Of course a bit inspired from Swami and Friends.. 😛 and in no competition to the original!
Part 1 – Monday Blues
It was Monday morning. Swaminathan was reluctant to open his eyes. He had swatted the bedside alarm three-four times before considering to get up. Monday’s were unpleasant. What if there was no Monday in the calendar, he wondered. After the freedom of TGIF, freak-out Saturday and careless Sunday, it was difficult to get into the moody Monday mood of work and discipline. He shuddered at the very thought of office: that dismal glass building on the outer ring road; the fire-eyed Praveen, his manager; the lead architect wielding his thin iPhone in his hand. At times, the phone in Praveen’s hands felt like a 18th century Tipu’s sword swooshing from left and right cutting the thick armour in the battleground. But here it was the hapless us, his teammates.
By eight Swami was at his desk in his ‘room’, which was only a corner in his modest 2 BHK (Bedroom-Hall-Kitchen) abode in BTM layout that he shares with four other unfortunate folks. He had a small table on which all his belongings – his ID card, secureID, Laptop, phone, and some C++ books were thrown into a confused heap. Jumping on to the bean bag, he shut his eyes to recollect the work he had for the day: first of course there was weekly Team meeting—those mundane updates from last week and the forecasting for this next week; then there was agile team meeting in the afternoon – where he had to give status updates, roadblocks and way forward will be discussed; and then there was work to do. The most important item was of course “the girl”. He had only two hours to finish the spill over work from Friday when he had left early for the weekend bash at Bak Baj Bar off Koramangala. All that he had was 30 mins to get ready for office in time to board the bus. He did a quick check for the neatly pressed shirt, pants, a tie and shoes. Thanks to his friends, they had collected his clothes from the laundry and kept it safely inside the cupboard.
Fiery-eyed Praveen was presiding over the meeting with his back to the long glass window overlooking the “mushroom” buildings in Marathahalli and the landing pad of old airport road when Swami slipped into the meeting room quietly. Through those huge transparent window panes, one saw a bit of the deserted basketball court and the lively food court of the IT Park, behind that lay the Beloor Lake and the coconut fields.Swami’s mind darted off in a tangent wandering about in his hometown, beside the crystal clear river and the soothing water, the numerous football matches drenched in rain, the cycle races to the tuition classes and back chasing the speeding train. Those memories were all passing before his eyes like an award winning viral short film clip when Praveen’s shrill voice interrupted him.
“Swamy, your updates?”
Praveen, with his thin frail figure attired in business formals, a reading spec precariously perched on the bridge of the nose, two sharp, piercing eyes glaring from above the lenses like an owl on diet, is generally a nice man whom you can easily mistake for an industrious university student. Much to swami’s displeasure, his boss liked running his hands through his remarkably black, proud and full hair on his rather large head at regular intervals. Otherwise his hands would be tapping the keyboards of a Dell Laptop feverishly. He would crack occasional jokes and laugh wholeheartedly quite uncommon of a manager. He wouldn’t normally tense up except when some critical deadlines are missed. But once angry, he would do a “Hulk”– violent and uncontrollable, the other guy bursts out from the thin figure – at least in Swami’s vivid imagination!
Swami’s turn was the last since everyone agreed that the bad shows should come after the good shows. “I am almost through. Just the last bit is pending. I have a function redesign which should be over in an hour.” Swami fumbled for a few intelligent words.
Praveen was irritated and frustrated. “But that was supposed to be over on Friday itself. What about today’s work? This is the nth time you are making this mistake. I think I should give you a “Needs improvement” rating this year so that you will look into your estimation issues.”
His voice increased in volume like the mobile phone wake up alarms!
Swami braced up for the “The Hulk”! But luckily the storm abated and the hulk didn’t come out. Praveen became his old self again and left the room in a jiffy, mumbling – get it done soon.
Kavitha, the south Indian “Iyer” damsel, born and brought up in Delhi, was enjoying the morning fun. Swami obviously had a thing or two going for her from the very first day. She was the magic glue for the entire team. Their productivity, attitude, attrition and the like had a close tie to Kavitha being around. Swami’s patchy Malayalam accented English amuses her so much that she would hang out with him whenever they go out in a group. His “awffice” and “zimply egxiting stuffa” makes her laugh till her eyes wet around the corner. Swami was never completely sure when she was making fun of him and when she was enjoying the conversations about the random things in life like the government’s bias towards defense policy, demonetization, office politics, gossips and all the other random stuff.
The only time Swami felt envious and furious at her was when she had got her promotions last month. Swami recalled helping her with her coding and then letting manager know that he had assisted her in completing her tasks. Despite that, she was considered for promotion when poor Swami was overlooked.
“Life is cruel.” Swami solaced himself. He is senior to her by at least 18 months and obviously seen the world, rather the insides of the office more than she had. Swami strongly felt that she somehow influenced the director. Manager seems incorruptible from the outside. But I don’t believe bloody Rahul. He suggests she would have stooped down one level and got cosy with our director Koshy. Scoundrel, how can he speak ill about her without any details. All office gossip, only.
Nevertheless, the grudge was short-lived. Swami didn’t have lunch with her on that day. That evening, she came to his desk, bent low enough that her body supported by her sharp elbows made an architectural marvel at his desk. He could vividly recall her perfume. Looking directly into his eyes, she said, “Swami, ..ssup? Fruit Juice?” He melted like a cone ice-cream on a really hot day! His purse would melt in exactly 30 minutes from then.