of my life with SWM
is how you live it. Sometimes it is a smooth journey to enjoy
with moments to cherish and savour. Then there are times when
it seems cruel, when one feels all alone and questions why
things are the way they are. In the end, it all sums up to
nothing. "…all sound and fury, signifying nothing,"
as Shakespeare so aptly put it. The events, the people, the
moments, all simply give us different chapters, different
pages…pages of one's life…my life. SWM is not
simply a place of work; it's also a place where I hang out
and chill. Amidst anguishing workloads and deadlines, there
are times that make working not only fun, but memorable too.
day of work. I am suited and booted to the max. Smelling strongly
of Old Spice to add maturity to my tender years, I brave the
guard downstairs and venture towards my new world. I am quickly
taken to Aasha apa who, as usual, is buried deep in paperwork.
I keep my expectations low and a smile pasted on my face,
wondering why a prestigious magazine like the SWM, would employ
a novice like me? Aasha apa smiles. She has yet to answer
afternoons: The relief of handing in the piece, and the pleasure
of knowing that no more submissions are required for a week.
at office. In my never ending quest to please my colleagues,
I brave the pre-iftari traffic to try to get the best halim
for them. After crisscrossing the maze of loiterers and people
in different stages of pre-iftar preparation, I triumphantly
hold up the patil of halim in its white…oh…did
I say white…I meant yellow state. The white paper covering
the pot lies in a state of soggy goo. I have decorated the
roads of Karwan Bazaar with a trail of yellow semi viscous
mass. And the rest of the halim you say? Well they
are all over my black pants. My exuberance at being given
such a noble responsibility is shared by the patil
of halim. It over-flows. Aasha apa, Lavina apa, Kajalie
and Srabonti bravely suppress their amusement and point to
halim stains in strategic places on my trousers.
Shamim bhai, Mustafa bhai and Ahmede see no reason to hold
of the Press. Special security for some arms check-up. I am
stopped in my CNG. I notice many people crowding beside some
'mobile' sergeants, pointing to various items on their licence
and in their hands. Many others stand by the road, eagerly
and single-handedly being frisked by policemen, whose other
hands are busy balancing their heavy shotgun. I flash out
my Press Card, displaying a Fox Moulder (X-files) smirk. I
am quickly waved through without any delay. The fact that
my house is just next door does not seem to impress the policeman.
It's all in the card.
mails. "Your Articles are crappy…blah, blah, blah".
It is really sad that there are people who hate us so much
that they take the time to carefully dish out their venom
in a garnished platter against one thing we did wrong, ingeniously
forgetting all the rest that we did right. I sit at the computer
correcting all the grammatical and spelling mistakes from
the letters that 'dis' us before sending them out for printing.
I smile at the irony of the prank e-mails, with the writer's
name in the end of the message as anonymous. Scrolling a little
to the top of the message, the person's full name is in the
'Sender' slot. So much for anonymity.
first birthday with The SWM staff. I buy a two pound black
forest cake from Cooper's with my hard-earned pay to surprise
my colleagues. The previous week there had been a discussion
as to which type of cake was the best and I had carefully
noted the detail. I'm a little embarrassed at bringing the
cake and hide it under the computer table worrying about the
right moment to bring it out. I find out that my friends had
been busy and found out my birthday and have brought in a
lot of stuff. A ditto copy of black forest cake, pastries,
chanachur and sweets. I feel cared for … and
sick with the triple helping of black forest.
night: I am back at the computer wondering where the whole
week has gone.
have a bad habit of folding pages of a book, not simply to
remember where I had left off but also to remind me that there
is something here that's worth coming back to. Life in DS
is like one of my books that has a lot of its pages bent and
crumpled; most others I have torn out and have had laminated
as it reflects not just some precious times that I have passed
here, but…they are the pages of my life.