Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Weekend with a Salesman

It was a strange morning, with a listless feeling and the rudderless existance in the last few weeks. Especially the last few days have been difficult.

The only time I could or want to spend was with myself in the bedroom, switching screens, the mobile to the Tv and back to the mobile. Uncomfortable with my thoughts, uncomfortable reading and uncomfortable breathing. tough to inhale and even tougher to exhale.

Everthing seemed like chore and everybody felt like a non person. Amidst all this a bolt from the blue to go out on a Sunday to the other edge of town for a reluctant examinee talking an exam.... My little one.

There was a certain coolness in the atmosphere the remnants of a passing storm,  rain on the parched lands of the Aravallis. The coolness wore out, to a certain warmth which stayed with me.

Stepped out brought breakfast ate it with my folks on the table with unbroken silence, I still was in the past few days, still afraid to warm up...

Sweated it out at the Health club in a suurounding stupor with friends and their woes and economic disaster that the country is in. The Rich are fleeing the country, constant words like this add to the deep dungeons of despair I am trying to climb out today. I was determined to climb out today.

We drive, every conversation of mine leads to the past... my daughter says lets create new memories.... less past... more present. I agree and try for the rest of the day.

Crowds... for the law exam... 800 students 1600 or more parents and more from the previous shift she is overwhelmed and keeps tugging at my arm. They are all so grown up, they will know more than me..... We are doing it for fun I add.

I walk into the coolness of Starbucks while I waited. A Hibiscus passion fruit lemonade the stout bespectacled lady offers, I mindlessly accept and pay and lo behold here come the samplers, mocha cookie crumble, blue berry cheese cake and a chocolate cake of sorts. Loved it. An hour passes, a girl gently slaps her lover, a serious looking man reading a book, fat men drinking out of even fatter mugs and glasses, students learning , studying. I try the wifi I lose, 10 bips on my battery.

I walk and on second thoughts I enter Burger King and buy a Mutton Whopper meal, to re-introduce the real deal of burgers  ( we had done several nice ones on our travels to the US and other places). She comes out we sit in the car air-conditioned and all. With the first bite heaven explodes, the juicy meat, the fillings, the smokiness of the meat almost tastes like a kebab she says.The most bliss full few minutes, sticky fingers, tons of paper, bites laughter, cola, fries and a cold pressed Valencia oranges juice . We loved every second of it, nicer conversations, nicer and newer memories.

Now the Play, Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller , have been wanting to see it for 26  years, as long as I have been The Reluctant Salesman. This was the Hindi version... but brilliant acting. It took very long to fulfill this one. Like some meals are best enjoyed in solitude. This play about a salesman's life watched by a a reluctant salesman who was brought up on the folklore of Salesmen related conversations in the drawing room as we grew up. If you can't do this how will you become a salesman..... my Father often said. My brother detested this and definitely didn't look at Sales. That left me to take on the honorable profession in the family... 26 years a slave of Sales.

On a more a positive sense a Salesman stands for Democracy, Capitalism, Hope, Greed, Emotions, Happiness, Joy, Own the World, Make Riches, Bonus, Commissions, See the World, Know and see your own country- cultures, Sub-cultures, Food Languages, Business  Style, Buy Houses, Drive Cars you like..... I could go on.

On the Flip side... Sadness, alcoholism ( at a liquor store in the evening you see more salesmen than anyone else), braving the weather ( hot summer, cold winter lashing rains), hitting the streets, rude clients, unending waits at the receptions of clients offices, cold calls- warm leads and dead-ends.

Coming back to my Day.... Two Cold Beers before a Heavy Duty Play.... and then for Dinner... two streams of thought, in fact three streams of thought. Go home and eat a cold dinner, Eat at the Ghalib Kebab Corner at  Nizamuddin ( been wanting to go there for years) and finally a Dhaba on my way Home, This Dhaba has been spotted over a decade and has been on my radar for nearly that long. Too close to home, too early to eat, running late.... many excuses. So I had to go, old world charm... plain simple vanilla, no frills. Stopped there, asked... Dal, Vegetables, Chicken and Rotis. Felt like a Dal oscillated between a dal fry and dal makhani.. settled for a dal makhani as it wasn't the gooey sludge one expects but a well tempered plain dal with a little floating butter. Bliss plain simple old world flavorful and simple rotis. The grand meal was Rs 66/- 60 for the dal and 3 each for the rotis.

There were several regulars and others eating and getting a meal packed. Fresh food from the heart inexpensive, down to earth, for the sons of the soil.... a True reflection of my mindset that day.

Smiled within, I can spend time with myself and enjoy it. I have had over  300 magnificent meals and experiences since my last post. The very fact I am motivated to write about this says something.

Salesmen and Women of the world unite, you have nothing to lose than your sorrows.