Since when did work become an escape for most of humanity?
Whether it is to escape from family issues, or a relationship going downhill, or to get away from the mundane life, or simply to distract the lone mind that is otherwise filled with negative thoughts.
He looked at his watch.
‘The girls must be asleep,’ he thought. It was way past their bedtime. He got up from his chair, stretched his arms as he turned off his desktop, and called his driver.
“Bhaiya, gaadi nikaalo,” he said on the phone.
As his car turned into the gate of his house, he checked the time again.
He entered the room, undoing his buttons.
“You’re late again. Why don’t you cut yourself some slack?” his wife called from the other side of the bed.
“I cannot right now. Not when we’re about to land the contract with the German client.”
“Hmm… We’ve got a court date next month. Make sure you meet the lawyer before that.”
“I will be part of that call,” I said, when the boss mentioned the 3 am call with our management team in the USA.
“Okay, make sure the latest financial reports reach her after the meeting,” boss said to his PA.
10:30 pm at home.
I sat amid a bundle of files, with a few more presentations open on my laptop, trying to take in as much information as my tired mind could possible take.
I got out of bed, stretched my arms and walked over to the window. I could see the neighbouring family at the dinner table. They looked happy, and hungry. There was so much food on the table, I could almost smell the tadka in the dal standing there.
I ordered a bowl of noodles.
I finished my dinner and put the bowl under my bed. I checked my phone. 4 missed calls from home. I put the phone aside and got back to the reports.
I curled up in my blanket and started crying. I don’t know why I felt so anxious and overwhelmed. I kept crying until I couldn’t any more.
I went to the bathroom, washed my face, touched up the lipstick, and slipped into a coat. I dialled in for the call and waited.
“I can’t seem to find my keys. Please open the door,” she hollered from outside.
God…I thought…not again.
I pushed my laptop aside and grabbed the keys from the table. I threw the set down from the window and got back to work.
I could hear her unlock the door. I followed her steps as she climbed up and entered my room. I pretended to be immersed in my work.
“You couldn’t open the door for me one day? If you want me to move out, just tell me!” she screamed at me.
“I’m busy. I have a presentation tomorrow. Please leave me alone.”
“You can’t hide behind that laptop forever. Sooner or later you will have to get up and face your life, or what it has become.”
“I will certainly come to you for your advice. Now, please go.”
“Are you hungry?”
My eyes turned towards the empty food box on the table. She got the hint and left.
“Are you going to come to bed?”
“No. I’m still working. Night.”