“My Breakfast, fast”, I screamed while applying kohl.
“Have kept in on the table Didi”
I hurried to the dining table. My laptop was hanging on one side, one of my hands held wallet, phone and charger while I grabbed the roll from the other.
“Sit down and have your breakfast, beta”
“Mom, I am getting late. Have to drop Arjun to school first,”
His carpool had ditched us today. I looked around my hand moving to the mouth for a bite.
“Arjun… Arjuuuuu”, I stopped midway. Suddenly from behind leaped on me a 5 year old monkey and I heard the thud of my roll falling on the ground.
“Gotcha”, a beaming face said.
I smiled weakly desperately looking at the mess on the floor. Not that I wasn’t tempted enough to lick the entire contents now adorning the floor, but a quick look at the wall clock ensured that I did not.
“Padmini, make Didi another roll”
“Leave it Mom, we are late”, I said while swiftly holding Arjun’s hand and hitting the lift.
“Eat something on the way”, I heard my Mom call out. The lift screeched and so did my tummy. Heavens!! It’s a long day ahead. I rummaged my Pandora’s bag to locate the car keys as we moved to the parking lot only to find the front tyre flat. Damn! I hit the car with my fist. Ouch!! It went red! But probably lesser than my face seething with hunger and anger, Hanger.
We waited for an auto rickshaw. And this toddler of mine was having a ball of a time jumping imaginary puddles and winning some race in his head.
Finally an auto rickshaw pulled up.
“Bhaiya, sector 15”
“Madamji, Rs. 150”
Had I not been a vegetarian and little short on time, I swear I would have eaten that man alive. But all I said was, “Okay, whatever”.
There was this beautiful aroma of fresh poha in the auto. Honestly, it was in the auto or my mind, I wasn’t able to tell apart. Once I slyly glanced at Arjun’s tiffin box but immediately mom guilt took over me and I looked away.
“Bye bachcha”, I said kissing Arjun. I looked at the watch. I had a meeting scheduled in exactly 5 minutes from now. I rushed, keeping my hunger pangs aside.
“Sorry Gentlemen, sorry to have kept you waiting; so let’s start. What was the meeting about, ah yes! Marketing your new food brand. Right… Right…”
Gawd!! There was food everywhere other than inside me. My stomach growled and crunched with pain now. If some sensible words were to come out of my mouth, this burning pyre had to be drenched. I spotted my bottle on the desk and gulped it down.
The meeting went on with all the dishes flying in front of my eyes and constant intake of sips of water to keep that howling stomach of mine shut.
“That sounds great,” I said as I shook hands signaling the end of meeting and probably the end of my hysteria. I sank on my chair and took a deep breath. I put in the keys to open my drawers only to find the snack box empty. I banged my head on the desk. How could I forget to refill it? Just then I heard peon call my name.
“Madam, Boss is calling you”
I threw up my hands and my mind said, “Now what have I done to invite the wrath”.
As I entered his cabin, the entire office was already there.
Hunger had already ceased any processing of thoughts in my mind and I stood pale and blank.
“You have been promoted”, said someone while stashing my mouth with a laddooo.
And as the laddoo lay flat in my stomach being broken into basic nutrients by the digestive juices, the feeling sank into me and the happy faces of Mom, Siddharth and Arjun over my favourite dinner flashed infront of me.