Friday, 18 May 2012


My BFSC (biggest fan severest critic) often walks into my office and turns his (rather large) nose up. "You think you are still in graduate school" he scolds. My colleague used to walk in and insist that we go to his office for meetings because mine was too dusty (his was always too warm for my taste but I am shy like that, don't like to complain).

For the past two years, I have slugged it out in this here office. Its large. >150 sq.ft. I bought two book shelves and a filing cabinet (which are full to the brim now of course). There are some built-in cabinets which I don't like to use (they look hateful, I swear). The office has two fans. I turn both of them on the second I step in, impossible otherwise.

I sit with my back to the windows. Which are large and right by a whole bunch of trees so there is the potential for things like fresh air, wind, bird-calls, occasional scares by monkeys, worms, and once, a big giant garden lizard with a long curly tail.

I am not organised with my paperwork. Which means I have exam papers and memos and letters and god knows what else piled everywhere. I made a resolution and try very hard to keep my desk marginally clear of stuff. Periodically putting away piles of things in various corners of the room.

But no one is impressed with my efforts. Its too little, and too less often. So I have continued on in this place always hoping that some little elf would come in and clean the place up during the night. Last month, I finally succumbed.

In my mind, the sequence is like this. Get an air-conditioner. Clean up the surfaces. Wipe the cleaned up surfaces everyday. Simple enough, I guess. I began at the beginning and applied for the stupid gadget. I had cleverly transferred money into the appropriate account in February, so that I could get the ac in summer.

Everything has taken longer than it ought to. But finally! Ecstasy! The unit showed up in my office day before yesterday. I had been frantically calling various agencies to get ready for installing the ac. My suggestions about getting ready a-priori fell on deaf years.

The engineering unit came (after about 10 phone calls) yesterday morning. From 9 am to 6 pm they sawed (with a hack-saw blade), drilled, cut, painted, plastered and left a 19X24in hole in the large window to my left. An antique look is provided by the slightly askew bit of ply painted blue that is next to the hole. Their other achievement has been to cover up my floor with sawdust and cement.

The electrical guys have been staging a dharna outside my office since morning. They came bustling in in the morning and looked at the wooden partition that separates my wall from my neighbours. The same wall they had looked at last week and declared as 'ideal' for required purposes. Today they spent the whole morning cursing at each other and 'getting matrial' from outside. Then they went to lunch.

The engineering crew is Tamil speaking. The electrical guys are Hindi. There is a third agency that has to come in. These seem to the "Cool Dudes" pun not intended. They are the ones that will install the ac. Assuming that the window hole and 20 A plug point are correctly done. I can only presume that these guys will speak a third language - Telugu perhaps?

In the meantime I am sitting in the middle of shit-loads of sawdust and cement, sharing space with a enormously large box inside which, I hope, is the air-conditioner I have paid Rs.25000 for. My fingers are sticking to the keyboard. Sweat is pouring down my back. I am itchy. I am tired. My child calls complaining of fever. I want to go home. But I sit here, in anticipation of a better tomorrow... 

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