It was a usual day, like any other day. The sky was blue, the sun shone and the breeze stank. I was on my way to collect the freelance-work pay cheque which seemed like it never existed in the first place. And unlike other days, I hopped into a via M.G Road bus to North. I had to get into this bus. The first thing I do after grabbing a seat is to let my mind wander here and there. That day was no different. And while my mind was wandering into wholly unrealistic and highly entertaining fantasies, I somehow had to spot this ‘winter sale’ board hung up on the front door of Mochi, the shoe shop. Ten seconds later, I was happily browsing their sandals section. From twenty feet away I felt the jolt you get when you first lay eyes on the gladiator sandals you know will shortly be yours. At that point, I conveniently lost count of how many pairs of sandals I own. I sprang towards them like a lioness on an antelope. I’m a sucker for gladiator sandals and this one was so my type, so gypsy-like. The serious, take-home material.
“These”. I waved the copper brown sandals at a salesman. “Size 5”.
As he glided off, I glanced at the Rs. 1499/- price tag. Ouch. That hurt. I thought of the ignored electricity, water & internet bills stacked on my table. I’d already swiped Appa’s card five times this month. Or had it been six?
When the salesman returned, I wrestled with myself. Maybe I shouldn’t try them on. I could get attached. But they were awe-fuckin-some.
“They’re twenty per cent off”. He said.
“Naice.” I grinned as I reached for the box. God did love me.
I swiped my card for a change. Got a text. Hmm Axis Bank is pretty fast.
Your a/c 33985061 is debited Rs. 1200 on 2011-12-28. A/c balance is Rs. 98.00.
I hate this. There should be ATMs for 10 rupee notes and 1 rupee coins.
And I had to buy it, even when I was deep-neck broke. Blame it all on my serious acquisition syndrome.
Twenty minutes later I doubted God’s love as I was standing in the North bus stop, chanting abuses in my mind to the guy who was effortlessly making up excuses for not paying me. That’s when it struck me that I have practically no money left for the bus fare. I frantically searched my pockets and bag, while maintaining a carefree aura. Not even a single coin. I was sure. Jeffrey-Dean-Morgan-is-a-hot-piece-of-ass sure. Or more deep-fried-frog-legs-are-the-way-to-go sure.
I took my phone. Dialed my friend.
Your account balance is too low to make a call. Announced the Airtel girl.
Ha! Temme something new biatch.
I couldn’t believe it. I was sure I’d recharged yesterday. Hadn’t I? I recalled that morning call I gave my BFF and the bitching-giggling- whining( exactly in that order) session that lasted for almost an hour.
Panic. No, don’t panic. I frowned. Panicky. Sweaty.
I tried to calculate the distance from where I’m standing to my home. I’m usually dumb at math but not now. Almost 5 kilometers. Pause. I’ll have to walk 5 kilometers. I froze. And my jaw hit the floor just like that.
Disclaimer: ‘I’, unfortunately denote the writer.