The air-conditioner was set to sixteen since the last ten minutes, the microphone checked twice in those ten, the lights dimmed and the stage set. It was an inconspicuous day at work for Meira. She was clearly detached from all the excitement and activities with her efficient handling of people as much as her pallu. As everyone around her awaited for the guest to grace them with his presence, she got ready to blindfold into a world of cartons of answers, brown box upon brown box soundlessly revealing all that was ever concealed. Inside her mind, her heart. Her many wishes that she lived in moments adopted for acquired pleasures. Simply.
He came in, an unassuming presence. Five minutes after Meira’s vacation had begun in the auditorium, while she listened to him, and doodled in her notebook, she looked up. There was something about him, that unassuming speaker. She shifted her attention on to the stage, on his watch — nice, clean. His belt — very subtle details, his shoes — polished, sharp. The shirt was well-ironed and the suit could be one of the many emerging out of an airplane, but set apart because of the pen clutching the pocket, the unmissable white star on the black round. She hoped it would be a fountain pen as she put back her pen into its cap to listen to him. Surprisingly, he was speaking simple sense. Simply.
Her saree was wrong today, her watch worn-out, her hair a bit of the Wednesday-hair, and her earrings did not call for special deference. But her answers to his interactive questions were bang-on, complete with her smile. Their ordinariness was unexpectedly agreeable. His speech ended with a shameless eye-contact which lingered for a minute longer than customary. It was customized to convey. Simply.
As she walked him out while he spoke with them he did not want to, she quickly interrupted him with her genuine ‘Thank you’.
He extended and followed it with a firm, warm ‘Nice of you to take your time out.’ And after a pause, in front of all the people, as he held her hand still, ‘Don’t forget to send in references. I am staying at the Hyatt till tomorrow’.
She smiled, genuinely. And turned back towards life. Walking towards a round of activities waiting to unfold and asking for her undivided attention.
She consciously gave it only her divided attention though. And made it a point to be wise about the other side. Grabbing a coffee on her way back, she decided to get herself a new watch this summer, the colour of wood. And went on about being life-wise.