So,here I am,in Mohali,far far away from Hyderabad.We’re a part of a huge team working relentlessly to build a new Indian School of Business in Punjab.
Living in a city completely alien to you does different things to different people.Some take to the change like a fish takes to water,some hit a few road bumps and dawdle around and some,like me,arrive with enthusiasm bursting at the seams and as reality hits,sag into a sorry lump of humanity,hoping and praying for their senses to return from their extended vacation and help them enjoy the experience.
The first week of my stay at Chandigarh was spent staring at the hotel room ceiling.Occasionally,the window too.A fever had somehow found my address and had quite overstayed its welcome.The hotel we were put up at was one of the very best.Superb hospitality,fantastic cuisines and soft,warm beds,extremely inviting and cozily made up.The hotel stay taught me irony in a cruel fashion.All those succulent dishes to eat,but a massive stomach upset ensured I could only gulp hot soup with pepper and watch my colleagues devour one tasty dish after another.
The house hunt,which began in the middle of the week,soon sapped us of the last vestiges of energy left.The houses were either too small or too dark or way beyond our means.We almost decided to build one ourselves and use some exercise,but God intervened and saved us the trouble.We got a house.The interrogation we went through and the number of identification papers we had to produce was at par with international standards.Movie wise,I mean.
A huge,empty house welcomed us with wide open windows and doors,letting in all the sunlight,dust and friendly bacteria and viruses.Just to say hello to the new tenants.To buy a bed was the next thing on our checklist and off we went to a second hand furniture store.We haggled and pleaded with the dealer into selling two rickety beds and a couple of lumpy mattresses.Getting them all the way up to the second floor was a noteworthy achievement,given that the staircase was built to topple human beings.
I am scared of my bed.I’m afraid if I put just the tiniest bit of pressure more than what is currently being applied,it will give way.I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to ensure that my bed is on four legs.The mattress will flatten before I do,and will soon merge with the wood of the bed before the end of the month,I’m sure of that.
New mathematics.A mug equals a bucket.How, you ask.Lacking a bucket,we each bought a huge mug and now stand in front of the tap,waiting for the mug to fill and then bathe.It’s a very stimulating exercise,one that gives a perspective on what’s important in life.
Food.We recall our hotel days with a fond nostalgia,with a lot of wistfulness thrown in.Sandwiches are a staple food item in our diet,as are Lays chips ( baked,not fried) and biscuits.Several hours of mind numbness later,we hit upon the idea of hiring a tiffin service for our dinners.Sometimes it’s rajma as a vegetable,sometimes it’s rajma as a dal.But it’s always there,glaring at you,challenging you to finish it till the last drop.
This is Week One of our settling in.More updates as the weeks go by.
Hope my bed lives to see the dawn of another day.