…that ruin Sunday afternoon sleep.
Given that the residents of the building one lives in now are quite agitated about a variety of issues, the least of which includes the army of stray dogs rabidly proliferating like God himself issued them a go forth and multiply in this complex of mealy mouthed non aggressive residents, a society meeting was called to discuss issues and grievances. Seeing the long list of which, I presumed the ones who drafted the Magna Carta had an easier job on their hands.
With such a general agenda, I should have taken my recliner down, along with a good novel, and cool drink and sat back to watch the show. But me being me, and the husband being worse than me, we snapped out of deep post Sunday lunch sleep rubbed our eyes and ran down where it seemed like food rations were being thrown to starving flood ravaged villagers. Read a lot of shouting and raised voices, and no clear understanding of what was happening. Luckily, the husband has the shoulders and the height to cut through the crowd and I followed meekly in his wake.
The most critical issue on the agenda. That of the security of the complex. Given that these are three 20 storey towers, constructed with state of the art techniques and materials, by a reputed builder, and with penthouse apartments perched on top, one would expect watchmen who didnt have to be shaken awake everytime one wanted them to check why the lifts were non functional. And given the fact that one suspects some servant types are joyriding through the day in said lifts, and opening picnic baskets inside, one never seems to get any lift vacant and non perfumed with sweaty BO. Therefore, the watchmen were first on the agenda, which was being discussed with some heat when we arrived, and had to cut through the swathe of the watchmen who had conveniently abandoned all pretence at being stationed at their posts and were listening in to what was being discussed about them. The security has been outsourced to an agency. And one presumes the payment terms agreed on are close on peanuts. Therefore we have monkeys. Boys with no stubble and uncracked voices. Or doddering old grandfathers, wizened and so bent over that one actually hops out of the car and opens gate for self rather than trouble the man to wake and wipe the drool from his chin before doddering over to the gate. As for the trained aspect of the security men, they are ferocious about checking the visitors who come in. Every reputable looking person is asked one million questions pertaining to their ancestral village, their father’s janam kundli and their mother’s maiden name before being allowed up. While the wierdest of chandagathering types roam around the complex unfettered, probably with a rampuri up their socks for all we know.
Then there was the issue of dogs. Stray and pet. On any random day, a random headcount would prove without a doubt that the strays in the compound outnumbered the children playing in said compound. To add to the misery of parents yelling, “Dont touch the doggie, dont touch the doggie,” at the top of their voices, until said voice box collapsed into undecipherable croaks of protestation, some animal lovers insist on coming down at fixed hours, and, god save us, bringing down huge bowls of food for them strays to feed. I had politely informed one such philanthropist that she was welcome to take all the strays into her house and feed them all she liked, and keep them there. I dont think she quite got my point. The doggie van has since been called for. But them doggies are smarter than them van fellows and vamoose when they see it approach. Or the dogs have their own village crier system which woofs out alarms warning the clan to disperse into unreachable spots. Found a couple in the air duct area. Curled up snugly, snoring their lungs out dreaming of a doggie heaven where fat women trying to walk didnt yell at them to stop following her and that she didnt have any food on her person that was feedable. Therefore after much shouting it was announced that anyone caught feeding the strays on the premises would be fed to them. I think the announcement was taken seriously. The strays are off in search of kinder souls in adjoining building complexes since.
And finally, the various issues being thrashed out, with one moment almost leading to a physical thrashing to be administered to bird like retired public servant type who angered huge and brawny hot headed Sardarji type (moment defused, I am proud to say by the spouse who physically rolled said Sardarji out towards the lawns and hosed him down with the garden pipe grabbed from hapless gardener variety). Committee members voted for and announced. Much thunderous clapping later, draft memorandums and such like written down painstakingly by yours truly dictated by older wiser members, enhanced by curlicules and doodles along the margins that came through during moments of “What am I doing here” boredom.
And the husband having been voted into office thanks to his efficient demo of how to solve a problem, cribbed endlessly of ruined Sunday afternoon sleep.
Up for discussion for the next meeting, the forbidding of plucking of flowers from the garden. You got a wall you want me to watch paint dry on?