Thursday, April 30, 2009

She will Conquer

I always hate starting something new, there is always that imminent feeling of where do I begin? As I sit before the computer screen rattling my nearly empty head away, I suddenly realize, well the beginning is always a good place, right?

She joins the Ranks of the Supposed Millions:

Frankly, I have been too depressed to write. I know this is no big great surprise even to me, but without getting too overtly dramatic about it, the last odd month or so has truly been, well how should I put it mildly, aha, yes, a crappy one.

I walked into the office exactly when the clock struck ten, was almost proud of this momentous achievement of punctuality since Mumbai has successfully instilled pathological tardiness into my being. The impending feeling of utter misfortune hovered over the confines of the office space may have vastly contributed towards me quickly hustling out of bed briskly and heading towards my adversity. The box office figures for the weekend were in the previous day, shiny new mass appealing source of entertainment from our factory was a massive box office dud! The air was fraught with unbearable tension and gloom. The honchos pottered around importantly from one cabin to other all day long carrying stacks of papers that divulged the financial state of the organization. I calmly fixed my ass in my chair all day, hopefully looking poised and serene, juggling multiple acts of thinking positive thoughts, performing calming breathing exercises, reading self help articles on the internet, flicking through Vogue and looking for cheap flights to Thailand for a long, well deserved break. Quite proud of this intuitiveness that I have developed over the years, I can somehow always sense when my life is going to come crashing down around me with a deafening thud, then I can effectively start disaster management, well at least a day in advance.

After all despondent discussions were temporarily suspended by all the important people, all the expendable individuals ie. ME were ushered in. The hideous, ugly news was broken, I was getting laid off because the financial state of the company. Oh dear, I groaned in my head, its happening, its happening! I was prepared for it actually, had a damn good inkling of it almost twenty four hours in advance, so I smiled through the long drawn out explanation and almost felt bad for my boss, the man looked genuinely tormented about having to give me up. Small, small consolation, I was valuable, thunderous realization immediately after, well not enough to keep my job.

I would be lying if I said that at very instant, my existence came to a shrilling, screeching halt, but longer the conversation continued, the worse I started to feel. There he was looking at me sadly with large remorseful eyes telling me how incredibly unfair and unstable these times were, that I must not loose hope and channel my talent (yeah right, which one?) in a constructive manner in this time of forced sabbatical. As the level of encouragement in his seemingly hollow words grew, so did the irresistible urge to slump my head on edge of his desk and break into a long, agony wrenched wail that would eventually progress into a full throated sob.

In the end I almost managed to keep my dignity intact by not exhibiting a full fledged reaction to the dreadful news of my unemployment, but instead settled for a small show of hysteria by fleeing from the lunch table in frenzy and locking myself in the bathroom for a whole twenty minutes weeping bitterly, tad bit too worn out to keep up with the one big, happy, work family farce.

A Little Unsettled and Distraught, but doing Alright:

After the initial gloom and doom of professional disaster was somewhat abated, was once again almost back to positive, enthusiastic self. Was actually quite glad, after all it is only the forth month of the year, far too early in the calendar to slip into all too familiar negativity, plus it seemed like such a waste to let months and months of disciplined effort to stay focused and hopeful go all in vain, also seriously excited about a million new possibilities that lie ahead.

The joys of having copious amounts of time and channeling it in the right direction, finally embarking upon a long desired career as a freelance writer, sitting with my laptop on my lap, churning out fantastic stories for distinguished publications around the world, being loved and respected by all, being featured in India Today’s top ten people under twenty five list, okay being realistic, scratch that and make it under thirty list. The possibilities the possibilities, but first very quickly must check Naukri for any interesting job openings, just in case, always good to have a back up plan.

So there I was ready to take the world by storm, a powerful new voice in the literary world, ready to pleasantly shock the nation with maturity reflected through my poignant writing at the tender age of twenty five! Wrote to every single editor I knew and even some I didn’t know shamelessly name dropping in hopes of nabbing any freelance assignment cast my way. Bloody hell, its hard getting writing work in a recession, no one’s hiring, but what’s worse, no one is hiring writers, period. In times of great financial turmoil, the value of the written word is totally annihilated! Should have trained in something valuable when I was younger, but too late to regret stupid decisions made during tumultuous, angst filled teenage years when life of the starving artist seemed glamorous and justifiable. Tried very, very hard to maintain calm demeanor, repeating hay necked quotations like “failure is the stepping stone to success” and “Rome was not built in a day” to self over and over again. Also managed go on a few job interviews on account of dwindling bank balance, very much against own will.

Finally some success, have been hired to write play for eighth graders by an education company. Only problem, must write it in contemporary language, also must incorporate geography, science and math syllabus into the historical setting of the formation of the East India Company. Right, did the James Lanchester use compound interest to do the math when trading with the natives?

Also writing and editing and some politician’s mini-biography to make some much needed bucks on the side, have realized though well conducted research and much contemplation that it is indeed ironic that these so called ‘civil servants’ and ‘social workers’ have unfathomable and I’m sure unaccountable amounts of money. While they rally as the ‘common man’ and ‘for the common man’ their kids travel in Mercedes and BMW’s, study at ridiculously expensive private schools and all of them have a freaking MBA from some university in the U.K. Obviously intelligence and merit do not serve as valid prerequisites for a top-notch foreign education in their case. Seriously, where do these so called ‘aids of the masses’ get massive quantities of wealth to fill their own coffers and secure the bright future of their children? More importantly how fair is it that they get everything that I want with such relative ease, when I am busting my ass in spite of repeated failure and get nothing I desire even though I am actually quite worthy and deserving?

Speaking of repeated failure, I totally messed up my GRE, big surprise! Actually, to be honest and fair, I did really work hard, assiduously pouring through the books over the last few months. I am not one of those frazzled, nervous test takers, I don’t loose my poise and composure while writing examinations, after the initial jitters have settled, I manage to easily slip in the flow of things and do what is required, only this time around it happened to be a really hard test. I walked out of the examination room shell shocked, thanks to instant scores I knew what I had earned, too stunned to speak, I headed home zombie like. I had scored lower than any of my mock tests. I had done dismally, my months and months of efforts and my hard earned money all down the drain.

At the moment I really did feel like a catastrophic failure, after everything that had gone terrifically wrong over the last year or so, I really did so badly want this to work in my favor, me, God or fate messing up something that was so incredibly important to me did feel like a cold, hard smack on the face. I spent two whole days rethinking my career goals. Maybe this was a sign for the universe that my academic life is officially over and I should not harbor dreams of a higher education. I also kept mulling over my subject matter, after all, there are numerous talented writers around the world, what is the chance that I am going to be picked among the hundreds that have applied. Oh dear God, I have to now invent twenty pages of poignant, startling, prose, which will be my ticket into a writing program. But art is so subjective, how can I possibly fathom what will work where?

Mommy and I:

Who ever said that unemployment is bad is a stark, raving lunatic. After the initial discomfort with free day time hours has passed, things do eventually metamorphosis into ‘jolly good.’ Have developed a highly productive schedule, which entails waking up post ten, writing until late noon, lunch, nap, tea, writing, exercise, dinner, reading and bed, of course not strictly in that order. The beauty of now ‘working’ from home is fact that blossoming friendship between mom and I has now officially reached its zenith! We are fantastic together! The perfect house companions! She is warm and caring and incredibly supportive of my ambitions. She cheers me up whenever I feel like the universe is conspiring against me, relentlessly plotting my doom. She makes me delicious lunches and hands me pillows when I whine in my mid-afternoon stupor for one. We both stay awake till all odd hours of the night reading our respective books; sometimes my head rests in her lap. My heart bursts with great love and admiration each time I glance in her direction, but sometimes she really does look so old and tired. I compensate for being less useful around the house and expressing my sincere, heartfelt gratitude but buying her expensive things that she can totally afford but will never indulge in. We make one hell of a mother-daughter team and truly are happy together. Sometimes I day dream about this lovely arrangement continuing forever, I feel so cherished in the company of my mum, she loves me in spite of the fact that I don’t have a job, my prospects of a bright professional life are dismal so far, I am horrible at taking standardized tests, I don’t have a whole lot of money and no man loves me and wants to marry me! Only the most unselfish, saintly, divine creature can unconditionally love so rubbish of an offspring.