I woke up this morning on the wrong side of my bed. I wake up every morning on the wrong side of my bed because the other side is shoved against a brick wall. Having racked my brains to find one reason why I shouldn't go, and having failed, I started getting ready for work. Forty bleary minutes later, I find myself settling into the push back seat of a Kumbakonam bound ultra-deluxe-super-fast-bye-pass-rider-bug-infested-video-coach-lean-mean-transport-machine having convinced the conductor to drop me off at Mahindra city by promising that I'd take the ticket to Chenglepet, and that I'd tender the exact fare, and line up near the entrance when we'd passed a certain lion-god temple. All my attempts to sleep are completely dashed by 1:58 minutes of Baasha (sad) .mp3, 1.19 minutes of Baasha (wild) .mp3, and a whopping 6.31 minutes of 8 kulla ulagam irukku.mp3 played over speakers with about as much bass as S Janaki's voice.
Nine hours of breaking my head over radio buttons that refuse to get selected, drop downs that fail to drop down, and scroll bars that, well, apart from failing to scroll, also practice the five-point-palm-exploding-heart-technique on you. Oh, and Raja Deepak, of all people calls you and asks if you would like to go to a certain Gautam Vasudev Menon movie on Sunday. You think, oh well, what the heck, yeah, let's do it! Then the blighter calls you back and asks you to transfer no less than 220 rupees to his account. Great.
Of interactions with Hari
At around 6 in the evening, you start winding up whatever it is that requires winding up, packing up whatever it is that needs packing up, and call Hari up. The bloke's really got no clue what's going on. The queries he's trying to run, well, are making him query his own sanity, the reports that he's supposed to generate plainly never report back, the spread sheets he's working on wrap themselves around his non-reporting reports, and the stack traces magically vanish from the spread sheets that're wrapping around the non reporting reports that are generated by the queries that query his sanity. And so, I meet up with Hari and we decide to go to the book store. We browse through the books and somehow manage to end up in the self-motivation/management/cheese-moving ferrari-selling flat-world-winning kinda books section when I spot a title that's a sight for sore eyes. "Hari, would you like to buy Indecent Exposure?" I ask and turn around. The only snag was that where I'd expected a snickering Hari, I see this affronted young woman. She makes this weird face that plainly conveyed the I-know-all-about-your-types-coming-into-bookstores-to-hit-upon-innocent-young-girls expression. I manage to extricate myself with a smile and a pointed comment about what a great novel the Linda Goodman book she was holding was. That bad. I spot Hari staring fixedly at a few pink dolls, and manage to drag him outta the store and into the adjacent one, which sold clothes with your corporation's insignia at prices just below your salary. Then we manage to miss the next bus home, and are forced to walk nearly three kilometers to the main road. Pretty soon we find ourselves tramping around West Tambaram. And Hari says he's got to do some necessary shopping.. and off he ducks under a tent. I follow, and am shocked to see a farm of vegetable markets. Vegetable markets as far as you could see, and in all directions.
Of vegetable markets
With a flippant comment about having to buy vegetables for home, Hari picks up a banana branch lying about, and asks for the price. He then proceeds to accost a passing by gentleman, obviously a seasoned vegetable market gamesman, and asks him, "Anna, I do not know how to buy this vegetable, how do you do it?" The guy shoots a strange look, then proceeds to scratch the top of it out with a finger. "Thanks", says Hari and saunters down to the next shop. Here a few middle aged women are haggling with a harried vendor over the price of onions. The women are in their element; apparently they're winning. Hari jumps right in, points to some ginger and asks, "What's this?" Instant silence. The women are shocked. How dare two vegetable market noobs not only interrupt a first class game of onion price haggling, but also ask what a ginger was? Hari, uncharacteristically, is right on top of his game, and wins the women's hearts right back, "I mean, is this this-and-this type of ginger, or so-and-so type of ginger"? Having seen his ability with being able to identify the taxon, genus, latin name, vascular bundle or whatever, they suddenly realise they're dealing with a serious student of the art, and instantly welcome us into the club. "These are just ordinary gingers, m'dear, they smile".
Soon, we're standing erect outside the tent of doom. I'd survived. Hari is positively beaming. He's bought spinach, carrots, ginger, pudina, ladies-finger, beans, and a whole lot of the other green vaudeville stuff you generally push around on your plate. Me was carrying the majority of it. Oh, the shame! Anyway, Hari dropped me back on his excel super, and I came home and blogged about buying vegetables.