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Anusri Vashistha

Abstract Drama


3  

Anusri Vashistha

Abstract Drama


Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call

6 mins 134 6 mins 134

“Who me?!?!”, I said looking at the lady sitting behind the teakwood desk in 6-inch heels, with her hair pulled back so perfectly, it might as have been glued to her skull. Her legs crossed in the most lady-like manner.

“I need to learn how to sit like that”, I made a note to myself.

“Yes, you dear. You see anyone else sitting here apart form you”, she said in a matter of fact way squinting through her glasses.


I got up from the waiting area to go take up the chair opposite her on the desk.

“what is this place, why am I here”, I thought to myself.

As if sensing my thoughts the lady said, “this is your wake up call dear, come to have a seat”

She opened an ornate leather folder in front of her. It gave me a sinking feeling, as if I was appearing for a test I had not prepared for.

I nervously sat in the uncomfortable chair with no arm rests that was in front of her, clutching my bag.


“Perfect, let's begin”

“So what are you upto these days ?”, she said a hint of forced fake smile appearing on her lips.

“I am working.. in a bank”

“oh how wonderful”, she responded

“And do you own this said bank.”, she asked feigning enthusiasm

I suppressed my laugh as soon as it left my lips, realising that she was not joking.

“No , I don’t own the bank, I just work there”

“oh, alright not to worry,” she crossed something on the folder and looked towards me again moving to the next question


“In that case, have you gone through a string of promotions in your work to possibly indicate that you are on the path to head the bank in question someday”

I looked down at my sneakers and responded, “Not really, I barely made it through last week” without meeting her gaze.

Another cross on the folder.

“Alright, are you involved in the process of becoming an entrepreneur, and owning your own business some day”

I stuttered “ well, actually I have thought a lot about the clothing industry in the past….”, and was interrupted by her piercing no-nonsense gaze. 

“…. Lets just say not yet, I don’t own a business YET”

Cross.


“It says here you are literally inclined, how many works of literature have you published so far?”

My eyes lit up, “ Well, I know this. You know I was the Editor of my college’s weekly newsletter. Also..”

“…So no books, collections of essays, poetry or pieces of literary critique”, she said interrupting me

“Not really, maybe I’ll write about this encounter with you”, I said smiling meekly.

“Well, I’ll just mention dabbled in informal ramblings”, the lady said while making a note in her folder.

“It was not informal rambling, it was the official newsletter, we had consistent readership of atleast 15 people”, I protested, anger reddening my cheeks

“Moving on, have you in any shape or form appeared on Saturday Night live”

My mouth opened but no sound came out.

“Do you need some water dear?” she enquired.


“No I am fine. I am not an actor or in the US to appear on Saturday Night Live”

“Not famous then, huh”, she mumbled as she wrote down inher folder.

“Are you,” she paused, while scanning me from top to bottom, twice, “in full control of your health?”. 

Without waiting for my answer she remarked, “you know what dear, no need to answer that, I’ll just mention, needs to watch her carbohydrate intake”


I wanted to rip that folder out of her hand and smack her on the head with it till she forgot to spell carbohydrate. But I was reminded of my monthly positivity mantra for September “ You can't control your surroundings, but you can control your reaction to bitches being bitches”

I took a couple of deep breathes, preparing myself for the further onslaught, smiling.

“Lets move to the Tangible Holdings section. Do you own the place you live in?, 

My smile was immediately replaced with a groan. I replied scratching my forehead. “ No, Not yet, but soon. As soon as the bank approves the loan I applied for”

“So then it will be the banks property you live in, wouldn’t it”

“I guess, for a while.”

“I’ll just put down, homeless for now, we’ll circle back to it in 30 years maybe”

“hehe,” I chuckled, “ I am not sure if I’ll live to be 60”, trying to take control of the situation with humour.


“so you are 30 now? Then I am sure you have finished your New York Times’ 30 before 30 reading list”,

“well technically I am still a month shy of thirty”, I said laughing nervously

She didn’t buy it. 

Crossed. 

“Well. Ok. Do you have concrete plans to retire by 40 and have made sound financial decisions to reach that goal”

“Yeah sure. Well, not if that bank loan comes through. Actually you can cross that. No, I have not made any financial decisions of any measurable …. Soundness, was it?!”

My anxiety and anger were rising like mercury at the personal nature of the questions. I mustered up all the courage for the sake of my dignity and asked her, “ Why are we doing this and also if this is a wake up “call”, shouldn’t it be done over a call”, I said trying to be defensive.

“we try to add a personal touch, dear”, her Dear sounding more like a reference to the Deer caught in headlights. And then there was that fake smile again


I started fidgeting in my seat, moving back and forth. “ do you have a bathroom I can use”

“Just a few more questions , we are almost done here”

She turned the page on the folder and this time I felt the upcoming heaviness of the questions deep within my gut

“Have you successfully been able to pass on your genetic material forward, thus securing the perpetual survival of your species”, she read from the folder.

“Pardon me, I didn’t unders..”

“Do you have any kids”, she said rolling her eyes, so much for my literally inclined mind.

“Maybe some day”


“But nothing yet?” she looked at me, almost scolding with her eyes.

“No, nothing yet.”

I swear I heard her mumble “Maybe then stop eating for two”. But I was already too beaten down to respond to that almost snark.

“Have you successfully partnered with your other genetic half”

She picked up the look of confusion on my face “ ARE YOU MARRIED?”, she said emphasising every syllable as if explaining to someone with a learning disability.

“Yes, Yes. Yes I am. I have successfully found my genetic half. Yes I have”, a look of triumph came on my face.


“How about that, good for you.”, she said somehow encouraging and dissing me at the same time. And here I thought only my mother could do that.

“we, are almost done here. One last question to go.”, “Are you happy”

Stumped. “I mean that’s not a yes or no question. How about almost. I am almost happy.”

“Soooo,” she exhaled heavily. “ Thank you for your time, we really appreciate your coming here”

“I am sure your family is very proud. We are done here, you can go now.”

I got up in a haze turning to leave, that was a wake up call alright.

“excuse me”, she called out to me. I turned to look at her


“Don’t forget your Wake up call analysis sheet,” she said extending the folder out to me.

I took the folder from her hands dismissively and left the room.

I decided to open the folder a few minutes later, just to occupy my mind and to satiate my constant need for approval.

Right there in bold, was the summation of my wake up call, just one sentence.

“Slightly healthy and almost happily married”.


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