Wrong? Nothing is wrong, I am fine

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Wrong? Nothing is wrong, I am fine

Published: Fri 6 Dec 2019, 2:33 PM

Last updated: Fri 20 Dec 2019, 8:18 AM

People have purple patches where everything goes right for them. What is the opposite of that? When things go wrong in a series. You lose a document. You get a throat infection. The car breaks down. The domestic help ups and leaves. A dead debt comes alive. The money you're owed doesn't come on time. A hidden expense slams you in the face. You have a family fight over a trivial matter because your nerves are taut and you are juggling 10 crises at once.
Then, one morning, you get a break and you think, okay the whatever colour patch is over. But it is not. It is just getting a second wind.
And you lose your ID and your phone falls and breaks and the A/C unit starts leaking and the computer plays host to a virus which you send out to other people who hate you for it and you find a friend is not a friend and a trust is broken and you cannot believe it and the airlines lose your luggage and sorry, no, we do not spring for a hotel room and here is $20 for compensation, we will get it to you when it returns from Caracas.
And you come home looking forward to a long weekend and presto, there are house guests who have popped in on their way to London and you wish they had just carried on and now they are with you for two nights and he isn't one of your pleasant buds from way back when, he is a half relative type and he is a self-made man for which great effort we should all apologise but he is like one of those cocks who think the sun rises to hear him crow, all brag and hot air and he has an opinion on everything. Now he is all ours for 48 hours and why do they give stopovers, why can't airlines force you to carry on non-stop, isn't that the point of city pairings in aviation, go on then, get to the other end.
Anyway, you put on that pretend smile of hearty welcome like your horse has just won the Derby and then go into your room and say, no, don't even think about it, we are not taking them out for dinner, and your wife says, it doesn't look nice, they took us out and you say looking nice is not even a blip on your radar and the next thing is he is ordering lobster thermidor with a caviar starter and you could just burst into tears.
And if you think the patch of blue or whatever is over, you have another think coming because next morning, bright and early, the credit card company calls with a third reminder of how they will make you walk the plank since you are overdue and you decide okay it cannot get worse than this but then the office PRO calls to say he needs your original Ejari certificate and, of course, you find everything but that piece of paper. It was in this file, the blue file with the 'VIP doc' written on it, who messed with it, I know it was there because I put it there.
At which point the house guest begins offering unhelpful advice, after which he has to one up you by telling you of his failsafe system for finding things and filing them and how one should always have a backup system and somebody please shut him up before I smack him.
Which is the perfect time for the office to call and say the boss wants to meet at 9am not 10.30am, so now you are rushing about like a lemming, trying to get this act in order, except it is in total disarray and where the hell are the car keys. And if he (the house guest) says calm down, I will be unable to control myself.
The office car park space is taken and you are running late because this is the one morning when the petrol warning light is on and to keep it company is this figure of the pump all lit up too and you have no idea what it means as it stares at you unblinkingly. Naturally, there was a long line-up of vehicles on fumes, all of them filling up full tanks and signing credit cards because they have to know you are late and this is their way of fixing you.
As you dart in, your colleague tells you this is one of those reallocation of manpower resources, tighten-our-belts meetings.
And your wife WhatsApps: don't forget we have their friends over for dinner, bring the ice cream, not the cheap one.

By Bikram Vohra

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