The alarm goes off.
The piercing sound of a rooster echoes throughout my bedroom as my arms instinctively scramble to my sides – searching for the source of that annoying sound.
I tuck my right hand under my pillow – nope, not there.
My left arm grazes the chequered blue bedsheet covering the left side of my bed – nope, not there either.
What madness drove me to choose the sound of a rooster as my alarm tone? It’s driving me insane.
Wait – wasn’t that why I picked that tone? I don’t recall. Right now all that matters is that I find the source of that grating sound.
My right hand now slides out from under my pillow in a slow, calculated manner as I take a second to ponder what my next move would be. Being hasty in this matter will not help – stop and think!
It’s not under my pillow – it’s not on the left side of my bed – did I check the right side of my bed?
I flail my right arm to my right side only to find emptiness.
Ah that’s right – I sleep at the right edge of my bed.
My arms quickly choke the pillow under my head and pull it from underneath me. I, then, gently smudge the soft exterior of the pillow onto my face.
As the pillow engulfs my senses, I can feel the sound of the deafening alarm wither away. It’s still there – but it’s not as effective anymore.
But before I can soak in the glory of my victory, a grim realization dawns upon me.
It’s Monday morning – and nobody wins against a Monday morning.
I lift the pillow off my face and suddenly jerk my body upright. As I sit dazed on my bed and look around my room – the ceiling fan above me that is never switched on (Bangalore is cold enough, thank you very much), the dark red curtains to my right shielding the sunlight penetrating through my windows, the mobile phone at the base of my bed loudly blaring an alarm right next to my left foot – I ponder over the day ahead. I start thinking about how things at work aren’t going so well and –
OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD – THAT DAMNED ALARM!
My right arm shoots itself at my phone and snatches it away from my foot. I press my thumb against the scanner (unlock, you fiend!) and gently swipe the screen of my phone downwards to bring up the notifications tab.
ALARM (8 am). Snooze or Dismiss? – my screen reads.
Snooze? That way I can get another 10 minutes maybe?
NO! Be strong!
I sigh and frown at my phone. Being an adult can be a chore, can’t it?
Dismiss it is.
The cursed sound of that rooster finally stops and a sombre silence falls upon my room.
Now where was I? Right.
I start thinking about how things at work aren’t going so well and how I’ll need to clock in some late hours to get my latest task done.
No wonder the silence was so depressing. Because at the least, the piercing sound of the rooster made me forget about my day ahead.
I need to talk to Shilpa too. We had a fight last night (God, why are women so hard!).
Oh crap, I didn’t do my laundry this weekend!
I slowly bring my feet from the base of my bed to my floor (Wow, that’s cold!). I stand upright and slowly walk to my cupboard and gently pry it open.
What shirt looks the least dirty? – I ask myself as my eyes scan past a dozen shirts hung up in my cupboard.
The blue striped one? It’s been a month since I washed that one. But it doesn’t seem like it.
What about my bright red one? No, I hate that one. It makes me look like a tomato. Why did I even buy that shirt?
Ah, blue striped one it is.
A minor sigh of relief escapes my mouth as the thought of me having a decent shirt to wear to office brought some semblance of comfort to me.
Looks like you haven’t won completely, Monday!
I slowly walk to my kitchen. Once inside, I open the bottom shelf and take out a vessel to boil some water.
I place the vessel on my induction cooker and turn it on. Ah, just a few more minutes and my tea will be –
Oh wait, where’s the water? Idiot.
I slide the bottom shelf open again and this time pull out a ceramic mug with a picture of Naruto on it. I fill it with water and then proceed to pour the contents of my cup into the vessel.
Just a few more minutes and my tea will be ready.
Christ, work is terrible! Things aren’t going great with Shilpa. And I have nothing clean to wear to office.
The bubbles begin to surface on the hot water in the vessel.
That’s my cue.
I open my top-shelf cabinet and pull out a sealed container of tea powder. I place it on my kitchen platform, lift the lid open and take a spoonful of tea powder. With one quick movement, I dump the spoonful of tea powder into the vessel.
My drowsy mind wanders through a sea of negativity – Should I quit my job? Maybe Shilpa deserves a better friend. I can’t even do my laundry on time – what makes me think I can handle my job and my friends then?
No, stop! Just a few more minutes – we’re almost there. Fight it!
Finally, the smell of fresh black tea permeates the entire air around me. I can slowly feel the drowsiness and the negativity in me recede.
That’s my second cue.
I turn off the induction cooker, and move towards my vessel to pour the contents into my –
WAIT! The tea strainer. Idiot
I open the bottom shelf and frantically search for the strainer. Dang it – we’re so close. Don’t make me wait anymore.
It’s not there?
It’s not bloody there!
My life is so effing misera –
Didn’t I leave it in the top shelf last night?
Hope blooms in my heart as my hand grabs the handle of my top shelf once again and I impatiently swing it open. Lo and behold – there she was!
(Is this what love at first sight feels like?)
I grab the tea strainer and place it on top of my mug. I pour the tea into my ceramic tribute to shōnen mangas’ most beloved protagonist. Once I did so, I reached out to the already open top shelf once again to grab the containers of sugar and powdered milk, placed them on my platform and lifted their respective lids open.
Three teaspoons of powdered milk.
Can I sort things out at work?
Two teaspoons of sugar.
Can I sort things out with Shilpa?
I begin to stir the contents of my mug with my spoon.
Is the shirt passable for office today?
I raise the mug towards my lips. Inches away. I take one last whiff of the beautiful concoction beneath my nose.
Hope has arrived.
I take a sip.
I let it settle in. Then I take another.
A minute passes by in silence – no longer the sombre silence it was like in the bedroom. Rather, a more uplifting one.
Work’s going to be fine.
I take a deep gulp this time.
God, it tastes so good.
I’ll sort things out with Shilpa too. It wasn’t that big a fight anyways. And my shirt will do. I’m not going for a fashion show. I’m a software developer after all.
Sorry Monday – but my cup of chai tells me that you’re not getting the best of me today.
Try again next week.