Thursday, 25 October 2012

‘Twas One of Those Days by Sandhya Gorthi

My friend Sandhya Gorthi, nee Krishnan, obtained a B.A, LLB (Hons) degree from the National Law School of India University and immediately set about doing a number of varied things, most of which had nothing to do with the law. Sandhya has acted in plays, worked as a radio jockey for AIR FM and later with Radio Mirchi, written a number of articles of a variety of topics, worked for a corporate communications consultancy and recently she launched her own retail outlets The Shop in Bandra West and Sanctum in Khar West. You can read more about Sandhya from this interview published in a lawyers’ magazine. I met up with Sandhya recently and found out that she was all set to celebrate Sanctum’s first anniversary. I requested her to let me and Winnowed’s readers in on her secret – how she manages to do so many things at the same time. Sandhya gave me a sweet smile and promised to email me something.

The note she sent me a few days later, a description of how she spent her waking hours on Sanctum’s anniversary day, is written in her inimitable style, with a whacky sense of humour, and gives a small hint of the secret behind her success.

‘Twas One of Those Days

6:40 am: Alarm rings. I wake up to find my cat curled over my head which is currently overheated. I slip out to check on the kids - find that they’re already awake, having breakfast and discussing playground politics. I slip back into bed for another few stolen minutes.

6:50 am: Can’t put off the inevitable. Coffee and newspapers followed by some discussion on pocket money (it’s pay day) and canteen coupons. I also realize that one of my sons has an assessment today and as I revise spellings (that he’d promised me he’d learnt the previous afternoon) I am amazed that he’s not worried by the fact that he can spell ONE out of the twelve words correctly.

7:50 am: The kids are off to school, I wave to them standing at the bus stop, but they don’t notice me; they seem to be trying to strangle each other. It’s Sanctum’s first anniversary and it’s going to be a great day! I jump into an auto rickshaw after chatting with a couple of senior citizen buddies and head off to my mixed martial arts combat class.

8:50 am: As I huff and puff, I can’t help feeling that my combat stance is more like a Kathakali stance. A boxer I clearly am not. Mercifully the class ends at 9.

10:00 am: I’m dressed, breakfasted and ready. Have also managed to take a couple of vendor and press calls in the meanwhile. I’m in red heels but have decided to carry my flip flops too as I’m a bit wobbly after my Kathaka…I mean boxing class.

11:30 am: We have a Sanctum cake, snacks, orange balloons and all of our team assembled. Our senior most team member, Subhashji cuts the cake and the kids on the team start bursting the balloons. I have a dreadful startle reflex and this just eggs them on further. I make a short speech thanking them for being so supportive and explaining our journey ahead. They do look at me like I’m a little crazy, but they are not wrong.

The next 7 hours pass in a blur of emails, phone calls to vendors and press, placing orders, sending our celebratory newsletter and planning our numerous upcoming exhibitions. Several people drop by, call or email to congratulate us. I feel happy that we have so many well wishers. It makes me more determined than ever to do better in the year to come.

In the midst of this, Sushil, who does our housekeeping and photography (he’s superb) reminds me to eat lunch. I snap at him as I do every day that I’m 37 years old and don’t need to be reminded. He doesn’t bat an eyelid and I realize sheepishly that it’s almost 3 pm and I haven’t eaten. I try not to do this, but I can see why Sushil pops into my office to remind me all the time. Time flies when you’re having fun! And this is fun for me.

I have also remote controlled the administering of medicine to my dog, arranged for the water filter repairman and plumber to visit. I hear Subhashji chuckling at my appalling Hindi as I explain the problems over the phone. My kids have a jar to collect Rs 5 coins for every mistake I make in my Hindi. They’ve informed me they’re aiming straight for a Tata Nano.

I have also arranged for some kids to come over to our house for a sleepover. It is Friday.

7:00 pm: I was hoping to leave the store by now, but I have some vendor payments and accounting due for my other store. I figure the kids won’t miss me since their friends are over, and my husband has an office do to attend. I finish up that work (not the fun part, but thank God for online banking).

8:30 pm: I have made it on time for a celebratory dinner with my girl friends. I’m the first one there and I love the few moments of quiet. I stare straight ahead, smiling but unseeing. Stillness is bliss. We wrap up reasonably early and my husband leaves for home too as he wants to celebrate this day with me. Again I feel so blessed.

11:30 pm: Sridhar (my husband) and I are discussing my big plans for Sanctum. He summarizes my ‘achievements’ over the year against many odds. It’s strange to hear, because to me, I just did what I had to do to keep my staff employed and my rent and bills paid.

12:15 pm: I’m about to go to bed, but my cat wants to play (she’ll scratch me and keep me up all night if I refuse). Luckily my dog’s at a sleepover (yes, you read right). I read my book with one hand and shoot the laser light with the other; Mea chases after the moving point of light like the untamed predator she is, showing no signs of slowing with 11 ½ years behind her.

Finally, a few quiet moments of reflection and gratitude, and then it’s good night…

P.S.: …only to be woken up 4 hours later by my older son. He’s agitated and holding his ear. I know he doesn’t complain about small things but I can’t see what’s troubling him so much. We’re at the casualty department at a nearby hospital – I call ahead and have carried reading material and snacks (this would our 7th or 8th visit there since the kids were born, so we’re all pros now). At 5:45 the ear surgeon pulls out a large, still alive moth from my son’s ear. We make some moth jokes and head home to 4 worried kids (I had completely forgotten during the day that my college going niece was staying with us, in addition to son #2 and the two sleepover guests).

A new day begins!


Abhik Majumdar said...

Wow! Sandhya, I sure am glad there's no Kryptonite sun in our solar system to impede your daily routine :P

Sanctum Khar said...

Lots of kryptonite Abhik! Duck and swerve!