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The Lunch Box Journal

The Lunch Box Journal

Chapter I

It’s more cold this year than it has ever been“, one of the migrant to Bangalore told to a Bangalorean while rubbing his hands over a cup of Green Tea sitting at the cafeteria of an IT organization. It was always cool. That was one thing the Bangaloreans brag about all the time, besides many other things, the other popular being the fast traffic jams. There could be a traffic jam within seconds. Is that fast enough? But it would take hours to clear the same and much more time to travel 10 meters. The cafeteria is surrounded with building on all four sides, the ones with the glass planes, because that’s the default setup of most IT buildings, is it not? This particular IT office harbored a minimal crowd of over 5000 people. Well, there are much bigger and larger IT complexes.

The cafeteria always have the momentum, with people coming and going. But it is never dull. Even the weekends got company, but some people are still single. The fabricated glass kept the office key strokes inside and the outside chatter out. Even if it rained or if a big storm graced them, the people furiously hitting their keys would never have a clue unless they decide to take a break and come out of their boxed colonies.

It was midweek as the atmosphere settled in the office chatter, like a slow rhythmic music in the background. And then there was this group of people just heading out for their usual lunch date.

Neil stood with his blue box. No it wasn’t a covert operation and this blue box didn’t contain great many secrets, except perhaps that secret ingredients in his food that just his mom knows, a very big secret. He stood over an array of empty chairs facing each other. And no, it wasn’t a business meeting. He was just saving seats for his colleagues. Not to brag too much besides the fact that he is a good athlete, that he participates in Marathons and is creative inside out, he also has a very good eye. So, this selection of these seats is strategically done to achieve one purpose – Maximum exposure.

Gautham sat with his half fried rice and was complaining about the music that was playing on the stage behind. He was very much particular about the quality of sound, and was just disappointed at the people behind the sound console pretending to know how to handle music, which he knew they didn’t. Everyone could hear the dismay in his facial expressions and well. And also the uneven blaring music that made people jump in their seats. In lieu of the music, he has been very good with hands, literally. A couple too many times, they did the magic on the singing floor when he provided the music to some of the great melodies every sung, by another equally talented artist in the group. Though sometimes, he lends his voice but is still pissed at not getting the right recognition for the talent he possess at the very office campus. But he will sure make his mark soon, perhaps not inside these glassed walls.

Madhav sat with his smoking hot plate with some Chinese delicacies. He probably is the most decent guy, calm and composed. Perhaps, its the same calm that one keeps hearing about in the phrase, “It’s always calm before the storm”. Perhaps, it would be better if no one gets to meet this so called ‘storm’. But in general, every group has that one guy who is more decent than the rest of the others. Well, this group has one too.

Sameer was profusely sweating while he was having his lunch. Why because of the mistaken capsicum. He wiped his face with the kerchief in his other hand but only after he corrected the grammar saying, “It’s not Why because, since both mean almost the same”. Being the President of the well known Rotary club that involves bettering people at communication, not only at a professional level, but also at personal level, it was kind of his job to correct people, no offence at all. It has been a great achievement for the fresher that he is. Well, that is what he is mistaken for most of the time. Why, because. Because of his charming young looks or may it is just the Ponds Age Miracle.

Akhil opened his ‘healthy – vegetarian’  lunch box freshly heated from the microwave labelled “Non Vegetarian”. A head bath a day keeps anything and everything away anyway. But he had to open his phone to attend a call from another concerned individual who seems to be more concerned about him. No wonder he is the lucky guy and the whole group is proud of him. Actually, the group, plus one more person are proud of him for his singing skills. He is (one of) the artist of the group. The singer and probably the most talkative of the lot, after Aryan ofcourse. He is always on edge. He does his Google research and if at least once he gets hold of something and believes it, he will give anything to prove that said point.

Aryan settled down with his Scrambled Egg Biryani Rice, for like the tenth time in the same week. He does say that he isn’t a fan of egg when asked about it, but he also doesn’t get bored of it since that’s what he has been having for months at a stretch, though there have been certain change in the lunch menu in between but it always ends up with the same thing. Besides being persistent at eating the same thing almost everyday, he is a self proclaimed photographer (bleh!) who keeps posting photos taken ages ago confusing people into thinking that he was there just the weekend that passed by. Basically he is a calm guy, but not as calm as he is pretending to be. He writes sometimes and it’s more devastating than him being calm.

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5 o’clock”, Neil said and everyone turned their heads, as if it was a dance sequence or as if it was premeditated. If anyone was onlooking at this they would definitely come to know what these guys were upto. That was when it was decided to make a rulebook for “watching” and also the need to change the most common military lingo of direction.

To be continued…

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P.S. This was the much needed character introduction, aimed to better understand the people, erm characters of the “story”,  briefly. The details will follow through in the preceding posts. It is a journal of a guy, accumulating the stories happening around him, at office and outside as well. I can’t promise that it will bean absolute fun, but bear with me, I will try my best to make it more fun.

A new leaf.

A new leaf.

“I am turning a new leaf in my life”.

 

Once more, once more“, chanted the mesmerized crowd who broke into applause and cheers at the song that he had just sung. The otherwise already Mr. Popular singer had always taken the front row seat when it came to singing- his unique talent among many other talents. The talent was not only in being able to pitch the sharps and lows at the right time, but also in the ability to sing songs in languages that were unknown to him. What does it tell about a person who could sing in three different languages. Well, some are just born talented, aren’t they?

It was the season of the advent of monsoon and talent shows, most of them organized at office. It was his chance to take the cue and shine bright like always. There was an official notice about the auditions which ranged from stand up comedy to dance. The auditions have begun and they were at full-fledged at the campus auditorium. But unfortunately, He had already planned his trip to go home that he didn’t realize that the dates of his travel were clashing with that of the song audition date. With a little heavy heart, he let go of his inhibition to sing this time and go ahead with the actual plan of going home.

After his arrival back to office he inquired about the songs selection, whether it was already done or was supposed to be done to which they informed that he could give his audition later that day because the organizers knew what talent this guy had and hence wanted to give him a chance. As happy as he was to be given an opportunity and people having a little faith in him, he decided not to take that offer on account of the prejudiced history he had had. A year or so earlier, since he was good at singing and being a regular at singing, for competition or not, award or no award, just for fun or cultural programs, he was on the panel for judging the contestants. He felt awkward doing what was asked of him, given the few facts that he was the almost the same age and probably younger than the contestants and also on the point that how could he be qualified to judge their singing skills. Keeping those good old memories in mind, he decided not to risk it even if it meant that he won’t be able to perform. Imagine how a performer would feel like when they are devoid of the chance to perform. But that didn’t bother him much. Instead he decided to accompany his friend Ayushi, who was auditioning for dance. That is when he saw her.

The stage was brightly lit, the auditorium slightly dim and the lights focused on the people performing on the stage, auditioning to be selected as top five. But of all the people on the stage, the spotlight was on just one person, his spotlight. As he screened through the people on the stage he recognized one particular girl they all had been discussing about the other day- Neel‘s crush. That was when he saw her friends along with her in synchronized moves as the music blared in the auditorium and the seats vibrated to the bass. He stood there in muted silence as he slowly realized that he was still standing and his friend was staring at him with confused and suspicious eyes. He was excited about spotting Mirza and couldn’t wait to tell the news to Neel, but he was more lost in the moment as they finished their dance routine and took their seats. He showed his friend whom he was accompanying about the girl and the Mirza. He even asked her to get her name and phone number if possible. She smiled at him even thought her teeth were crackling under her breath as she agreed do what was asked of her without saying a word.

Akhil, the guy who never needed an introduction. A singer, musician, multi talented, charming yet hard working guy. A bit talkative, but that’s all for the best and not to mention the ladies man, of course. The singers take away all the good stuff, don’t they? Having had the company of this creature for over two years, I still haven’t learnt how to sing. You can’t blame me for poor vocal chords, you really can’t. No, you can’t judge me, now. Such intolerance, I tell you. Besides singing he is a fitness freak, and will most likely to star in one of the sequel of the epic movie starring Salman Khan. He is getting replaced. As a result, he even turned a new leaf in his life, which which he is just going to drink green tea all day, everyday and also going all green and organic. What’s more? He is the official health SPOC. There’s lot of more stuff. But all in due time.

_______________

Who is Neel? Who is Mirza? Who is Ayushi? Who the unknown lady is? What the hell is happening? Is this some kind of fiction? Or a diary? Or a series of events happening around me? I believe you never had these questions. Thank you and good. Because, I think you could help me out. I am completely confused here.

– #TheLunchBoxJournal
ak, ᴠɪxᴍᴍxᴠɪ
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