Friday, June 15, 2012

Live, while you wait for the end!

Old piece, but this is exactly how I feel about life, still! :)


Once upon a time, a few days after the Gujarat earthquake (2001), the office building authorities got a call that an earthquake was predicted at 2 PM in the afternoon. So all of us employees were asked to vacate the 8 storey building and get out and go die elsewhere. I mean, they put it very nicely and all!

Then some of us thought Hey, what's the point in going home because home could also fall on our heads and we could die just as easily at Divyasree Chambers as in the comfort of home full of unwashed clothes and drying teacups. Wasn’t it better to be outside where buildings won’t fall on us? So we went around and collected more people who succumbed to our unbeatable logic – “If you really got to leave, leave laughing!” - [okay, okay, I am the office bully!] - we took the office cricket kit, Sajid and I went and bought tennis balls from the corner shop, and we went and sat in Richmond Park under a nice flowering bottle-brush tree, so nice we didn't mind it falling on our heads.

Then we played many many rounds of antakshari and dumb charades throughout the nice sunny warm afternoon with yellow Spring flowers all around, and we laughed and we laughed like crazy mongooses out on a school picnic. Once in a while someone lying on the grass would say, did I feel a vibration or what, but when there really is nothing to do [like can we make the fattest guy sit on it and keep the earth from shaking or what?], why panic we said, so we went back to playing and singing with a vengeance.

In between we called up our colleagues sitting petrified in front of their TVs waiting for the announcement to come [like football commentary - "There it is, the Earthquake slowly making its way to M.G Road, narrowly missing St.Marks' cathedral, swerving left towards Victoria statue.....and.. before you know it….it’s a GOAL!!'].

When the sun came down a bit, we went to the playground and had a fantastic cricket match, including me, who had never held a bat in my life before but managed to hit the ball once, and was so stunned that I stood there staring openmouthed in utter shock, until someone shouted Runnn!!!!!! I got 2 runs, and the game ended, because my fellow batter, star cricketer Abhishek, ran when he shouldn't have runned, and that was that!!!

After a really good game, at 6 o'clock, with no earthquake in sight, we walked down to the juice shop tired and happy and hungry, and had tons of sapota juice and watermelon juice, I still remember how good and satisfying that tasted. Then we all wished each other a safe earthquake-free evening and went back home with the memory of a fabulous afternoon in the sun.

Waiting rooms need not be filled with dread. They can become living rooms too if you fill them with some Good Strong Happy Living.

March 2006