(Today is my dear friend, Laxmi Chichra’s birthday. This reminded me of a piece I wrote, three years ago. A morsel from the archives, then. The content rating is 13+, I think. Nowadays, one can’t be so sure. Your comments, as always, are most welcome. And Laxmi, I hope you are having more fun that the narrator in this piece, LOL).
I had been restless and uptight the whole week. Every small incident at work and at home was being bloated into a full-fledged showdown.
“PMS,” sniggered some of the interns, behind my back. I know because I heard it when I was in the loo, in the staff common room. Juvenile thoughts such as these were easily brushed aside.
The ones that hurt were the ones that in an indirect way suggested I needed to get laid and this is the tamest way of saying what they were whispering behind my back.
“Who needs a man? I have everything: a great job, a great pay packet, membership of the Elite club and most of all the freedom to do what I want whenever I want. Who wants to always be at the beck and call of a man?” These thoughts swirled around in my mind and made me even more restless and uptight.
The maid gave me a quizzical look when I castigated her for coming late; I had hitherto never raised an objection to that.
I imagined I saw the same ‘not getting laid enough by a guy’ thoughts running through her mind as she gave me a thoughtful look.
It was my birthday on the 10th and I had no plans for celebrating.
I work for a multi-national that believes in giving a holiday and a monetary allowance to employees on their birthdays to make them more productive. How this could help the employees escape from the addictive clutches of the myriad social networking sites and help in raising the productivity levels was beyond my ken. But who was I to crib? The gift coupon to the spa at the best luxury hotel in town was handed over to me by Sushila, the HR Head with a smile and birthday wishes. She had just had her birthday the previous week and the visit to the spa was at her recommendation. It was a separate issue that our firm got a 70% discount on the regular tariff.
I woke up very early, at 6 am, to be precise. This was a treat, as I loved to walk bare-feet in the dewy wet grass at the same time as the sun woke up and illuminated the world slowly, at first, and then steadily with his golden rays.
A quick cup of green tea later I was handing over my voucher to the receptionist who wished me a very happy birthday with her bright eyes and equally bright voice.
“Their CRM is good,” my mind kept up its cynical talks.
I firmly believed that the spas were overrated and had agreed to enjoy their hospitality only because it was being paid for by someone else.
A tall slim girl with oriental eyes shyly welcomed me with a towel wrap. Thank God I had worn my St. Michael’s innerwear. I had treated myself to two sets for Diwali. So what if I was the only one to see them? The nude-coloured set was suitable to be worn under semi-transparent tops especially white ones. But it could stand alone, perfectly, in all its glory, if the need ever arose. Let’s just say I had a pleasurable 90 minutes of massage, scrubs, steams and some more massage, and add to it another half an hour of the nap I got pulled into by the ministrations of Angelique, the oriental masseuse.
My face shining anew after a quick hot shower, dressed in the new dress from Ravisshé, the latest designer on the block (a birthday gift to myself, the dress, not the designer), I walked towards the buffet for lunch. The emerald green crêpe-de-chîne dress fitted like a dream and felt as smooth as a shift of rose petals against my skin.
The spa treatment and the perfect fit of the dress made me feel self-confident and indulgent as I tucked into the pasta made by the chef on my instructions with just the right amount of vegetables and cheese.
I then attacked the dessert counter, keeping all thoughts about the calories at bay by promising to work out for half an hour more the next day.
As a solitary luncher, I attracted a few glances but it felt so good to just concentrate on the flavored textures and fragrances of the food without the distractions of an unsuitable partner.
Chocolate truffle pastries with mixed fruits, the mango soufflé that melted in my mouth as it transported me to paradise and the tiramisu with its medley of tastes were just the tip of the iceberg.
The bookshop beckoned and the weekday tryst ensured that I was the only browser. A cappuccino and the latest best-seller on how to manage my time better; could there be a better way to spend my time on this day that was turning out to be much different from what I thought it would be.
Half an hour elapsed before I started getting restless. What’s the matter, I wondered? I wanted to write. The sales assistant provided the paper and pen, they were used to people being visited by their muse in the inspiring environs and were used to this demand which they fulfilled without much delay.
Two hours later I was still at it before I realized that I had started writing the novel which had been at the back of my mind since the last two years.
“It has been a day full of pleasure as I have pampered my body and my soul,” I thought, at dinner, as I bit into the garlic breadstick dipped in mushroom soup.