Warning: grumpy, cringing post ahead. read at your own risk.
The day began as usual, with the usual madness. And then each thing became undone.
10 am: As I’m rushing to work, Anjali the maid says “Didi I want this Friday off”. I stop in my tracks. This week?? At work we’ve got this guy come over from Bristol – specifically to hand off some code to me, to babysit me, to train me – for this piece of code, that’s essential for the chip, that needed to be finished like a month ago, but i’m not even close to….blah blah, u get the drift. She has to go drop her sister to the station. The train’s at 11 am. Yay. I ask her to come in afte rthat so that I can atleast go to work after 12:30 / 1pm. Yay. PAt on back. Problem well handled. I still need to figure out / arrange for lunch etc since she wont be in that morning, and how to postpone all my meetings till Friday noon.
11am: Call from Airtel – madam, you havent paid your mobile bill this month. Damn. I forgot to follow up. I’d asked them to change my rate plan 3 months ago, they still havent. And I’ve raised tickets with them to update my bill according to the new rate plan. They havent. In 2 months. They keep closing the tickets. And I forget to follow up.
11:30am: Call from Citibank – madam, your credit card payment is due since May. Shit.
I remember I havent paid any of the bills this month. It just slipped my mind. June got over before I even realised. I knew I had to do it. I always intended to do it. And then somewhere, I just forgot. Yes, I just forgot. Damn. F@#*@#*&. This hasnt happened before. EVER.
I promptly log in to Citi to pay the bills. Its’ way too slow.
1 pm: meeting with UK guy starts. Mostly discussions btwn me and him. And other people listening in.
2pm: Call from ANjali “Didi, bijli kaat diya hai. kahte hain bill nahi bhara” <they’ve cut the electricity. say bill hasnt been paid”. Some silent swearing and kicking myself. Mild panic attack.I call home, ask FIL to get me the estate manager’s number (guy who supervises stuff for our apt complex). He gets me a no. that doesnt work. Dont know whose no and where he got it from. More calls. The estate manager calls me. I’m thrilled. I tell him I just paid the bill a few hours ago. Please connect the electricity. He says ok, but you need to email me the reciept b4 6pm, else BEscom guys will permanently disconnect it. WTF. ok. All these calls etc during meeting with me heading out of the conf room every 10 minutes.
3pm: Meeting is still on. I take a break. Go check Citi for the reciept. Its not there. I try to pay again. It doesnt let me – no payments after due date. Log onto BangaloreONe. Same problem. Try calling HD. No answer. Head back to meeting.
3:30pm: Call HD again. “I’m in a training. Cant do anything from here. Goto Marathalli BESCOM and pay”.
Hang up. THink. Think. Think – who can i call to do this? No one.
4pm: Me frantically trying to get Estate manager’s no. Lotsa phone calls. I get thru. Ask him if he can send someone to pay it for me.
“Sorry madam, no can do.”
Where’s the closest place that I can pay it?
Isnt there anything in Brookefield? Bangalore One? Then I can ask FIl to go pay.
Till when is BESCOM office open
“There’s a 24 hr machine there where you can pay”
Yay! HAlleluhya. Silent prayer – I hope that machine works else F#@QE#!
<Just the thought of being w/o electricity, in the dark..with kiddo…enough to send shudders down my spine. WTH will I do if that m/c doesnt work!!@!>
What’s this 6pm deadline?
“That’s when BESCOM guys are coming to inspect. If bill not paid – they take away the fuse and u have to go there to get it”.
Huh!?! But i’m just 1 week late in payment. Shouldnt they just charge me a late fee in next cycle.
“They dont do that”
Again, these conversations spread over many phone calls with me excusing myself from the discussion while 10 people watch on.
5 pm: I say I’ve got to go and run away from the meeting. Rush to the BESCOM office. Praying I find it. Only been tehre once – a year ago. It’s in one really really winding, narrow lane – quite impossible to find, until you ask 20 people. In a not-so-nice area, the kind I’d prefer not to be walking down the road alone. I get to BESCOM. I pay. WOWW!!!! In 2 minutes its done. Thank GOd for the small mercies. I ignore all the stares I’m getting there. Rush home to the KB office, submit reciept. Hear the manager and some other guys vent their hearts out about BESCOM and its inance policies. Join in with full enthu.
6pm: Home atlast!! And the Goosh greats me with an instant smile that turns into a loud wail. His way of saying “Mommy I missed you!!! Pick me up right now!!!”. And Anjali proceeds to tell me about how she’d taken Goosh to afriends’ flat and how he played there. I’m dumbstruck. But I listen patiently. Where did she take him? Some flat on the 8th floor. Who lives tehre? Dont know. Maid is some Bengali lady who she wanted to ask smthg. There was a 2 yr old kid there. What’s the flat no? Dont remember, but its the last on in the corridor. I’m fuming inside. But I say nothing. I’m not at all thrilled to know she took the Goosh God knows where. I trust her. She’s doing an awesome job with Goosh. But I’d like to know where my kid is, and where he’s been.
I call up the only lady I know on the 8th floor. She does have a 2 yr old. But she was at work today. Cudnt be her place. I ask her to check with her maid. And I strike gold. It was her place. Great. So now atleast I know where the kid went. Some consolation huh.
11 pm: I’m still shaking too much at how this day’s been, and all the what-ifs that thankfully didnt happen. What if I hadnt managed to pay the bill today? What if nything had happened to Goosh…
Inspite of all that I do.
That’s life for you.
– still shaken.
Glad to know I’m not the only one. REad here.