I am not a smoker. I also don’t drink coffee. So coffee breaks and cigarette breaks are non-existant for me. I still do need breaks though. I don’t know how some people manage to put in endless hours of work because I can’t. I need to zoom out of whatever I’m doing and take a broad sweeping glance around every now and then just to keep sane.
It was initially a bit of a problem. Chit-chatting is a good way to relax but well, not everyone works on the same internal clock and calendar as I do and it gets construed as interruptions. I can’t join the general smokers’ sessions….somehow smokers form little cliques of their own, that a non-smoker just can’t belong to, no matter how friendly they all are otherwise.
I used to have a sea-facing office. In those late hours of the afternoon when what you had for lunch seems to be hitting you between the eyes…I would step out for a walk. Invariably I ended up just standing and watching the waves. It afforded a much-needed respite from a demanding day. I thought it was the proximity of the sea that did it.
It might have been that, or it may not have been. Today, I walked across the road to pick up something to munch on. I found a little corner behind our building that was unusually breezy even at 4 in the afternoon.
I am not close to the sea anymore. This is not one of the poshest areas of Mumbai. But there is a quaint feel about this place. The line of kids running back from school…they’re all racing in chappals, not pricey Reeboks. The shopkeeper smiles at me and asks me where I have been all these days. And even though I’m probably the only one on the road carrying a cellphone and the only woman wearing trousers, no one bats an eyelid. There is a nice, comfortable, no-pretensions feel about this place that I vaguely associate with childhood.
The breeze ruffles my hair and cools my heated forehead. Its time to get back to work.