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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Dream Win




The regret in my voice is genuine as I turn down my friend's invite. "  I would have loved to be there but there is something urgent I need to do .  I have to write an essay for the India Today Conclave". " Wow! you are writing for India Today". Is that a touch of disbelief in her tone? But there is no time to ponder as I try and set the record straight. " Actually, it is a contest and I have to send my entry in for that...".  " That sounds great. India Today, huh. Good Work" .The call ends and I get distracted by the sight of an over active squirrel running all over the woollies that  have been  put out to soak in the sun before being packed away.

It is early evening before the essay comes back to my mind. There is a flurry of activity as one dishes out instructions to all present , alas! only son and maid, that one is not to be disturbed as Very Important Work is going to be done . So, the laptop is opened and I come to the home page of the weekly and , for the fifth time, check out the bait dangled before the contenders for the prize. Yes, it is there , as promised- win a pass worth INR 1 lakh and get a chance to hobnob with the movers and shakers. Fifteen  minutes go in agonizing over  my wardrobe for the 3-4 days of the conclave. The matter is settled by the realization that I have nothing, absolutely nothing, good enough for my debut in high society. For once there is no procrastination in taking action and in one fluid motion I gather my bag, car keys and myself and head out to shop for some decent clothes.

Post dinner goes in explaining to the husband why I had to do what I had to do. In short, doing  the non doable. " You don't want your wife to look like someone swept in from the streets, do you? specially in front of Amitabh Bachchan ? and Deepika Padukone ?"  He looks at me , you know the way husbands look at their wives, in an exasperated manner and says, in an exasperated tone, " you have not yet won the prize."
I look at him , in a way I have perfected for him, all pityingly and forgivingly ( for being from Mars ) and announce grandly, " that is going to be so easy for me - gifted as I am with a flair for writing and with a flair for..."  I stop in the middle of telling him about all  my gifts and flairs because he has picked up the newspaper and buried his head, all ostrich like, in the newspaper.

Morning sees me all charged up. I instruct the maid to dust the study table in my daughters room. I have decided that that is the room best suited for pursuits of a literary nature. Why? well it is tucked away in one corner , has three walls painted white, no not white but ivory white , to soothe a taxed brain, and one wall  yellow - to re energize a tired brain . Of course, it also helps that the daughter is away and  not there to question 'why my room?' Anyways, I am set,the photon is inserted and a new word document opened. Then I realize that I don't know what the topic of the essay is. So, the magazine's home page is opened. The topic is lovely- 'what winning means to you'. I hum a tune as I think of winning moments, alas, not many. I get the perfect opening sentence and am just about to close the home page and come back to MS Word when my eyes fall on the last date for submission of entry.

The husband looks at the spread on the table for dinner- his favourite dishes. Everything is going well and I have managed to keep the conversation centred on Modi and cricket when , drat it, the son says- all casually and in a unusually chatty manner, " mom, you wrote the essay?"

I have to then tell all- that yesterday was the last day for submission of entries.

18 comments:

  1. Never mind Anju Ji, there is always a next time.

    Anyways, your writing is compelling and wonderful.

    Enjoyed my stay here.

    Keep Writing!

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    1. Oh, Neeraj- how lovely to read such warm lines . Will be following your blog from now diligently:)

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    1. Can you believe this- it all actually happened to me !

      BTW I love to see your comments, Tomichan- they make my day :)

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  3. :) Well that happens to me too.

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    1. I am sure this never happens to you- you are such a prolific and diligent writer ::) Keep writing, Indrani.

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  4. Happens. Would love to see your post though.

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    1. Krishna, this whole post is about the post that never got written ! It was there only in my dreams...

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  5. This always happens to me. :)
    Anyways, there's always a next time. Love your writing style.

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    1. Thank you. Yes, we all live on hope, Kiran- and the fact that we might be luckier the next time :)

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  6. Dear Anju ji, Yes, it is difficult to juggle amongst many roles and then pursue your passion by composing oneself-composing one's thoughts in a direction against time. Having taken to blogging few months back, besides my day job in a software services company, I do find it difficult to put pen to the paper on some of the days... Wish you all the best in your future ones.

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    1. Jayanta, I am sure you will do very well - both in your software work and as a writer. Thank you for your warm lines and your wishes.

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  7. Such a delightful post, Anjuji :)
    No, I didn't miss the deadline. I did manage to write a winning entry too after spending so many days brainstorming and devoting 2 whole days to write my Post!
    But, my idea of winning didn't match with theirs & hence no win for me!
    Now I am targeting #Conclave15 :)
    If we win together, then we can wear the clothes that we bought for #Conclave14 !!! :)
    Winners like us never give up! :)

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    1. Anita, can I borrow your words and use them for you? your comment is simply delightful and made me smile from the beginning to the end of the reading:):)
      Of course, we will not give up and, Inshallah, one day storm the India Today bastion.!

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