It was a blank picture. I stared and stared at it but could not make any sense out of it. “Oh, this one is masterpiece. The dots symbolize life in its different forms.” Was it just me or no one else could make sense out of it. I just stood there and smiled. Was I ashamed to say I could not understand? Or was it classy to say yes?

“This one is sold.” And they put a dot on it. Is everything in life always conceived by its marketing value? Why are there norms in everything? Who decides these best cuisines, the haute fashion, the best cars, the best manners? I always felt that these cultivated loss of individuality in a way.

It was eight in the evening. I took the bus from office. Another hour to reach home, I pulled out a novel. “Oh I see, you are reading Arundhati Roy. Masterpiece.” I looked at the lady and smiled. Was I following another norm? I had taken the book because it appealed to me. But I did not understand being judgmental.

“Excuse me!” I said when a lady stomped my foot. She looked back at me. “I am so sorry. Oh wow…you have a Prada bag. It’s gorgeous!” Well, talk about Déjà vu! Not complaining about the remarks, but what if I had been reading Vikram Seth, people would start calling me the prose queen! Or what if I had been just carrying a jhola, I would still be the same person.

I stepped out of the bus and ran to get a sandwich. I was really very hungry. And some Soda and ice-cream? I winked at myself, why not? I ordered and the bill was hundred and twenty. I put my hand in my bag and searched for my wallet. Suddenly this funny feeling came over me. I snatched open my bag and started searching eagerly. Could not find it. I remember I had taken it out to buy the bus ticket. Where could it possibly be?

“Mam, please pay up.” “I am sorry, I changed my mind. Could you cancel the order please? I am so sorry.” As I stepped away from the counter, random panicky feeling overtook me. My credit cards, my cash, my ATM cards, I kept so many dry cleaner receipts in it, and my house key! It started pouring very suddenly. There was no place to hide.

Although, I knew my house was a few paces away, I did not know what to do. I had made a separate key and kept it inside the house. How very intelligent of me! Something beeped in my bag, the phone battery was dying. What a fine day, I was out of luck, out of money, a home and an umbrella. I walked in ankle deep water with my best heels. And I certainly cannot explain how that felt!

I looked inside the Bistro I was passing by. Warm hot soup was being served with bread. People were eating yummy chocolate mousse and crème Brule. Was it about the names? I figured how much more desirable the things seemed when I had no money. I waded to my apartment. I sat near the door at the staircase and yearned for some warm tea.

I sat there and reminisced about my mother back home and the amazing food she made. I wondered around thinking of the chocolate chip cookies made by grandma. I wish I could order a pizza right now. The yummy hot pizza, with mozzarella cheese dripping from it, with oregano seasoning and onion crispies. God, I almost wanted to cry.

“Excuse me, could you tell me where is house 401?” I could not believe it, it was a pizza delivery guy. Was god testing my patience? It was 9:30 pm already and I had no solution to food or shelter! “It’s upstairs.” I said stopping my drool from falling. I decided to go and check if my nice neighbours, who had ordered a pizza, were around to socialize with me. The pizza guy had left. I climbed the next floor but decided not to.

I looked at the door of 401. The pizza box lay at the doorstep. Why doorstep? I did not understand. Even after massive repulsion, my feet took me to the door. The rain was still dripping from my clothes. There was a note on the box. “Had a good party, sending you pizza. Love Marty.” I sensed the door was locked and nobody was home. The smell of fresh pizza filled my nostrils. I stood there thinking.

Suddenly, there was a noise of an opening door. I have no idea what prompted me to do it, but I picked up the pizza box and ran the flight of stairs. When I reached near the door, I wondered what had gotten into me. Was I insane to sneak into people’s food? I couldn’t. But seemed like the upstairs people were not at home. The pizza would get bad anyway, and there were a lot of sentiments sent with the box. I grabbed a slice and took a bite. It was heavenly!

In no time, the pizza was over. I do not remember when I slept but a torch light woke me up. “Madam, why are you on the stairs? Are you hurt?” I snapped open my eyes to see the watchman of the building. In no time, I was tucked in bed safely and was sound asleep. And I slept like a baby.

In the morning it all seemed like a nightmare which had passed. I had slept with my wet clothes on. Not that I could remember much. I looked around me. I was so used to the comforts of the home I had created for myself, and I loved it. I loved my wardrobe, my lifestyle, the cuisine etc. Who did not like luxury? Who does not want a Ralph Lauren or Gucci in their closet? Who would complain about a Cruise holiday? Maybe the onlookers were not judging, but admiring and longing for things.

Maybe, I was being judgmental by not taking comments the right way. Maybe I was too smitten with my life that I took it for granted. At the end of the day, I loved my home and my family, and obviously wanted to add the luxuries and definitely not feel guilty about it. I picked up the phone and dialed, “Please deliver a thin crust pizza with extra mozzarella cheese and onion rings to house no 401….”



03/05/2010 10:42am

Nice one !! Keep writing more often..

03/05/2010 4:25pm

Nice one....

03/06/2010 8:29pm

Thanks guys.

03/07/2010 12:44am

hey nice article...good job :)
finally u never mentioned what happened to your wallet?? did u get it back or not?

03/08/2010 9:49am

Some things are lost and never found!

12/10/2010 12:55pm

If we should ever accomplish anything in life, let us not forget that we must persevere

12/13/2010 11:01am

Fashion is a very popular magazine in America

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