When I swivel my chair around I can see the Magnum Opus of Realty rearing its manicured head skywards against a backdrop of relentless afternoon sky . Lower down across the lane is an apartment house . Tier upon tier of verandahs with laundry waving lazily in the sunshine - crisp white sheets and pillowcases drying in the sun are so evocative .
And then there are the curtains at the window there , they billow with a sudden gust of breeze and I can see a pair of long bare legs on the bed . And then a man comes up and closes the window and I can almost hear the hum of the air conditioner and feel the room going smoky with passion and cool by turn and suddenly I feel late afternoon-drowsy .
If I stand and look down at the road ,I can see the children returning home from school , bags hanging off their shoulders , dragging their feet in the sand piled up in the corner there , swinging a bottle at a school chum , the other girl ducking and running and then there's a little chase before they quieten down and continue walking home wards .
Across the road the richkshawpullers have put up a small roadside shrine where they are now playing very suggestive Bhojpuri songs about bhabhis and devars . I hum along a little under my breath , the tune is so staccato and catchy. One rickshaw puller doubles up his lungi and does a little dance, pelvic thrust , gyrate and bump
And the house across the road has broad window sills . The servant girl has curled up on the ledge , holding on to the window grille .And then I see to the left a Krishnachura tree , in a burst of orangey red flowers . . There is a house just beyond the branches loaded with red flowers - a white house with tall windows and a verandah shaded by the tree . And it is strange but there is A Man wearing shorts and a singlet , stretched out on an easy chair , legs propped on the verandah ledge , reading a book . The verandah looks cool and inviting . It is dark and shady and the man is drinking something in a glass and reading a book .
That is absolutely the last straw . How is a girl to work surrounded by the burgeoning voluptuousness of a summer afternoon ?
My cellphone rings . I pick it up . Its The Husband , of over 20 odd years , calling to say he will wait for just 5 minutes before he goes off . I slide open the window and there he is in the car grinning up at me from the road . I panic, switching off the computer , clearing my table , running to tell the boss I have to leave suddenly and will explain later . I pick up my bag , lock the door and am out with a minute to spare .
Suddenly it rains , a spatter of drops as I run across the road and duck into the car .
Playing hooky after absolutely ages has never been so full of joy !