All work and no play...

Sun 17 April 2011 by Thejaswi Puthraya

As the sun gleamed through the news paper plastered window, he regained his senses but shifted his position and tried to get back to sleep. Ten minutes later, he was awake but struggling to get off the bed. He felt a lump in his throat, eyes burning and his back was hurting. His thoughts were hazy and his brain sluggishly worked to recollect if he attended a party last night but realized that he was at work preparing an important report for his manager.

Blaming his current physical state to the long and boring work, he dragged himself to the wash basin. While comforting his reflection in the mirror, he brushed his teeth. He then laboured to pick up the newspaper from the doorstep and crashed on the couch after pushing off all the week's used laundry onto the floor. With his eyes watering, he gave up after glancing at the sports headlines and drifted back to sleep.

Forty minutes later, he woke up with a jolt and frantically started hunting for his mobile phone to check the time. He was twenty minutes past his usual routine and would have been on the road racing with hundreds of other office goers trying to reach office on time. He rushed to the kitchen and emptied a corn flakes carton and realized he forgot to pick up milk on Saturday, his weekly shopping day. Not having the stamina or the time to buy milk, he stuffed a couple of spoons of corn flakes before ravaging his wardrobe to select the day's attire. He chose a light blue full sleeve shirt and black trouser after smelling them to confirm they had been washed. This activity caused his back to hurt more and he assured himself that he would rest for a few minutes before starting off for work.

Close to noon, he woke up after his stomach started grumbling with hunger. He visualized his manager breathing fire and taking him to task for being late. Taking a few deep breaths, he rehearsed his apology and dialled his manager's number. Immediately after the pleasantries, he apologized, "Sir, I am sorry that I am late to office as I down with a mild flu. I will be in office by 2:30pm and work till late in the night to complete my work". There was a brief pause at the other end and this made his heart pound faster. All of a sudden, his manager burst out laughing and this rattled his nerves further. He mustered a little courage and stammered, "I am...extremely sorry sir. I will not repeat this mistake again". The manager while continuing to laugh exclaimed "You better be sorry kid! I don't want you to repeat this mistake. Don't even think of coming to work on a national holiday. Happy Gandhi Jayanthi! Take medicines and get good rest. I will see you in office when you are fully fit", and hung up. Embarrassed, he tapped his forehead and went back to sleep with a smile after apologizing to the Mahatma.