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     Volume 4 Issue 24 | December 10, 2004 |

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Slice of Life

My Weekly Diary

Richa Jha

Sunday to Friday night: Enjoy.

12:30am 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 sleep."

3:30am to 5:30am
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.

5:30am to 7:30am

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.

1:30pm to 2:30pm
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 before?!!!

With the first paragraph saved on my PC, I know it's time to hit the bed again.

4:00pm to 6:00pm
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 week.
As I said, we have the most gracious editor…(or does that look plugged?)

Word that describes me best on a typical Saturday: Hysterical.
The alternate way of spending a non office-day

Friday night: sleep well.

Saturday 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".

Saturday 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.

Moral 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 previous night.
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.


Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2004