09:25 A.M.: I am running late for office; got to attend a meeting with Boss and few other departments at 10:00 A.M. in the Conference Room, and I am still 15 minutes away from office with a traffic jam which looks to be purposely there to play spoilsport to all my efforts of making it to the office in time and in shape. And here rings my phone! Amidst the hustle and bustle of the traffic I pick up the call bringing the traditional Desk Phone ringtone to an end to hear Maa at the other, asking “Tum Diwali pe Ghar aa rahe ho na? (You are coming Home for Diwali na?)” And I answered, “Maa, I am running late for office, will call you later.” She didn’t repeat her question but her voice shifted to a lower tone, I chose to ignore, and she made out that I am feeling uncomfortable. She immediately shifted back to normal pitch, pretending to be all fine, and all she said was “Nashta toh kiya nahi hoga toone par khana time se kha lena. (You must not have had breakfast but do have lunch on time.)” I did feel awkward but thought that I could not help much in the issue as what was taking over my mind was the meeting which was about to kick-start in another thirty-two minutes, precisely.
Around one and a half hours later, the meeting got over and took a sigh of relief, as this was something I have been preparing for the last three weeks and we managed to have it done successfully. All the attendees congratulated me for the presentation I made therein and with all the nobility within me I accepted the wishes of all of them while getting to hake hands with the likes of the Senior Vice Presidents of the Company. With a grin on my face, I walked towards the cafeteria and ordered a Club Sandwich and a Cold Coffee, and just then I received from a friend, a link on WhatsApp, of a video on YouTube with a message – “Bro, what we are earning for?!” I was both, surprised and confused. Surprised because I have not been in touch with this friend from pretty much a long time, though we went to the same school, and college, till our jobs did us apart; and surprised because of the content of his message. With curiosity in heart and mind, I opened the link that he shared, which led me to the video below.
After around seven minutes, I realized that I did not notice when the cafeteria guy came and placed the sandwich and the coffee on my table and left, and that the grin on my face from the success of the just-concluded meeting has almost vanished and being replaced with moist eyes.
My heart knew what I was up to in the next moment. On the other end of the call, Maa was sounding astonished with my call in the office hours, as that does not happen, usually, and may be more specifically happily surprised with my question – “Maa, ‘Gud Ke Makhaane’ bana rahi ho na Diwali par? ;)” And all she replied was, “Haan, bus tu aaja. (Yes, you just come)” There’s one more thing which I had to do next, message that friend of mine who sent me the link to that amazing and nostalgic video, “Bro, you too get extra holidays sanctioned, I’ll be home for a week because there’s no Diwali like a Diwali with Family J.”