Over time I have come to realise that life is basically a sitcom on a universal scale.
We are the lead actors who continue to find ourselves in the most unfortunate of circumstances, trying to balance the many nuances of life – and someone out there is watching us on a giant screen, snuggling up to his or her partner over whiskey, and is having a hearty laugh at our expense.
I also like to believe that objects we otherwise consider inanimate – are constantly watching us, plotting against us and will not hesitate to strike, at the first moment we are caught unawares.
Take for instance, my hypothesis that my ridiculous one room apartment is out for my blood. How else do you explain the problems it throws up meticulously like clockwork on Sundays, especially after I have had a drink or two the night before?
There’s a tap right in the middle of the room – which, if left open has the potential to drown out the entire floor. My closest friend from school – from a middle class, God-fearing family – who grew up without ever talking to a woman and adhering to strict academic guidelines – turned out to be quite clumsy in real life. As such, in his attempt to appear gentlemanly and casual while chatting up my neighbour, he ended up resting his arm on this tap; and the tap gleefully obliged. Down came my friend and a sputtering jet of water – and in no time at all, my neighbour watched in horror as Dipanjan floundered and sank in the lake that had begun to form in the middle of the room.
Of course, you can’t get a person of his ilk drunk on half a bottle of cheap whiskey and not expect ramifications. So when I woke up to the sound of a thud and incoherent weeping on a lazy, otherwise – wonderful Sunday morning, my heart sank as I knew what had happened. He had knocked over the tentatively balanced cistern to one side, and his attempts to recompense his doing, he had managed to break the tap in the washroom as well, and was beginning to drown in what could only be a mixture of municipality water, semi-absorbed beer and pee. In his defence, I generally send-off people into the washroom with a fair warning. Between the delightful pork and cheap whiskey, I had completely forgotten to warn him about the baptism through fire (or water, in this case) that one must expect in my washroom. Out of some politeness and mostly a strong unwillingness to see a wet, half naked grown up man in my washroom, I knocked on the door about ten minutes later. Out emerged a bedraggled Dipanjan – battered, despondent and on the verge of breaking down.
Or the time, when Sampriti came over for the second time. I hadn’t exactly prepared a trail of rose petals leading up to my apartment for her. Of course my cats, who like to think of my wonderful leather couch as a giant toilet – have no regard for romantic trysts or personal hygiene. As such, the room reeked of cat piss and stale cat food. She stood at the door silently, mulling the economic practicality of catching a flight back home to Calcutta, minutes after landing at Chennai. I wasn’t exactly having the time of my life, back then – what with the workplace blues and the pent up anger. Add to the mix, a massive butcher’s knife sticking out of my Supply Chain book – she went on to famously comment, “Sweetheart, I think you need to visit a psychiatrist. I am worried about what you have done to yourself…” I shut her down midsentence, much to her chagrin, “Well, you should wait for what I am about to do to you…”
Of course, I really didn’t stand a realistic chance of getting any that night.
Which brings me back to this moment. There’s a box of incredibly noisy kittens, the sink has crashed in and the cat-mother looks like she’ll scratch the box to bits if not fed instantly. (Apparently, cats suffer from postpartum depression too. Which is why, I have been keeping the knives out of her reach.) Thankfully the AC’s fixed (after a tasty duel with UrbanClap over poems.) I am sitting on the mattress on the floor, digging into my well-earned lunch of scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes and boiled rice.
I suppose perfect days do not exist. The balance of probability makes sure that there are at least ten things that can and will go wrong, despite your best efforts to maintain sanity. All you can do, is sit back, watch the calamities unfold, take it on your chin and write about it later. Things exist in their imperfections, out of sync for you to constantly strive to make them better. You won’t ever get that supposedly dream posting that you have been looking forward to. Or the beautiful apartment smack in the middle of the city, without your ceiling caving in, in periodic intervals. Or that incredibly understanding boss who understands why you have been getting late every day without questioning your appraisal form. Or the time, when you have been streaming the steamy video and expect it to buffer without interruptions. At such moments, it is critical to hug your cat when it comes back and jumps on your lap amidst all that bedlam. And maybe allow yourself to smile when your girlfriend sends you the incredibly cute text after you have had a tiff. Call her up and tell her how much she means to you, and watch her transform into a warm puddle of fuzziness. I mean eventually, lovers do tend to cool down over time, and there’s fat chance that you’ll be getting some eventually.
I mean, that’s the plan.