Tuesday, May 16, 2006

lost in translation

Posted by Picasa all is greek...

Among the religions I have lost, punctuality is distinctly placed on the top of a long and happening list. As a result, I walked into the office an hour late. It had only been a month since I had joined and I had already used up all my excuses. When I say that I have used up all my excuses, please do not underestimate my imagination. I regard myself highly when it comes to cooking up creative excuses in all situations, times and languages. For instance – once upon a time there was a black panther that cut my path. The very superstitious me couldn’t make it to the office that day. A Unicorn that drilled a hole in my petrol tank and the Santa who peed in my water tank during his Christmas flight are also contenders for the top spot. It looked like my boss had given upon me. He tried professional advise, changed it to a Coreleonish threat and now it was just an old man’s plea. I ignored all the three with equal disdain. I make the rules around here!

I had an ad campaign to finish. A break from those boring classified clones. I had been sleeping with that ad for the last 3 days. My boss though, did not share the same lust for the ad as me. He threw me in the middle of a couple of nymphomaniacal black & white 3x8 ads. I succumbed to the pressure. And now I am sounding too melodramatic. Anyways, after winning the battle of the classifieds, I went back to my love. The love making session was too short even for the ejaculation of a headline. The jealous boss was at me yet again. “We have a meeting in another 15 minutes. We need to revamp a website for Karnataka State Women’s development corporation. We are serving the government and hence that should be our first priority.” Despite my strong love for women and everything about them, I despised the job.

I reluctantly got up from my chair and joined him. If you have seen a government establishment in any corner of the country, you can describe one anywhere in India without any trouble. They are all the same. Old people with huge tummies that do not represent their salaries in any way; primitive chairs which has seen more bugs than humans; dilapidated walls that told tales of unemployed employees; an elevator where you have to knock on the door for any response; Pentium MMX computers that are slower to react to human command than the peons at the place; and stuff like that.

A small session of introduction took place, wherein I was introduced as the incarnation who would revolutionise the life of women in the state of Karnataka. I was greeted with some respect and treated to a cup of tea that I badly wanted to swap with my boss’ coffee.
I simply cannot explain the torture that I was put through for ‘the 2 hours’ after that cup of tea. Long discussions in Kannada, a language I can hardly understand, forget speaking. Every two minutes, the client and my boss would look at me for acknowledgement of something I was vaguely aware of. I would nod with a look that was a mixture of stupidity, ignorance, intelligence and sophistication. The one, and the only one, that was needed – a look of understanding – was missed dearly. I managed to bring my boss’ attention to the ads pending at the office that had to go in the evening for publishing. A five-minute lecture on patriotism and the state of women in Karnataka was the answer. I surrendered.

I reached back at my work place after a very ‘fruitful’ meeting. I felt as if I was back after fishing in the Sahara. Sudden realization – Mr. Boss was ogling at my campaign beauty. All of a sudden, it had replaced the ‘empowerment of women’ as the top priority. “Women can get their rights later, but these kids need to know their fashion,” said my boss. I had just squandered two hours trying to decipher a language, and here he was, totally indifferent to my multilingual endeavour, brutally ignoring my efforts. At the end of the day, I had racked my brains over impotent fruits. I was lost in translation over nothing.

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