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Vacation Log #3
I conclude each year by putting down all the significant happenings in my life for that year in a spreadsheet. It is an odd though concise mish-mash of - big things I brought, people I met, discoveries I made, places I visited for the first time and so on. It is a relatively recent ritual in that it started just last year but I intend to keep it up - at least for this year.

Going back to this list from the year gone past, is bound to evoke nostalgia. An incident from two years ago (thefore not in this list), always comes back to me around this time. It’s a trifle yet it always puts a smile on my face. Of course looking back with hindsight is like looking through a pair of binoculars from their wrong end – things seem small.

The happening relates to the only tangible pieces of furniture I own – a table with circular table-top and two chairs (I am a minimalist who loves to loiter on the floor).

I can sometimes demonstrate mulish obstinacy that defies any logical reasoning. That I should dress in red and have dinner at my apartment’s balcony on New Year’s Eve are two ideas that inextricably lodged themselves in the depths of my cranium. There were only three small problems – I had just moved to my apartment in November (and to Bangalore in October) and had neither a dress that looked the remotest shade of red, nor crockery nor a table – all of which would be sine qua non to exercising my grand solitary soiree.

Blue is my favorite color and I cannot recall having worn anything red in my life – not unless mom dressed me in some preposterous infant-suit of that color decades ago; of which I have no memory. This turned out to be the component of my equation that was easiest to procure. On 31st, having finally overcome my inhibitions for this color, I found myself dressed in a jaunty red Nike t-shirt.

I scanned every furniture shop that I knew in the vicinity of my home for a suitable table and chairs but none fitted the bill. Most of the shops had full a set of one dining table and four to five chairs on offer. The others exhibited such garish designs that their inconsideration for those with discreet tastes was obvious. Finally, on suggestion of a colleague, I ventured to the “propah” furniture market near Infantry road. Within minutes I spotted a shop there - called “Matrix” - that dealt in classy wood and metal furniture. Their prices were steep - the sorts one pays for being finicky. With alacrity of a hungry man randomly picking dishes from a menu I settled for my pair of chairs and table. It was 27th. I was assured, reassured delivery on the 30th. My precious cargo never came on the day earmarked for it. After lunch at office on the 31st I stared calling the furniture shop.

“Sir we are sending the delivery now”
“Now!? I am at office right now – how about in the evening?”
“Sir… now…”
“Ok..ok.. I’ll get home but make sure you send my stuff NOW”

Upon my arrival at my apartment complex I found the contents of a three-wheeler furniture wagon being unloaded at the portico. All looked well except one minor flaw – the chairs were not the ones that I had ordered.

“Hmmm.. are these for Me? I am Deepak…”
“Yes sir”
“Hmmm… they are not the ones that I ordered - the table looks fine.. but the chairs are way off!”
“I don’t know.. this is what I was told to deliver”
“Well I cannot take this – do you mind if I come with you and have a word with the shop owner?”
“Sure”
“Ok then load these chairs back, I’ll sit with you”
“You cannot sit with me”
“Why?”
“We are not allowed to have more than one person in the front of this three wheeler wagon, I’ll be challaned by the cops!!”

Reluctantly I clambered into the rear of the furniture wagon and sat on the chairs that had just been loaded back. And so our journey to the shop began. My face turned crimson with indignation as if competing with my new t-shirt to acquire a redder hue. On St. Mark’s road I could see the traffic trailing behind me. Commuters on the road considered me with curiosity – their faces sometimes contorting from the effort they had to summon to hold back their laughter. Within 15 minutes, which then felt like 15 years, we were at the shop. I jumped out of the wagon and had a little conversation with the proprietor of the shop:

“These are not the chairs that I ordered”
“Hmmm…”
“Where are the ones that I had asked for? I just wanted two of them”
“Hmmm…”
“Well?”
“They are not ready”
“Not ready?”
“We can deliver on the 2nd”
“2nd? But you promised 30th, anyways I need *something* today.. I must!”
“Why don’t you come inside and have a look sir.. perhaps there is something else that you might like”
“Gaah….”

Distraught, I frivolously looked around in the shop. My eyes settled on two chairs that looked like they would pair up just fine with the table I had picked earlier. I got them packed, made another humbling, shaky journey in the little wagon and arrived home with chairs intact. The episode had lasted some 90 minutes. With no time to spare, I dumped the chairs in my living room and rushed to office.

The third piece to make my whim come true – crockery – would have been dead easy to acquire if only I had left a little earlier from work. It was just eight at night yet all the crockery shops at MG Road had closed for New Year Eve revelry. I barged into one desolate shop which was contemplating pulling their shutters down. All I wanted was a couple of plates and bowls but the shopkeeper kept laying before me lavish dinner sets. I was at the point of being thoroughly exasperated when my glance chanced upon a stack of plates on floor. With the permission of the shop clerk, I looked through them and fished out two identical Corelle plates. Matching bowls that went with them were easy to find. The prices were just short of extortionate, but I had no energy left for complaining.

I arrived home – crockery in one hand, Mocha cake from Barista in other – just in time for my private festivities. As I settled in my Balcony for a cozy candle-lit dinner, Diana Kral’s Live in Paris recording playing in the background; the day’s grind suddenly seemed worthwhile and rendered those last moments of the year 2002 even more special – I had earned them!
posted: 30.12.04

16 Comments

Nice post Deepak! Made me go all nostalgic over 2004. Wish you a very happy new year!

By Blogger Aarthi, at 31.12.04  



Happy New Year Aarthi! Have a great New Year's Eve and an even better next year!

By Blogger Deepak, at 31.12.04  



Wish you a very happy new year Deepak!

Your post made me smile :) You rock!

- Shalu

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 31.12.04  



Happy New Year Shalu!

Thanks! Glad it did!

Cheers!

By Blogger Deepak, at 31.12.04  



Thats a really funny post...contrarily, Ive always had a red tee shirt of some sort! Happy new year!

Cheers

By Blogger jhgasuhvkjahklnsdlksnlknmlwvlckn, at 1.1.05  



:-), To each his own!

Happy New Year Rajesh!

By Blogger Deepak, at 2.1.05  



Endearingly sweet Deepak - reminded me of why I first added you to my blogroll - your ability to spin those words so they induced a smile on the reader's face!

I spent a VERY misreable New Yrs Eve this year - and ended up laid up in bed for the first 2 days of the new year...:-( Ah well as someone said, if you start at rock bottom, then the only way you can go this year is up..and up, up, up is where I wanna go:-)

By Blogger Geetanjali, at 2.1.05  



hi
came across your blog while reading about sunsets
love your blog
love the way you express yourself

By Blogger chand, at 2.1.05  



Hmmmm... Diana Krall live in Paris is such the perfect way to start the new year... :) Thinking perhaps that would have been the better option for the jazz club i ended up in was not as inspiring...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2.1.05  



Thanks Geets! I am glad I've managed to stick around in your blogroll since then :-)!

Sorry to hear about your affiliction, looks like it kept you from visiting Blr? Life looked up quite a bit after a similar start last year - wish the same for you!

By Blogger Deepak, at 2.1.05  



Thanks for visiting Chand!

By Blogger Deepak, at 2.1.05  



Nice one Deepak!

even I was laughing when i read this...
"My face turned crimson with indignation as if competing with my new t-shirt to acquire a redder hue. On St. Mark’s road I could see the traffic trailing behind me. Commuters on the road considered me with curiosity – their faces sometimes contorting from the effort they had to summon to hold back their laughter"

Wish u happy new year!
Kash

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4.1.05  



Happy New Year Kash!

By Blogger Deepak, at 4.1.05  



And in the end, a perfect New Year's Eve! After all that effort, you deserved it to be so, too. I hope this last NYE was just as lovely.

By Blogger Deirdre, at 5.1.05  



Hi Deirdre! NYE this time was good! I guess the next two years will invest in me sufficient hindsight to be able to write about it eloquently in 2006 ;-)

By Blogger Deepak, at 5.1.05  



:D

Hindsight is a good thing.

By Blogger Deirdre, at 5.1.05  


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