Thursday, October 23, 2008

Later

Much as I may cringe my eyes, shake my head in disbelief and deny, for most of my life, I have been the quintessential late-latif. My record does not merely say it, it blares it over a loud speaker. At the age of five, I used to swallow food because we folks who were going to walk together to the bus stand got tired of calling out my name. When I went to hostel, I was always the first one to be up and invariably the last one to be ready because I would loiter about the hostel with sleepy eyes not knowing what to do. When we wrote exams, I always panicked in the last five minutes because even though I had run out of answers almost thirty minutes ago, I had been daydreaming for the last twenty five minutes under the pretext of revising my paper. When I started traveling by train, folks in my father's office often complained to him that they had seen me on the platform, mouth full of food, heavy bag in tow, running faster than the train which had just left. And in the evenings, when I had to catch the bus, I was always one of the last few people, once again running and at the same time requesting people over the phone to stop the bus from leaving without me.

Those were the days when I was supposed to be leave home at 7 in the morning. With a pampering mother who would insist on my eating rice, daal and fish curry at 6:45 in the morning, it wasn't difficult to guess why I was getting late every day. I thought to myself, that if I ever got to leave home an hour later, I'd never be late. These are the day when I am expected to leave home at 8:45 in the morning. Most days I wake up at 9. My alarm dutifully reminds me that I have a job to keep, but my brain which usually does not function in the morning finds such comprehension difficult. It only knows to shut the alarm at 7:30. I have spent hours meticulously calculating my optimal time schedule. The last train I can afford to catch, so that I may not be late. The last bus I can catch, so that I reach my classroom a millionth second before my teacher does. The latest time at which I can afford to leave home (traffic delays not included) so that I can reach office just in time for that meeting. I have even calculated which breakfast will take the least time to swallow. The clear winner is no-breakfast. All in vain, I always miss the deadlines.

In the end, I console myself by saying,

"What is this life, if full of care
We have no time to stand and stare"

5 comments:

stiletto said...

lol... highly empathise-able post

have been a compulsive day dreamer too...

I say.. throw away the heavy clock of punctuality and timetables - when did anyone benefit from them

and not to mention, they have been v boring as concepts too

Anwesha Chatterjee said...

I know. Takes me back to the 982 and 221 days.

stiletto said...

aha! the hot and fast services...

and the crowds... brrrr glad am not there anymore

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