Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Postmodern Traumas

I’ve always believed I have a penchant for the odd…not that it means anything to anybody…but it’s a belief that comes to my mind time and again. It’s a part of growing up and thriving in sad times…makes a person odd.

To describe ‘odd’, well…I have a penchant for saying the wrong things at the wrong time to begin with. In a life that is cruel most of my waking hours, a job that regularly puts Sisyphus to shame, a salary that makes we want to get things from charity shops, a back problem that would lead the simple minded to believe that I lead a secret life of an acrobat and run a circus…oh where do I begin! doesn’t help when I end up making one of the biggest errors in modern times, in a high-profiled client meeting.

Like most things in my strange life, this meeting wasn’t predecided. I just happened to be the next in line when the boss fell ill. So here I was, set to travel 4237657 miles (a mild hyperbole) to a client meeting one usual drizzly morning, with an outdated laptop and a broken umbrella…a rather sad picture isn’t it…makes we wanna take a bereavement leave.
Jojo, the landlady’s beast of a dog has taken sudden pity towards my state of affairs here. He doesn’t scream for my blood anymore. Perhaps he has started to respect the general despair of a post modern woman…how Satre-esque!!

So old Jojo watched me dispassionately as I trudged along with my broken paraphernalia towards the railway station; off to Crawley, on a career-making (acute chances of being quite the opposite) client meet one February Wednesday.

After a couple of hours of toil in unbelievably overcrowded trains, random big blue buses, and trundling along in the slush, I reached the coveted premises. The hair that was carefully straightened in the morning to look mildly sexy had curled up into winterberry shrubs…the eyebrows that I hadn’t had time to shape, looked tropical…and my black trousers had Andy-Warhole-ish mud patches…perfect!

Hopefully, I’ll talk such a lot of sense in there, people wouldn’t care a damn about how ghoulish I looked. Nice, comforting, self-induced halo.
So with crossed fingers and a thumping heart I began. This was a room full of tight-lipped, zero-inclination-to-smile men, staring at me...waiting for me to tell them I had a lousy solution that wouldn’t meet their needs, but I would still make them believe that it would…then I would run off with their money, grinning impishly through my spagetti hair.

Ahem! the first reaction to what I had to say wasn’t as bad. The men warmed up to the idea that my solution wasn’t completely unbelievable. The session went on.

I had said earlier that I have a penchant for the odd. To clarify, I watch too many movies, I am definitely in the wrong profession, and this realization makes me think of movies all the more, especially at wrong times. So in the middle of my rather sombre presentation, I gawked right at the client on the opposite end of the table and asked the most improbable question of my life…’Are you related to Robert De Niro?’ The poor man choked on his evening tea. The group burst out laughing at this Bridget-Jones-ish attempt to look retarded, and I knew my job was on the line.

It’s always been. Will refrain from documenting what went on after that in the meeting. It would suffice to say, I am on hiding since then.


D said...

Lovely post! Despite the postmodern end, which isn't really an end, I enjoyed reading this.

Debanjana said...

Thanks D...thanks a lot....enjoyed reading your post 'ja beta ja' as well :)

ritika said...

oh how can telling someone he looks like robert de niro hurt? how can anything robert de niro hurt?
and a lovely post.

Debanjana said...

But Ritz, for godssake....he was the client...and I had 18 other non-humourous gentlemen gawking at me. I can't believe how appallingly bad I am at public speaking!

Blahsfemmy said...

Deeee...SUCH a FUNNY post...i loved it! You can be such an excellent funny woman writer (come to think of it, there are so few! PLEASE get something of your writing published!)

BTW, I am sooo bloody scared of public speaking, because i lose my thoughts mid sentence and that makes me look like such a dud! And come to think of it, i am going to be delivering trainings at Target soon! GOD HELP!

Scribbler :) said...

ah, I see I can hire you to write for my "Of Faux Pas and Morals" series :)
But maybe becoming a guest blogger for a blog that has just one reader (ME), wouldn't excite you much :(

I laughed when I visualised you in that room :) Good post.