to Friday night: Enjoy.
on a wintry Friday night:
I wake up with a start, heart thumping, and turning around
on a sweat-drenched pillow, look at the blissful look on The
Hubby's and the child's faces, sleeping without any cares.
He wakes up and says, "It's all right. Go back to sleep.
It isn't Saturday morning yet. You have time."
Another nightmare wakes me up. This time I have seen the otherwise
benign editor of the SWM hunting me with her foot long pen.
The Hubby turns around and says, "It is all right. Sleep.
You think about it in the morning. You need a good night's
Nearly comatose, but not quite. Eyes shut, while I am certain
I am fully awake, my mind races to every nook of the universe
in search of a topic. The senses flittingly hop from the immediate
to the distant, from family to foes, from food to Fallujah,
from me as a three- year-old to me as a granny, and so on.
And suddenly, from among those millions of images, the mind
rests on that something that is enough to send my worries
away. My mind spins into action, and soon I have an 850-word
piece ready in my mind.
I am struggling to recall the beautiful piece that I had thought
was etched on my mind the previous night.
Little luck. By now the mercurial barometer is shooting up;
even houseflies know better not to cross my path.
The Hubby in his usual "I-told-you-so" tone of voice,
"as always, you had a week to do this. Don't expect sympathies
from me…". A couple of years of experience makes
me reasonably sure which way this conversation is headed,
so I control myself just before reaching the exploding stage.
The fire-works can wait.
The search for a fresh topic is still on. The Hubby and the
child wave to me before heading off for their swim. I am informed
they plan to have a spin around the Gulshan supermarkets before
returning for lunch. Yeah, men's day out.
Lunch. Slightly staggered. It happens when you are eating
and thinking at the same time. It also happens when every
ring on your mobile makes you choke. Is that the editor's
call I have been dreading all day?
Write something, woman. Simply staring at a blank computer
screen is not good enough. Only novelists who are yet to receive
their first fat cheques from the publisher have the luxury
of flirting with blank screens.
Around this time The Hubby and the child start making themselves
comfortable in bed again. This week, this computer has to
be moved to some other room. By the time the faint snores
start reaching my ears, I am livid. Is this the man who took
vows with me to stand by my side through thick and thin (and
through periods of sub-zero productivity)?
Ah! But of course! It's there! Why didn't I think of this
With the first paragraph saved on my PC, I know it's time
to hit the bed again.
Write, revise, edit, re-write the piece. I have been warned
that if the piece doesn't reach them by 6pm,…(the rest
of it is unpleasant, my friends). Click on the 'send' button
on my Outlook Express at 5:59pm. Heave a sigh, and pray to
God. In any case, I have a standard 'Apologies for Delay'
letter in place that gets cut and pasted with the piece every
As I said, we have the most gracious editor…(or does
that look plugged?)
describes me best on a typical Saturday: Hysterical.
The alternate way of spending a non office-day
night: sleep well.
morning: wake up relaxed, bright-eyed, and be ready to take
on the world. Spend some time clearing the mess around the
house, starting with my computer table and my study table.
The wardrobe needs airing, the light woollies need to be pulled
out and put out in the sun, the books need to be arranged
on the shelves, the hand bag that I carry to school every
week day needs to be cleared of all 'To Buy In India' lists
and the bills for those items from my previous vacation, the
medicines that were prescribed (and bought) about 10 days
ago need to be brought up from the car, the larder needs to
be checked, my nails need to be filed. That's enough work
for a morning. If not done this weekend, there's danger of
it being carried over to the coming weekend. "So what's
new?" The Hubby retorts, "I have now grown used
to living in a pig-sty".
noon: have fun in the pool with family.
Afternoon: Enjoy a well-deserved nap.
Early evening: Enjoy the world around me: friends, shops,
parks, and so on.
H H H
of the story:
1) The idea will finally strike you only when you feel you
have reached the end of the world. There is no need to lose
sleep over it the rest of the week, and certainly not on the
2) The man who said, "sleep over a problem and the solution
will find its way to you" probably never had a deadline
to keep. Don't get taken in by such sweeping statements.
3) If you were to choose between who/ what to trust more:
your memory or your husband with buying you the lipstick shade
(shade not given to him), go with the latter. At least you
can be certain that he'll get home something.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004