Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Best Laid Plans

Sometimes, all it takes, is a near-invisible bit of frayed thread to unravel the best laid plans.
Just imagine.
A seemingly innocent loose end, which, escapes your eagle eye. Or perhaps, seems too insignificant to warrant much attention.
And the consequence?
Your plans in your hands, in an infuriating tangle of knots!
OK people, I exaggerate a wee bit.

BUT, this is what almost happened when I went on my sabbatical last week.

Not wanting to be disturbed in the midst of my hiatus of self-indulgence, I had taken great pains to explain to spouse, friends and colleagues about my soul's crying need for a vacation. The bright neon 'Do Not Disturb' sign was up and flashing for all to see, as I retreated into my shell, congratulating myself on having covered all bases effectively.

My euphoria lasted for all of 24 hours. Till breakfast on day 2 of my holiday.

I was about to dig into my chilly-cilantro egg-white omelet with greedy anticipation and relish, when my single-minded focus was shattered by the insistent ringing of the phone. I would have ignored the call, had it not been from a rather good friend of my aunt's with whom I enjoy the odd gossip session every now and then.
She was not a person to be put off. And so, with a deep sigh of regret, I pushed aside the albuminous object of my gluttony.
Much to my surprise, Auntie was almost hyperventilating.
Waves of panic crackled through the distance, threatening to scramble my grey cells into mush.The last traces of my greed vanished as I pressed the phone against my ear, straining to understand her garbled words.
A few seconds of intense listening, and a burning red ear later, I gathered that the panic attack had been induced, of all things, my mysterious disappearance from cyberspace.

But, the worst was yet to come.

In her panic, auntie had first called home to notify my mother and aunt of my disappearance, before calling me. As I reassured her and eventually hung up, I toyed with the idea of calling home to reassure the ladies in my family. But the lure of the still warm chilly-cilantro omelet proved to be irresistible and in no time, my family had been consigned to the dark recesses of my mind.

In my defense, I would like it to be known that the women in my family are extremely hardy and quite capable of taking good care of themselves. In all the years I have been away from home, I have never known my mother or anyone else worry about me. For you see, they, like me, had infinite faith in my ability to survive. So, it was no small wonder that I shrugged off the call and devoted my attention to the remnants of my breakfast.

But obviously, parents cannot be taken for granted, because one just cannot predict when they will take it upon themselves to break a set pattern!

36 hours later, my mother called....While I was at dinner.

It was just my luck that I was a little too engrossed in some excellent red wine and, also deafened by loud music, and failed to take her call.

What ensued was chaos!

My mother, who probably had visions of me dead, raped or kidnapped, promptly called DSK to investigate. It appeared that she had quite forgotten her emphatic stance, that any aggressor who sought to attack me, would rue the day he set his sights on me.
The husband, who was working late, and, was quite oblivious to my whereabouts, was taken quite by surprise by his hysterical woman at the other end of the line and struggled to reassure her while maintaining a calm facade for the benefit of his colleagues. And all through their shrill exchange, I kept trying to call both!!!.

Eventually, good sense prevailed.
The two decided to end their aimless speculation and, in true Holmsian style, commence investigations. As they rang off, I was able to connect to mom......Only to have Dsk interrupt continuously.

The melee stretched late into night.
My wine had gone sour.
My food had congealed. And, I missed dessert!!!
But, even as peace set in, I could not resist asking my mother why it took her a good 36 hours to respond to an alarm raised by a well-meaning though hyper-reactive friend.

And her answer?

A wicked giggle, followed by a breezy "Oh, I knew nothing bad could possibly happen. It was auntie who panicked, not me. Why else would I wait for a whole day and then some, before I tried to reach you?"

I guess, all's well that ends well.
Although, the next time round, I will be snipping away at the most innocent of fluff and frayed threads with a vengeance!!!

1. Picture on top: Red Yarn In Blue Hands from National Geographic Photography


Anonymous said...

LOL! That was a good one. Trying to go far from the madding crowd, and you only get pulled into it more fiercly than ever before. Hope you do have some 'me time' though :-)

Roopa said...

Hey, I loved this post. Loved the way you put things and the imagery is brilliant - albuminous object of my gluttony!! har do you even come up stuff like that :D

Miaow!!! said...

Thank you ladies.
:) :)

Pal, fortunately, that was the only loose end and so, I did manage to get plenty of 'me' time

Roopz, you got me!!!
I love food.
I live for food.
And now you know where the " albuminous object of my glutonny' came from?

Ganga Dhanesh said...

Lovely post, Rekz....loved the certainly have a way with words. Again brings one back to online-offline lives, huh? You vanish from one and set off panic in the other...loved ur mom's response too :)

Miaow!!! said...

You loved my mom's response?
Et Tu, Ganga?
But you do have a point about balancing off-line and on-line lives. My time away showed me that life in the virtual world, sometimes shapes out in ways one never imagines...