A melodic beep-beep-beep of a phone on loud-speaker penetrates the lugubrious hum of the air conditioner running in the background. A sharp creak of a chair screams for attention, like a baby on opium making short sharp intermittent wails. A dull cacophony of a lot of people talking at the same time, far far away permeates from the inner chamber where there are some more cubicles. The loud voice of a Head of Department leaks out from the heavy glass door on my right, maybe painfully explaining a process to someone or giving someone an earful over the phone.
There are two paintings adorning the wall facing me at the far end. One of them shows three people walking, two of them close together and one farther off, on a boulevard flanked on two sides by huge walls. Or it could be very tall trees. Hard to make out when you are 25 feet away. The other painting shows a bunch of yellow flowers, some with hints of red betraying the abundant yellowness, and one absolutely dark brown. I’d like to believe it means one rotten entity among a ‘bunch’ of employees. But I don’t think that was the original intention of the painter. The wall clock on the left of the paintings stands upright exuding confidence. As I type away, a clique of auditors from a big consulting firm, as I am told, enters our office, full of enriched swagger, with the air of knowledge of being someone important. There is a typing sound in the background, irregular, now stopping, now jerking ahead, telling me that some deliberate thought is being poured into the topic.
A rumble of tyres rolling on the tiled flooring and I know my colleague, a fellow Management Trainee, has pushed back his chair and got up. I look at him and I see his arms extended with a slight bend at the waist to one side, eyes pulled together to almost being closed, and an expression of severe pain on his visage. A sudden jerk and I break out of my reverie. He was indulging in a big yawn of boredom. It was time for our mid-morning break, something which gives us a sense of regularity at office. I push my chair back, extend my arms, bend my waist slightly to one side, pull my eyes close and stretch. A painful expression crosses my face. And then I break out of it, suddenly turning towards him, as if, becoming supple, breaking free from the chains that held me; chains of reverie. Soothed in a cozy blanket of familiarity, regularity and certitude, we happily make a move towards the cafeteria.