WHEN IS THE NEXT ‘HUMP DAY’
At the onset, let me just say that I have a perfectly valid explanation for this quite weird and hugely insane title.
There’s this P.Y.T. (for the uninitiated, it means Pretty Young Thing. Jeez!), who works as the Manager of the H.R. Department in the organization whose staff I coach for the V.A.S. (again, for the uninitiated, it means Voice, Accent, and Speech. Jeez again!). Now, I must confess, I am a thorough professional when it comes to work; at least, I try my best to be one. However, life has a really sick sense of humor. The b***h is ill-famous for throwing you a curve-ball, when you least expect it. That’s exactly what it did to me, that ill-fated day…many moons ago.
CUT TO- FLASHBACK
As usual, it’s 4:30, when I enter the lavish front-office of TechnologyAhead, the organization where I go thrice a week, for giving a three hour session to the two batches of 20 each of their staff, on V.A.S., and announce my arrival to Ms. Stoneface (of course, that’s not her real name. But, since she always has this stony expression on her face whenever she sees me entering, this was the name that my subconscious came up with, and it kind’a stuck- also because I never knew and never bothered to ask her real name).
“Good evening”, she says. ‘There’s the asshole again’, her mind does.
“Very good evening,” I reply. ‘Suck up, b***h. Big Daddy’s here,’ my mind does.
“Shall I ask the team to assemble in the training room?” she asks. ‘He’s wearing that same shirt, third time this week,’ her mind does.
“Yes, please,” I reply. ‘Mah life, mah effing rules,’ my mind does.
So, this verbal and the subconscious dual carries on for a while, till she gets a go ahead from the H.R. Team inside that everyone is seated, and that she can usher me in. I walk in with my head held high. Yet another dual has been won.
The coaching today turns out to be far more interesting than usual. It is proven that students relate more to the audio-visual medium, rather than plain text. Everyone is attentive, they are responding, asking questions and being interactive. What else can a coach ask for, right?
Just as I am about to wind-up the session, the mobile phone in my pocket begin to buzz, indicating an incoming call. I look at the screen and an instant smile breaks up on my lips. It’s the P.Y.T. (for the sake of ease, let’s give her a name. How about Kaamini? Suits her perfectly.) So, it’s Kaamini calling me; but, why? It can’t be for the payment, it’s only mid-month. Can’t be for the appraisal report either, I don’t have to send it before the 15th of the next. Why would she call me out of the blue? Apprehensive, I touch the green icon to take the call.
“Hi!” That’s all she ever had to say to turn my knees into jelly, and every time she does that I’m suddenly the most uncertain man in the world. I don’t know what to do or say. It’s as if the entire dictionary is magically wiped off of my memory hard drive. Words elude me.
‘What does one usually say in return?’ I try hard to remember the normal nicety. ‘OK, let’s see. What did she say? Oh yeah, she said ‘Hi’, so maybe, I’m supposed to say that too. Yes, that’s it. Let’s try that.’
“Hey, are you there?” she asks, before I could put my plan of saying Hi into action. More words. What do I do now?
“Hi! Yes, I’m here,” I finally manage to blurt, keeping it as simple as possible.
“Are you through with the training session?” Still more words. Why does she always try me like that?
“Hmm? Yes, yes, the training is over.”
“Great! So, where are you? What are you doing now?” Two questions this time, together. I feel like a contestant at KBC, who has just crossed the first milestone and the questions are getting tougher with each correct answer.
“I am just packing up to leave.” Did I just answer two of her questions with one of mine? WOW! You can do it, boss. Just keep it together.
“I wanna see you for a minute. Wait for me,” she replies, before hanging over.
Miss P.Y.T. Kaamini is coming over to see me. Whatever for? What might she have to do with me? These and a whole lot of other questions start to cloud my already-fogged-to-death mind, just when the door jerks open and in walks the ultimate seductress, the beautiful, the charming, the P.Y.T., Miss Kaamini. My mouth hung open, I just stand there watching her. It feels like the whole concept of time and relativity has gone for a toss. She is walking towards me in slow motion, her hair blowing and dancing behind her. She is waving her hand at me, as if a queen is waving regally at the citizens of her country from atop a golden chariot. Finding it increasingly difficult to maintain my balance, I grab the closest chair and slump down in it.
I am rudely brought back to reality, when I feel someone shaking my right shoulder. I shake off the fogginess, and see her standing right in front of me with her hand on my shoulder.
“Are you OK?” she asks looking at me, with those dove-shaped eyes full of concern.
“Hmm? Oh, yeah, I’m fine. Absolutely fine. Why are you?”
“Hmm? How…I meant how are you?” I’m sure my face is all red by now, majorly out of embarrassment.
“Hahahahaaaa…” I pray for the ground to open up and swallow me alive. “You’re too cute. You know that, right?”
Cute? Me? She thinks I’m cute? The world is suddenly beautiful again, with all the possible colors spread all around like a rainbow.
“By the way, I came to give you this,” she says, handing me plate with a piece of cake on it.
“It’s a cake,” I say, standing there without making any effort to take it from her.
“No shit, Sherlock! Of course, it’s a cake. It’s my birthday. The colleagues had arranged a small party during lunch, and I saved this for you,” she said with a smile on her face.
Still contemplating my next move, I just stand there, looking at the piece of cake.
“DD, aren’t you gonna eat the cake?” Her bright dove-shaped eyes suddenly looked sad.
“What? Oh, yes! Of course, I’m going to eat the cake,” I reply, finally picking up the cake and straightaway stuffing half of it in my mouth.
“You know, you’re supposed to give the first bite to the birthday girl. You haven’t attended many a birthday parties, have you?”
“Shit! I’m sorry, it slipped out of my mind. I should have offered you the first bite. Too late.,” I reply, stuffing the rest of the cake in my mouth. Double shit!!
It is Kaamini’s turn to stare at me in disbelief, and must say, I am enjoying it. What happens next, is something I would have never imagined in my widest dream. She bends down and licks off the little cream that had ended up on my cheek, while I was stuffing the cake in my mouth.
“It’s never too late, darling,” she says stamping the control she has over me with a victorious smile, before turning and walking out. She stops at the door, turns back to me and says, “By the way, tomorrow is ‘hump day’, and I don’t have any plans.” Another one of her trademark seducing smiles and she is gone, leaving me standing there and staring at the door.
‘Hump day? Didn’t know she was a wildlife aficionado types. But, Camels? They aren’t quite an endangered specie, are they?’ I decide to go home and do some research on the topic, and that is exactly what I do the entire next day. By the evening and hundreds of surfed websites later, I feel like an expert in Camels and their humps. I type a small paragraph with as much knowledge as I could squeeze in about the same, and send it to her on the messenger. Needless to say, I never got any reply. Nor does she talk to me about anything anymore, except business.
CUT TO- PRESENT DAY
It was much later over drinks one day, when a friend of mine told me the actual meaning of the term ‘hump day’. Now, would someone please tell me, ‘When is the next Hump Day’?