Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Consultancy Guest House - Part 1

Welcome to the Jurassic Park
The New Jersey sun’s rays passed through the window blinds and pierced my eyes open. Next to me are my new HP laptop, cell phone and some Mother India calling cards. I share this master bed room with Anand Naidu and Pavan Theodore. Anand got married recently and is desperate to crack an interview and bring his wife from India. Pavan on the other hand has seen life and has built his fortress of philosophy which he unveils every night after the first round of beers. He is here only to clear his home loan which is breathing its last breath in India. On Pavans left is the closet where we dumped our check in baggages. Next to it is the rest room .It is my fourth day in this country and I am getting used to the no bucket no mug hot and cold water showers.
As I walk towards the living room rubbing my eyes, the room on my right is the devils bedroom. Deepak Patel lives there alone, not because he snores bad but because of his weird habits. He wakes up late night, sits in a corner and chants some mantras, scaring the hell out of Pavan and Anand. Every Thursday night he wakes up at midnight, talks to someone on the phone and then calls for a cab and leaves.
That’s Prabhu lying on the living room couch. Living up to his name he is the King, at least he thinks so. In his mid thirties, he is the senior most and has been a lifetime member of this consultancy and he loves it here. He is the one who received and introduced us all to our new home - The Guesthouse.
That sliding door separates the living room from the patio. Breaking the peace treaty of the place and making nasty noise it slides every time Pavan goes out for a smoke or when the bar opens on the Balcony Deck, Seven O Clock sharp every night.
Like a homeless person on the railway platform, dishes are lying in the kitchen sink for the last three days. I see stains of egg yolk on the wooden cabinet, tiny omelet pieces next to the electric stove and smell of beer all over, looks like they had their second round last night. That’s our cooking schedule under the magnet bottle opener on the fridge door. Yeah we take turns - on paper. Patel doesn’t cook. He patiently waits for us to cook and then walks in like a lord asking – ‘ Khane me kya hai’?’ .  Adding fuel to the fire, he brings his lunch box. He is the only one who takes lunch to work. Frustrating further he steals two beers every night, claiming he will give up drinking once he gets a job offer. Unlike the grocery shopping for which they can call the free consultancy cab, they adventurously walk on the imaginary sidewalk for a couple of miles and then miraculously cross the US-1 Highway to Wines and Spirits to grab a twelve pack. We always wanted to take Patel to India on a special flight and beat him to near death on the way. The only thing stopping us from that here is 911.
As I open the door to feel the beautiful day out, wishing me good morning two Roaches lie dead on the doormat. Kicking them on to the neighbor’s side, I ran down the stairs and out opening the building door. Like those placement vendors on phone, we cannot trust the January sun light. While it looks bright and hot from inside, it is freezing cold outside .I hopped back in quickly picking the news paper.