1rst July, 2010
Sunday passed..the day i was nervous about, had finally come.
I woke up at 6:30 am. Not wanting to get late, i was ready by 7:00. Was leaving to catch my bus, when Aunt asked me to have breakfast before i go, ….i sat down for just coffee, fearing i would be late. Even though office was at 9 am. She was packing tiffins for her Kids, and asked me about mine. I lied to her saying my office had a canteen, which it didn’t. I already felt bad about staying with them, when they had recently shifted and there were million other chores to do, i simply couldn’t ask her to make me lunch. In a few days, i had learnt enough about the city to know that people here will help you as much as they can, but when it comes to living at their place, everyone grunts inside.And i dont think it would be any different if you were living in a small apartment with your Family and somebody comes over to invade your privacy. Even if that person doesn’t want to.
So i left, took my bus for Chembur, where my office was..and where we had looked for some tacky hostels, and at last found a PG at Tilak Nagar. Some stern Gujju couple had let their daughter’s room for Pg’s, post her wedding.I didn’t want to stay there a bit. They had stern rules of no noises and no coming late.
I hadn’t shifted as the land lords were to come back by the 4rth.
So back to office, i reached an hour early!! and the gates were closed.Not even the watchman had come. So i decided to take a stroll around the colony. Learned soon that on one side of the office was the eastern expressway and on the other a residential colony.I was feeling too nervous, not knowing how the people would be, how would i talk to the principal architects there..Everything seemed BIG.Best i knew was to call up my closest friends and talk to them.Done.what now?
Then i saw few people coming towards the gate,so i headed back, with trepidation and thrill, both playing squash in my stomach.I reached there and went to the reception.The table had a very deconstructive look to it..pictures of their works flashing on the screen behind it Tanya, sir’s secretary, and the lady i spoke to earlier, was behind the reception desk. She recognized me. Maybe it was written all over my face. I did the formalities of filling a few forms, as slowly everybody started coming in and moving up. Post the formalities , i was ready to move up. I was asked to remove my shoes and keep them in a cupboard before preceding. Something i never did in any office before. Didn’t take much to realise that the entire office was carpeted and every inch was beautifully designed. I walked up to reach floor 1 , which had a beautiful glass cabin, in the shape of a semi-closed lotus,contemporary though, that was Sir and Madam’s cabin, also there was a meeting room, a conference room and a suite for relaxing.
I moved further up, to reach to the workstation,where Tanya introduced me to the staff. I willfully smiled at them, to which they all gave a brief smile, and turned to their desks. Tanya introduced me to my team leader, under whom i was supposed to work.
This guy was from Mp, a little stern, and a snob it appeared. He gave me my PC and asked me to view all their projects and ask for doubts. That’s all i did in the first half. Then came the most feared time- the lunch break. My TL went home, asking me to have lunch with the others.Which, for me was the most difficult part, i cannot share lunch with people i don’t know.And firstly, I had no lunch. Everyone started moving down, and asked me to join in..i lied saying I’m going out.
I went outside..took a walk…but couldn’t find anything.Not even a Vada paav. So i just had a walk, and came back. I was damn hungry, but i didn’t say a word, i smiled and got back to work. Later in the evening when i went towards tilak nagar to take my bus, i saw there was Shoppers Stop, but i missed noticing other stuff because my bus had already come.This was Day one..came home to find that there was Matar (peas) ki subzi for dinner. I never ate peas back home, never. Even took them out from my samosas.
But here i was living with an unknown family-where i couldn’t throw my tantrums, and i hadn’t taken lunch too.Not leaving me with any options, the evening made me eat whatever was served, and i did too, ate more than my appetite, because i had learnt today, that the human body is governed by hunger. Desires take a place only when needs are fulfilled.
“Needs precede Desires, and leave you with no choices”
Second day in office
It was raining heavily, i got down at shoppers stop, took out my umbrella and started walking towards office. This time, on time: neither late, nor early.got my first designing job.I smiled as i was allotted the job, but on the insides, my mind raced all its horse powers to come up with a design that matched the firms reputations and left a good impression..Even more difficult, because it was a compound wall and gate.
Again at lunch time today, i told them that I’ll eat outside, and miraculously, i found Mac Donald hidden in the shoppers stop precincts.Even though it was odd eating alone, atleast i was eating.
Back to the second half , i was informed that the entire office is shifting to their lower parel office. I felt instantly relieved that i need not shift to that gujju place.I could go to western Bombay, where my other friends were.The entire office began packing, and i had no idea of what was happening. i continued working and left for my uncle’s place.
Next day was a half day in office, we all were creating back ups and CPU’s were being wrapped to be sent to Lower Parel. post Lunch we moved to Lower Parel. I was asked by my TL to travel with the other office girls. Despite of being just 28, he sounded like my dad.
Today was going to be my first train journey, i was scared.I had seen the locals, how people hand from the carriageway, and how stuffed those trains were. Little did i know that the central Bombay trains could be worse.My colleagues took my tickets, i followed them wherever they went, looking around at the dirty and filthy stations, not knowing that one fine day i would adapt to the dirt, and after leaving Bombay, miss the trains too.
We took a train from Ghatkopar, i think, and traveled to Currey road.The train was dirty too, and i somehow didn’t like the crowd, it appeared like it belonged to central India.My parents are from Central and Eastern India, but i had never lived there, and never liked the people there, simply because i am way too different.And life in baroda was way too better.The bogies were brown, which i still don’t like, the water had crept inside, and people were so keen to get a seat! ladies even prebooked seats asking about what stop the seated lady had to get down on.On reaching Curry road, we got out of the crowd and crossed some bridge and took a taxi to phoenix mills.
Sitting in the cab, i made friends with one of the two girls i traveled with.She showed me Ritu kumar’s showroom, the buildings in lower parel were wayy too tall and had an appearance of luxury to them, unlike chembur, which was absolutely shabby infront of this.I didnt care to look at Palladium or The Phoenix mills, as we reached Raghuvanshi mills, where my office was.This one, was breathtaking..and the experience i had that day, the myriad emotions i went thru,i will talk about it in the next post…..