Why am in Mumbai again?
I landed myself a cool opportunity to work at a call center, earning more than 15,000 rupees a month (for someone earning money for the first time), something I could certainly boast to my friends about. I was already dreaming of what I could do with money in hand. I would be working for the first time, looking at the name board of the company; I smiled, saying to myself “I’ve struck gold on my very first job”. Earlier in the month, I had breezed through the written and oral interviews conducted in my home town, and having secured very high marks in the technical round, there was a buzz around the big hall that I was the person to watch out for. It pumped me up knowing that I had done well and had managed to impress the people who mattered the most.
Within a week or two I was in Mumbai, for the initial training and within a month I would be on the shop floor taking calls all by myself. After all how difficult can it be, to talking over a phone; didn’t we do it every day with our friends? For initial accommodation, we were put up at a plush 4 Star hotel, walking distance from our place of work.
Now when one works outside of his hometown, he is as much as a stranger to every other person as others are to him, but to her, he wasn’t… for some strange reason that even he could not decipher. It was only at training they had met for the first time, and though he didn’t feel any spark between the two, something had triggered in her. The room intercom rang, it was from the reception, and it was for Savio. I’ll take that, I said
“Hello! You have a call from Room No 263, I’ll transfer your call.” What surprised me more was when I heard a girl’s voice on the other side of the phone
“Hello Savio!” If there was ever a quality that I possessed, it was that I could recognize a voice almost immediately..and I did, she was the same girl I had met during the training and though I couldn’t really remember her name at that point, I knew I was going to meet her in room no 263 in the next 5 minutes. The young fertile minds that we had at that age, being called by a girl to her room always meant something ‘special’, though I did convince my room-mates that she didn’t seem to have that in her voice, however I was wished ‘All the Best’ not knowing what was I really being wished for, or should I say, hoping for the best.
On knocking the door, the voice from inside said “It’s open”. It was too good to be true. Were my room-mates actually right? I tried to brush that thought out of my head. I pushed opened the door to be greeted by a strong breeze of cold air hitting my nostrils. I looked towards the air-conditioner; it showed no 16 on it… Did I just enter another country? I thought to himself. Lucky for me, I wore my long pants, while she was covered up in a blanket sitting on the left corner of the double sized bed with papers strewn all over the bed.
“Hi Savio, come in” she said, as I made myself comfortable on the chair that lay next to the wall table at the right side of the room.
“Come sit on the bed” she said. Though I felt maybe at some level, I shouldn’t, I listened to her.
She spoke “I needed an explanation on some of the notes that they gave us at training the other day, I didn’t understand it clearly” As I browsed through the papers and began explaining it, intermittently rubbing my palms, trying to keep myself warm, she listened on intently. It did seem after a while that the room had got very quiet, from otherwise her umms in between sentences, when she suddenly suggested “why don’t you come under my blanket? You must be feeling cold” I’m glad she realized it, because another 5-10 minutes later and I would be beginning to get stiff in different places. This time I didn’t think much because by then I was already cold and anything warm was welcome, so I got in. It’s only then, that I had my first practical lesson, that heat can not only be got by merely covering yourself in a thick cloth like a blanket but also generated from one person to another and along with that.. opening up many other doors to discovery.
It wouldn’t be hard to imagine what would have happened, if the door hadn’t been knocked at that time. She had ordered two cups of coffee, but would probably have regretted the service being so quick, going by the half smile she gave, while signing the bill.
Sitting in an a/c room is one thing, wearing shorts and covering yourself in a blanket is quiet inexplicable. Even today, as many as 13+ years have passed since that day, those pink shorts with a ribbon on it; will be a memory not easily to be forgotten. More importantly, it was the first lesson.