January 22, 2003

Stars

After what seemed like an eternity of thick fog and really nasty weather, the skies finally cleared up yesterday. Since I work nights I had not realised that things were a lot better during the day itself. Woke up quite late in the night cursing everything that came to my mind according the religiously followed ritual of dragging oneself from under the blanket before getting cleaned up and leaving for work. After stepping out, when the bike's engine was warming up, I happened to cast a glance towards the skies and I saw stars. Never in my life have I been so happy to see the few that were visible.

It has been really bad for the past few weeks with a shortage of manpower meaning that we have been working non-stop for two weeks plus and counting. That combined with a tempestuous emotional make up and the usual ups and downs in an already volatile personal life, you get one sulky, grumpy creature that is only safe for interaction from a respectable distance of, say a hundred odd miles.

So, I saw stars. It reminded me of the time when I was travelling once in a train through Andhra, a lonely snakey creature in the vast expanse of arid land in the night. Since I was occupying the the side lower berth in a second class compartment, I had the pleasure of keeping the window open while the rest of the junta was fast asleep and look upwards towards the skies, after twisting the body in a very unhealthy angle. It was nothing short of magical and is a sight to be seen and not written about. Every time the train would take a curve, in the plains the curves happen to run on for a few kilometres, the skies would turn along with it in tandem with the countless stars. It is a sight I will never ever forget.

It is amazing how every time I plan to take a break from work and go on a vacation it is always preceded by a bunch of crises. It happened in 2000 when I happened to black out due to exhaustion after riding for around 25 kilometres on the busiest roads in the city. Luckily, I had reached office by then and was not on the bike. It happened in 2001 when I had to go to the place where I least wanted to be, at that moment in time, for a vacation and spent a good part of it grudgingly playing my part in a wedding I had no intention or liking of being a part of. 2002 was a blank, did not take a break at all.

2003 and this is the state of affairs: emotionally, physically and mentally drained to the core and a mountain of issues still to work through. The least of them being a half worked plan for the break starting February 16th. Patterns, though, are often there by design and not by accident. Same goes for the crises. Most of them are self inflicted, just another nice excuse for taking things out on yourself when things go wrong or not according to the script. Then again, I have to admit, I would not have it any other way since I believe that it is better to lose on one's own terms than to win on another's.