A day in the life of an I.T. Bachelor, chapter 1: Wake up

I recently unearthed an old diary of mine that, to my surprise, contained a few short stories I had written a really long while ago. I found one that I thought will make a good digestive pill after the Mile Sur post, a post that, despite the 400+ comments, I am not a big fan of. I don’t really like scathing humour, and I usually end up with a bad after taste the moment I hit submit.

This is a short story that I have split into 3 parts, and here is part 1

Chapter 1: Wake up

I woke up coughing, and with a neck ache from my roommate’s pillow, which incidentally was a solid block of iron and frequently found its way to my bed as part of an un-negotiated exchange offer with my roomie who was probably sleeping on my soft pillow at this very moment. I  was still coughing when I attempted to extinguish the fumes of a dying mosquito coil before my eyes started burning. My hands reflexively rubbed my blistering eyes, which was when I realized that I had forgotten to remove my contact lenses before I slept. With one lens taking temporary residence on the bridge of my rather stately nose, I staggered out of bed and hit my leg painfully against the edge of a small table that was most certainly not where civilized folk would put it, resting at that casually vicious position where groggy gents climbing out of bed would most certainly make skin-breaching contact.

With an alacrity unusual for the time of day, my brain, like the Holy Inquisition, worked feverishly to assign blame for the misplaced snack table but concluded its investigation rather quickly as newly woken up neurons deposed to the effect that it was I who had snacked on Haldiram’s Cornflakes mixture last night, normally equal parts crunchy goodness and cloggy cholesterolness, but thanks to my roommate’s general dislike for lids, was completely lacking in the former quality.

I enlisted a few more reluctant brain parts and put them to work on orienting myself towards the bathroom, and while still wincing in pain, pseudo-limped towards to the wash basin and went about that crucial task of picking out my toothbrush from the bunch that contained, among other brushes of various vintage, the one must-be-avoided old toothbrush that was now used to clean combs and occasionally apply hair dye.

I picked mine out, a dull yellow medium hard brush with frayed tips, looked around for the toothpaste, and with 50% vision thanks to one contact lens on a nose vacation, went straight for something that looked red and tubey, which of course was not willing to dispense paste on account of there not being any left in it. So in the rich Indian tradition of making something out of nothing, I uttered a guttural growl, mustered the required Newtons per square cm, and birthed a tiny bit of paste that, as soon as I directed the brush towards my molars, carefully skirting around a nagging cavity, turned out to be Old Spice shaving cream. I immediately rinsed my mouth only to find, to my horror, a blackish, foaming mix of water, saliva and cream staining the wash basin. So I had, after all, picked up the hair dye brush.

I turned the tap on full to purge my mouth of dentally inappropriate products just find the water turn slowly into a trickle and finally come to a stop. I mentally devised the most ingenious torture devices for the Electricity Board bureaucrats who, in their good wisdom (teeth, I am assuming, and probably nagging) decided to shed load between 7.30 am and 8.30 am. I continued insulting their lineage as I filled a mug with water from a nearby bucket to complete my ablutions. The water tasted slightly um..elasticky, and against all the advice from several parts of my brain, I looked inside the bucket a little more carefully, only to find my roommate’s undergarments, soaking at the bottom.

I re-calibrated my daily hygiene requirements in the face of this sudden lack of usable water, and examined my face in the mirror to find out if I could convince myself that I did not need a shave (and a wash) right now. Against some internal protest, I constructed this illusion that I was actually pretty fresh looking and walked out of the bathroom after settling my hair with a comb that turned out to have an illegal immigration problem involving my roommate’s lice infested hair strands.

I purposefully strode towards the refrigerator, hoping to find some non-alcoholic liquid that could purge those final bits of hair dye and shaving cream from my taste buds. I gulped down from a bottle that read “Lychee flavored mineral water” and spat it out immediately when I realized it was vinegar. With a mental vow to run for office, get elected and pass a law against reuse of old bottles without corresponding removal of old labels, I staggered back into my bedroom, opened my half of the closet and conducted an olfactory inspection of all my shirts to determine suitability for office wear. I settled on the dirty grey checks with the coffee stain, but I could tuck the stained part in so I wasn’t too worried. Unlike the rest of the shirts, the odour of sweat on this one was matched reasonably by the Baygon-spray like scent of Brut cologne. As long as I kept some distance from the ladies today, I should be able to get through, I thought, as I searched around for some matching pants, found none with working zippers and decided to get even on my sleeping roomie by borrowing one of his.

After leaving no stone unturned in a house where most stones were in a state of being turned most of the time, I found my belt which, it turns out, had not kept up with my late night snacking. Using the last hole on my belt required me to constrict my abdomen in ways that my diaphragm and lungs strongly disapproved of. I looked around for a screw driver and hammer, found none, and attempted to use a small pair of scissors to eke out one more hole. The scissors bent out of shape, but managed a workable hole that for now resembled a really small plate of leather kotthu parotta.

I then sprayed the only pair of socks I could find (crumpled inside a really old pair of shoes of mine) with more Brut and put on my shoes after issuing eviction notices to a pair of cockroaches that were being shown around the insides of my shoe by some sort of a roach real estate agent. I looked at my watch, realized that I was late for some unimportant, yet crucial meeting, and ran to the elevator which had a board that read “Out of service. Please use Stares”.

I glared at it for a few seconds, and ran down 4 flights of stairs and breathed a sigh of relief as I found my colleagues still waiting for the office bus. But I had forgotten my ID card, which in an IT company usually results in several years of hard labour in Siberia. It also struck me that I had left my keys inside my apartment and locked myself out, with a sleeping roommate who generally required something in the 8.5 range on on the Richter scale to wake up.

I also felt a bit of air circulation in areas inside my pants that were not normal and with a great amount of casual caution, I explored the nether regions of my trousers to find, instead of comforting stitch, a gaping hole.

To be continued…

ps: If you survived this point, you will have realized that I had a major fascination for endless sentences 7 years ago. Also, I might add, like Dan Brown, that each of the individual mishaps did occur, just not all in a single day.

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    1. I also felt a bit of air circulation in areas inside my pants that were not normal and with a great amount of casual caution, I explored the nether regions of my trousers to find, instead of comforting stitch, a gaping hole. …….. ROFL and glad that you realized this before boarding the bus 🙂

      Now waiting for part 2….

  1. Lol.
    Looks like your writing has changed over the years. Do I sense a shade of Wodehouse influence?
    Ashok: Hard to avoid being influenced by someone like Wodehouse, but he is the greatest. I like Douglas Adams too, but no one turns a phrase like good ol’ Pelham Grenville

    1. “normally equal parts crunchy goodness and cloggy cholesterolness, but thanks to my roommate’s general dislike for lids, was completely lacking in the former quality.”
      i think this is one of the lines where the wodehousuthanam is obvious..

  2. Nice one. A phase every IT bachelor goes through. (What exactly is an IT Bachelor?? Information Technology Bachelor? Is that a qualification? Does it give more/less weightage to his bachelor hood? Is it akin to saying Mr.X, MBA weds Ms.Y B.Tech? Is he some kind of specialist bachelor? I digress) Slightly (Understatement) exaggerated for effect though. But hilarious.

  3. Dude,

    Don’t you think think that you have piled up too much shit on the poor sod’s shoulders? Better make up for it in the next part if you don’t want him to test the tensile strength of a rope hanging from a fan with his neck- or worse still call his mother up and ask her to get him married ASAP (and enter a world of clean undies, socks and perpetual zombiehood)

  4. Good one. I love the attention to detail!! Waiting for part 2!!

    //But I had forgotten my ID card, which in an IT company usually results in several years of hard labour in Siberia

    Cheeky!! 😀

    P.S: When did you write this?
    Ashok: About 7 years ago. Made some corrections/changes now

  5. Liked the post. But it sounded too labored with all the complex sentence formations. You might want to tone it down a little. Make no mistake, I am a big fan of your writing but this is not the KrishAshok that I know.
    Ashok: Of course. It was written 7 years ago. That said, the long sentences are meant to be like a visual guide, moving from one misstep to another. I could have broken them down into smaller sentences, but that made it too choppy

  6. Gr8 attention to detail and well written part 1 ;

    recently became an ardent fan of your blogs and all this week in the office successfully compelted reading all your achives blogs startign from April 2007 ;

    keep the blogs comin,
    Ashok: Whoa! April 2007. Dude, I need to get your autograph 🙂 How did you manage to sit through all of them

    1. Ashok,

      actually that was a attention grabbing statement ;

      juz kiddin , it juz shows i have so much free time @ work and shit loads of patience;

      autographaaa , aaahaaa ahhha neenga nallavara ella kettavaran ( read this with BG score of Nayagan)

      now to the serious part, i love readin, i guess i was lsot somewher between ur cocky lines , blasphmeny,satiric statments not to mention ur (GRE skills show off ) , kept me busy ;;;

      cheers
      tambaram vaasi santhosh

    2. thala…yet another nice one from u….i too ve read all ur blogs…they reallly get u so engrossing that u jus wait to finish all of them….this one was ultimate….waiting 4 d next part….

    3. heyyyy
      i have obsessively read each of urs posts from post 1!some of them saved as pdf files for the non-internet times at office.
      i was introduced to ur blog by with the review of ‘shivaji-the boss’.
      they are un-put-down-able..or i mite say un-navigatable!

  7. for the first time am liking the writing style more than the matter.actually most of this happen with us in govt boys hostel.so am prepared already.free

  8. Hahaha this seems like a morning in my life 10 years ago 🙂
    Jeeves is missing, of course he would be called “Jeeva”, and he would be the “Istri-Fellow”, who doubles up as Real Estate agent,Job Consultant for the help, and a know-it-all who reads Kumudam instead of Spinoza…… what say??

  9. Recently stumbled on your blog and I’m bloody jealous. I’m a ‘writer’ who can’t write half as well on her best day! *Sigh* Why are you IT guys stealing our thunder, dammit!? You are supposed to be the soda-butti-sporting-techy-nonsense-spewing nutcase who can’t tell the difference between a comma and a full-stop, enunciates the ‘h’ in honest and speaks in the present continuous for no reason :-/

    With that said, I am getting vicarious kicks out of the fact that it is a Chennaite rocking the blog scene. As opposed to a Bong, of course! I’ve been totally tripping on your ‘About the Author’ section, quoting it to random people to the point of becoming annoying.

    Okay I’ll say it. I’ve become a fan of an IT guy 😐

  10. Interesting…but I have to confess I’m not a fan of 5 line sentences 🙂 Totally agree with you on Wodehouse though…not too many people can get away with what he did.

  11. Hey, I just got introduced to the world of your blogs….really like them….being in Dubai tomorrow and Saturday are off…will aim to catch up with your old blogs….well thats only if my wife allows me to sit on my comp on a holiday…

    Cheers!!
    Kishore

  12. Very funny….. so this is how it will be when guys take an apartment together and stay????? Waiting for part 2… few things were like ewwwwwwwwwww.. but very funny details 🙂

  13. LMAO! I agree that the long sentences makes you visualize the details. After reading your ablutions scene, I must say, “sorry (and gosh)! you’ve lived through those traumatic mornings!”

  14. Brilliant Post…Sincerely hope that these stories are just a work of imagination not anything from the real life:-)..at least the disgusting parts like “The water tasted slightly um..elasticky”…

  15. Hilarious but the attention-to-detail is kinda haphazard as the itchy throat, burning eyes & nasal lens stand were forgotten a minute into the toothdyespice saga 😉

    Isn’t it the ‘first hole’ in the belt?….last from the buckle but first one as from the end-in-our-hand

    And were “Haldiram’s cornflakes mixtures” on the shelves 7 years ago? just wondering

    The vinegar-in-water-bottle is not so uncommon but I was the unfortunate being who gulped down rasam-from-a-glass thinking it to be panakam 😐

    All said and done, waiting for part 2.
    Ashok: It’s 7 years old, and yes, Cornflakes mixture was available. Also, the burning eyes, bad throat (and yes, the nasal lens) wait for part 2 🙂

  16. Gosh that warped, contorted manner of expressing yourself … you are a horrible man & I absolutely love you… LOL
    Keep those long sentences coming…will delay my Alzheimers , trying to decode them 🙂

    As for “Out of service. Please use Stares”.
    Shouldnt that be followed by “I Stared at it for a few seconds”
    Why Glare when it clearly says Stare … 🙂

  17. Awesome! Aduththu varuvadhu ennadhu ? Thaakudhalukku naanga thayaar (in the gethu voice of guy who does Tamil voiceovers for English movies )

  18. Why bother with parts… Single post with a “long post” warning could do…Ashutosh Gowariker style…
    I too have that long-sentence syndrome…will I have to wait 7 yrs to get rid of it…(or should I stop writing right now)

  19. awesome post !
    except that machi
    athu newton/metre 2 , not centi-metre 2
    😀
    Ashok: So? N/sq.cm is also a pressure unit, just not an S.I unit

  20. It was like WATCHING Chapter One. Messy, messy. Somewhat Mr. Bean-like. Many guys are like that I guess;). Yup, long sentences are tedious but only after a while.

  21. Aha wow Wodehouse moments in here 🙂 Who was the Empress of Blandings – the roomie or you?? Nice imagery the Empress ate Haldirams :))

  22. I’m a regular reader of your blog, and think you have some of the most original and witty content out there. I’m not too taken with this piece though. I do see occasional sparks of good things to come in this piece of writing. However, I don’t want to read something which isn’t the high quality I’m used to on the blog. Perhaps updating some of this to keep with your usual style might be warranted?

  23. Interesting that you say you don’t like scathing humour, most of what you write is scathing in one sense, at least vaguely. Aah well, to each his own, I guess. What’s scathing for me might not be for others.
    But the bit about ending up with a bad taste after writing one is very true. But it is also true that when all else fails, the best way to rant off & cool down is via an intensely scathing blog post. Nothing like it. 😀

  24. Hey Krish! I’m a new reader of your blog.?(Just the last 2 posts) and i like it already. I’m waiting for the Part-II of ‘a day….’. I would really love to read your take on the SENA vs Khan/gandhi clan/rest of India when you’d find time for us fans(pun intented. :P)

  25. Nice change from the previous post. You’ve got to get an award for the world’s longest sentences! Or the ones with the most modifiers!

  26. Really enjoyed your Mile Sur blog and Iyer vs Iyengar blogs-fantastic pieces….this one, not too much…your PS helped because somewhere midway thru it, I was thinking to myself-there is no way all these events could have happened on a single day…..too much fancy vocab and the long sentences took away from the joy of experiencing the writing…..you are funny and nice writing…………

  27. konjnam bore adikardu….i like ur racy writing…i had to skip 2 or 3 lines in b/w with this one….just my opinion…i could not leave a message on mile sur, its classic…

  28. Btw who stores vinegar in the fridge. Vinegar is a preservative used when one does not want to store things in the fridge LOL

    >>and “birthed” a tiny bit of paste ? … Will never squeeze paste out of a tube without saying Eew , ever again 🙂

    Sorry, seem to be making a habit of leaving 2 comments per post…just cant Leave one !!!

  29. Good one. Funny way of saying “I am screwed”!! Kalakurael ponga. Btw, I hate that all ur unimportant meeting becomes crucial ones!! Cant wait to read the PART-2

  30. Brrrilliant :)!!! I have both the “the one must-be-avoided old toothbrush ” and the Brut female equivalent, so I am in the industry also 😦 …. But dont discount your scathing humor, anything that good cannot possibly be bad!

  31. Heyloh!
    I’ve just started followin ur blog and absolutely enjoy readin it, though i do enjoy the scathing bits more, i know i dont have to say keep on writing coz u sure will, but thanks for the great reads!
    Regards,
    Candida F

  32. It feels bad to strike a jarring note, but my personal opinion on this post can be summed up as: chaotic at best. Too many adjectives, too much contrived-ness to the whole thing – lacks the can’t-quite-name-it effortless *flow* of such consummate masterpieces as the dravidian posters post.

    It looks to me like you set out to consciously cram as much ‘funny-ness’ into this essay as you could possibly manage, while keeping an Oxford dictionary handy to spice up the broth.

    Sorry, but got to be honest about what I feel.

    P.S. I really do love your blog; just that this post….well, we’ve been through all that…
    Ashok: Fully agree. Constructive feedback for the Ashok from 7 years ago. Hopefully, he’s learnt a few things along the way. Part 2 is probably going to be edited and re-written instead of reproduced verbatim

    1. Saarey, Okka small request_uuu…

      If you want to edit the part 2 before posting it, then please do that as a seperate write up, (something on the lines of RGV’s Sholey and name it “Older Krish ki ‘A day in the life of……'”)

      It will be lovely to hear (read read) word by word of the original…. otherwise it will be plagiarism of a different kind (even if it is your own work).

      Thondargalin request_ukku sevi saaikkumaaru kettu kolgiren.

  33. This is for the voices of gentle dissent –
    despite the endearing humility of “the Ashok from 7 years ago ” , I would like to say –

    “Ravi Varmana kunchada kale bale saakaravo”………

    & with that profound statement I submit my 3rd comment… LOL

  34. Seriously, is this written by the KA I have been reading?
    Well, the style is different..
    All your posts bring smiles, looking to read avuncular armchair # 2.
    Llawerence krauss’s lecture was incredible, and the sketches kaka ( is it krishna ashok 2times?) were enjoyable. Since after the youtube I have come to read Ricahrd Dawkins and Krauss. Thanks.

  35. The following words of yours
    “I don’t really like scathing humour, and I usually end up with a bad after taste the moment I hit submit.”
    made me think of Vyasa feeling dissatisfied after his magnum opus ‘mahabharath’ and that he is advised to write on the more poetic ‘origin of life’. So emerges Vyasa’s idea from the heart, ‘bhagavatham’…
    BUT….
    Want to say though, your posts earlier were a treat and wishing you well,
    Neela

  36. Able to relate to it for most of the incidents. The “navuthu pona” Haldirams, the dye-toothbrush, the olfactory search for the shirt….I shouldn’t call it nostalgia if such things happen to me in the present.. Should I?

  37. I have just started reading your blog and I love every bit that I’ve read so far…:) thanks to you I’m skipping my weekly sojourn to the library..
    Ashok: What? If this is all the reading you are planning on doing, I take no responsibility for any long term damage

  38. ok, I can’t take this anymore….how is it that I do not know a single bachelor like this ? I had and have many lazy friends as well as bachelors but I have never come across this sort of departure from basic hygiene or does there in lie the beauty that everyone disguises it so well from the womenfolk ?? Whats more, I am married to someone who cannot rest in peace on a saturday without vaccuming the house (God bless him for that !) and he is not even the most fastidious person I know !! Something is terribly terribly wrong…..
    Ashok: I would suggest that you have your eyes checked. And a husband who likes cleaning? That’s unnatural and against the natural order.

  39. I thought disorganized, filthy guys with filthier apartments were for most parts generalizations and type-casts that many protest about. From your writing, one could infer that you’d be more organized.
    But then, there is that thing about assuming!

    Can’t wait to read part II.

  40. I’m hooked on to your blog! Too much, this is the perfect antidote to the stress of urban life and the reflecting and ruminating that I tend to do.

    Your account of an IT bachelor’s morning is what hubby dearest would go thru when wifey’s not around. the socks. ugh. He manages to create an environment conducive for fungal growth… in the refrigerator… and the coffee filter. And can submit a thesis based on his experiments on ‘the-various-stages-of-decomposition-of-bananas-left-uneaten-in-boxes’.

  41. Like the long windy sentences though, as they have the interesting effect of -sinking in- just a few seconds later than usual..maybe thats just me..

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