Vodka, now i got bored with both and drink just beer !! :D :D But you may say that the routine was drinking - and only the stuff which i drank differed !!! Hmm ..Looking forward - life seems so scary . Imagine getting married, having kids - being accountable to the wife and so on !! Hmm - i guess sooner or later life wud get lost in a maze of bills,nappies,report cards, anniversary gifts and what not - and i'd better confront it :((

P.S - Bangladesh just won .. My prediction in the bar earlier in the evening came true !!! Ohh god - Mandira looks so sad :P :P

-MK

The Soliloquist said...

Thanks for spelling my thoughts out to me :-)


As for the transistor... Why am I so predictable ??? :-)

musafir said...

MK

I guess whether you end up with an "empty feeling" or not depends on how you craft your routine ... I make sure I indulge my interests everyday, besides the usual chores. That way I can look back and say, "Well, that was a year well lived!" We live in an age where ambition, achievement, efficiency and effectiveness are thought more highly of than contentment and the quality of the days you spend. So even if one wants to live peacefully, the world around you makes you think something's wrong with you. And about getting bored (whether it is with drinking or anything else), I find it happens when you choose an activity for its glamour than for the interest/appeal it genuinely holds for you.

And looking forward, the choice is simple -- fall into the rat race and get domesticated with the usual house-car-wife-kids-bank-balance routine or choose to live a different routine on your terms. Again the routine you pick is up to you :-)

the soliloquist

:-) ... apologies if that seemed like a cheap trick to pull off. The subconscious tends to hone in on what will be related to by the person who reads. Besides I did blow out transistors, so it's not like I was being sneaky. And I honestly don't know enough to call you predictable :-)