In my diary, it is official. The festive season is absolutely the worst time of the year. Pardon me if I sound insensitive and crass, but I see no point in watching people have fun and make merry when I am closeted in office with absolutely nothing to do. I may not be the ‘have fun and make merry’ type, either, but it still doesn’t feel good. I like visual and aural treats. I like to hear the carols and have my eyes blinded by blue and silver and golden lights. This is the time you can observe and absorb, capture pictures in memory to be translated to words at the earliest opportunity.
And what did I end up doing, this Christmas day? This. I watched my three monitors for a while, expecting some action. Nothing. So I walked to the window, where a colourless sky cast its colourless reflection on pale green ocean ripples. The ships were not in the harbour, probably cruising around some unknown island laden with people giddy with happiness and alcohol. I went to the pantry. I made six phone calls and three people answered. (Not a bad ratio, going by my normal standards.) I bothered my flatmate working at another desk on a different application. Then I went back to monitor a job and send out a report- the only genuine bit of work. No point doing this, either, because the users the report goes out to everyday were probably, at that very moment, divesting a once-respectable turkey of all its dignity and its flesh and consigning the bones to a heap of waste, the report the thing farthest from their minds. Who says slavery has been abolished by law? It flourishes and thrives and grows in leaps and bounds. Don’t even think of looking further for proof.
I went through some documents related to our applications, found nothing wholly relevant or interesting enough (maybe I didn’t search wholeheartedly enough- need we talk about that?); read the online version of the Hindu, wondered why Sania had been invited to participate in the Australian Open (no more Injury Fables- what has the world come to?); read some Maugham; went out with my flatmate when she left a good two and a half hours before I did and lost myself within the hallowed walls of one of the chocolate shops at Vivo City; read some more Maugham; indulged in some of the most useless, fruitless conversation with my colleagues; waited, watched the clock, waited some more; read about advertising and auras; heaved a huge sigh of relief when the people from the next shift came in.
You should see me on an ordinary day at work. Tearing my hair out, not knowing which monitor to look at, not knowing whether I’m typing on the right screen. And today, calm and placid like the waters of the Orinoco. (Is the Orinoco placid? I don’t know; for my sake, please imagine it is, because that is the only synonym that comes to me easily at this moment.)
I came home in a white Mercedes-Benz, the high point of my day. At 90 kmph on silken highways, a fantastic cityscape of towering buildings brilliant with lights, then cosy, dream-like homes, and a simple avenue flanked by trees and swaying ghostly shrubs, the rain just beginning to fall softly- one of the loveliest drives I can possibly imagine. Sometimes, despite being an advocate of nature, I cannot help but succumb to the dazzle and the glamour of the superficiality of the city. Tempting, forbidden, immensely tantalising.
I love being here. Now. Festive season and all. Even if I am closeted in office.
Or wait. Ask me tomorrow. Boxing Day, London users. Not a very promising combination if I’m looking for some work to do.