I am finally back in Pune. Not much has changed in office. Looked around for J but she wasn’t in. Z had her own immediate plans of punching the boss. A couple of colleagues mentioned how I was ‘glowing’. Must be the spanking new white shirt with slender sparkly stripes and my white capris. I love them. They fit me when I’m plump and they fit me when I’m…well, plumper. So, the white attire was much complimented.
A couple of people asked me about the trip. Strangely I felt a little shy about showing off the ring, but I think I blushed furiously, so people caught on. Not about the proposal or anything, just that there were dozes of love-mush in my little holiday. I like that phrase – little holiday. Very beachy and balmy. Gherkin-colored shorts, sea sonatas, and moon shining over a rickety boat.
Work is perfect. Not too hectic and not too humdrum. I will still be typing away, hitting my pointy nails squarely in the centre of the alphabet squares. My thumb will be poised to hit the spacebar. I can shoot the breeze with a pal if I want to and still finish the work on time. No rush, true, but also no inclination to dawdle. The work ethic is fit and jumpy and fine.
The work environment is also pleasant. I have not heard the phrase ‘Big time’ when a harried soul responds to the concerned query ‘Are you have problems with your phone/ computer/ gym instructor/ husband’s adopted goldfish?’ How prosaic and stupid and flighty ‘Big time’ sounds. ‘Big time’. ‘Big time’. There is the endless continuum – Time, and that too needs to be saddled with an adjective. ‘Big time’. No. No ‘big time’ on this sunny, breezy day.
I think of taking pictures. Nothing too ambitious. Just a sharpened pencil near a piece of crumpled paper. Someday, I’ll get good with the camera. I’ll set the crumpled paper on fire and take a snap of the embers eating into it at the ridges. From the angle where I shoot it, the loop of an ‘l’ will be partially ablaze.
I am also looking for a recipe for light, vegetarian, cream-cheese sauce. I remember the mushroom and leek pasta at Prithvi café. That’s a good dish to try and prepare. It’s wholesome, healthy, novel without being ostentatious. I like humility in preparation. I like flamboyance in service. The kitchen must be bereft of drama. The table must be full of it.
My mind is quite ready to digest new stories. But I’m not in the mood for anything too long or elegiac or stagy. Short stories. That’s what I’d like. Quick, tidy snapshots of plots that didn’t swell to complexity.
There. I have it all sorted out now. Now, if only I can manage to keep it simple.