Aug 19, 2011

Mouse the Menace

The morning was very calm. Just as I entered the workplace, I was greeted by Creative Guy who was until that moment staring on his computer screen as if in a deep meditating mood. Though he was earlier than his usual time, I did not suspect anything fishy in his unusual behavior.

Minutes later, we were forced to respond to the Practicing Clairvoyant’s musical good morning note, turning our faces in order to flaunt a grin. But a few more minutes later, we both were shocked by a scream, a loud shrill cry, from the throats of the Clairvoyant, “the mouse…the wretched thing…it spoiled all my lip-balm, that too for the second time in the last two weeks.”

We both saw the Clairvoyant in a horrific expression with a tube of lip-balm in her right hand. Creative Guy sprang up from his seat like a spring and stared at the lip-balm tube with a seemingly questioning look. The tube had a creatively cut hole right at the bottom portion. 

“Yesterday I was sure that I had locked my entire cupboard before leaving the office, and today you see the mouse has disarrayed everything,” her voice was relatively higher, as I felt.

I doubted something fishy. The Clairvoyant’s posture with one damaged lip-balm tube in one hand, her scream, her unnecessary loud voice, even her actions, the Creative Guy’s jump and surprise, the entire morning’s incidents, and every associated act looked like a brilliantly woven drama to me. But, who acts, or who pretends, or for what purpose, were remained as some questions apparently answerless.

Just as I moved to her cupboard, for a close scrutinization, we were interrupted by another good morning wish, the Full Moon Girl. We saw her with a smiling face and gleaming eyes standing at the doorstep as if she was completely unaware of the morning’s business. But, with my inquisitive eyes alone, I noticed that her first glance was directed mysteriously to the cupboard of the Clairvoyant. I felt she was trying to hide something which she knew about the mouse menace, behind that interrupting good morning wish, secret smile and cryptic eyes.

Creative Guy and I began to inspect the entire crime scene. Looking at the way the cupboard was built, I thought, even if the cupboard is locked, a mouse can enter the bottom tray through a probable slit which could be present there in between the trays. Once the mouse gets inside the bottom tray, it can climb up through similar slits without much difficulty.

When I presented my theory, the Creative Guy put forward some objections against my finding. Instead of my ‘Slit-Climb’ theory, he brought up the ‘work methodology’ theory, that the mouse has a secret way of hiding within the tray even during the day time. According to his finding, the mouse must have been hiding within the first tray itself, where the balm was kept. But, Clairvoyant objected it, since the first tray was scarcely packed, even a smaller pin couldn’t have been left unnoticed. But, if the mouse could hide during the day time within the bottom tray, where lot of books and miscellaneous things were kept, it might be able to navigate at night from the bottom tray to the upper trays using the probable slits (which is a part of my theory). This slit is an imaginary one, as it is impossible to see the backside of the cupboard, since it has its backside fixed to the wall. If such a slit existed, my ‘Slit-Climb’ theory and Creative Guy’s ‘work methodology’ theory could have jointly proved the crime.

But, still I seriously suspected that someone among our team really knew at least something about the morning menace. I thought about the Workaholic, the fourth one in the gang, his absence from the scene, was that absence purposeful?

The same moment, the Workaholic, stepped into the scene humming a popular song modified in his own tune. He was really late, I thought. Without giving even a single nod towards us, or a glance at the Clairvoyant’s cupboard, he straightaway rushed to his seat. I noticed that he forgot to say his usual ‘good morning’; must be due to his attempt to hide something he knew about the mouse affair from the rest.

I looked everything one by one; the surprised posture of the Clairvoyant, the agitated motion of the Creative, the mysterious smile of the Full Moon Girl, the unshaken appearance of the Workaholic, and finally the disordered cupboard and the lip-balm tube with a large hole at the bottom.

PS: Later, the attendants put a mousetrap near the cupboard. The next day we found a cute mouse trapped in it. By the time we rushed to get a photograph of it, the trap was taken away by the attendants to administer the mouse its predetermined destiny.

PS 2: One of my several attempts to write detective fiction. 

Aug 11, 2011

The Art of Overhearing

“You always write your posts in the form of a conversation, right?”, once in the canteen, the Practicing Clairvoyant asked me, and she looked around to get some support for her finding about my blog.

“But, I read another blog, where the writer always writes about what he overhears,” glancing at me the Full Moon Girl said.

“Oh, then that blog must be more enjoyable than Vanity Moments,” the Clairvoyant agreed.

Before going on further, let me invite your attention to some of my previous posts, like Teased, and The Slow Learner to get an introduction about the two characters I mentioned.

Mildly hurt, I planned to look for opportunities in my neighborhood to overhear, so that I can write some interesting stories in the same way. So, after that, wherever I travelled, I always was careful in giving my ear to what others speak. In buses, bus stops, trains, cinema theatres, hotels, parks, and in every such public place, where I could have found myself in the middle of people, I was keen on using my ears. But, a good story never fell on my ears.

Later on an evening, when my pal X-EN-Tric was away, I thought about visiting the nearest bar to escape temporarily from loneliness. And if you don’t know what a bar is, I can tell you that it is a place where you will be served with alcoholic beverages :). Sitting on a sofa inside one of the scarcely crowded corners of the dim lit bar, I took the first sip of what I ordered. It was my first experience of drinking alone.

Suddenly, the conversation of my colleagues about my blog popped up in my mind. The immediate reason for this was two gentlemen who were opening up something sincerely sitting at the nearest table. Since they were talking some seemingly nonsensical things, under the influence of the drink they were having, in loud voices, which were quite audible to me, I thought about trying my luck in overhearing them.

“Client service is more important as far as I am concerned. If a client complains about a problem, and we have no one to scrutinize it, there goes our reputation,” I heard the first one saying so.

“I often try to give my maximum to my job. There is no chance for someone to complain about my service,” the second one said.

“See, if you have made some mistakes, you can open up it to me. There will not be any misunderstanding between us,” the first one said.

What misunderstanding? You misunderstood me? Or I misunderstood you? No way. See we are friends for a very long time, so no misunderstandings,” the second one replied.

Sipping slowly my second peg, I looked at both of them one by one in a begging manner, expecting a story, as if a stray dog looks at a piece of bone hopefully. The second one suddenly turned his face towards me and ignored my disturbing stare.

“Whatever be it, to me the most important are my clients,” the first one said like this.

“Your clients? Where do you have clients?” the second one suddenly asked.

Since it was my second peg, I was slowly losing my power to concentrate. When I regained my focus, and listened to them; they were talking about some bets.

“Let’s give the bet money to this gentleman,” pointing at me the second one said.

The first one glanced at me.

They argued more about some matters in the same nonsensical way, which is common to all those who drink. Meanwhile, I ordered my third peg, and while sipping it with peppered nuts and mango pickle, opening my sleepy eyes, I heard the second one threatening the first one in a funny manner saying this,

“I will break this glass and will thrust it in your stomach,”

If something like that happened, it would have given a great twist to my post, I thought. Now they both started arguing about who will pay the bill. When money comes, everyone is conscious, even if they are celebrating, I thought. Finally they both decided to pay the bill fifty-fifty.

Then the second one turned to me and asked if I had two ten rupees change for a single twenty rupee note. I had it. They paid their bill and tipped the waiter the ten rupee note they collected from me. After they left, I beckoned my waiter and asked for the bill.

Aug 2, 2011

Job Time Gabs

When the month July was in its final days, I struggled really hard to write one more post so that I could flaunt the number 4 in my blog for July alone. In fact, I sat some long hours in silence by staring at an open blank MS Word document trying to write something even during the last moments of 31st. But it did not happen. On August 1, with these things in mind, while I was working on some projects at my workplace, suddenly a colleague’s pop up appeared in my office chat messenger. It was a well-wisher of my blog, and this time, we chatted something based on my blogging habits and posts and especially about the post ‘One Day in Heaven’, in which I had a brief encounter with ‘God’. Since I feel that I could make our conversation into a post, I am writing the main contents here. Please note, despite of my usual claims that I write only facts and not fiction, in this post I wish to write something extra which we did not talk.

“Hey Tomz, I’m kind of resorting to the same path as yours,” that was his first message, to which I replied with a few question marks.

He explained his point of view in two words providing enough capitalization wherever it required, “Agnostic Approach!”

“Oh Really? What happened now to make you think like that?” I asked.

Ignoring my question even without the slightest pity, he explained,

“Well, I should say that I am an Atheist”.

“Why? What happened?” I uttered repeating my previous question.

“Nothing,” he said, “just a change of mind after reading a lot.”

“Hmm,” I keyed in.

“Reading many spiritual books and all,” he explained.

“What did you read that much to happen such a sudden changeover,” I inquired.

“Sudden Changeover? Hmm..I should say this was not sudden. I had this in mind since long time before. Now, it has got strengthened after reading your post,” he said.

After a few seconds’ pause, he asked, “Are you still in the Agnostic side?”

I replied, “No buddy! I’m totally confused. Confused means, just in the way an Agnostic is confused. Should I stick on to Agnosticism? Should I embrace Atheism? Or should I return to God himself – that means religion? In fact, I am totally suspicious. So, I thought the best resort would be Agnosticism”.

We both waited until the other one make a comment.

Suddenly I typed, “Hey buddy, what about making a new religion together?”

He exclaimed, “That’s great! We Atheists should have a certain code of conducts and way of life”

“No man, this is not Atheism, It should be a mixture of both Atheism and Agnosticism,” I said.

“Yeah, then it should be named something like Agno-Atheism,” he said.

“That’s ok, But I will be its Chief Spiritual Leader,” I said.

“Why? Why can’t it be me?”, he protested.

“No! Because, you are inspired from my blog post,” I gave him an explanation.

“Hmmm..Okey,” he agreed.

“Then we should have our own sacred text,” I said.

“What is that? He asked.

I replied, “Vanity Moments itself”

“In that case, I also need some key position in the religion. I will be the Chief Priest, someone who administers everything within the religion. Money related matters, institutions and everything will be under my control,” he said.

“But, everything should be divided equally. Fifty-fifty, agreed?” I said.

“That we will do,” he agreed.

“And we will later decide things like the colour of the robe that we should wear, and whether we need to grow our beard, or should it be clean shaven or not, etc,” I said.

“Sure, and we Agno-Atheists should have our own religious holidays,” he proposed.

“Yesss…Everyday is a holiday,” I replied.

“Ahahahaha…” I saw him typing like this. 

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