The office of the Appellate Authority of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (or “i-fer”) sits on the tenth floor right at the top of the Jeevan Bheema Nigam building on Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi.
Were you to take the slow lift up to the top floor and enter this office, you might come across a door carrying a notice with the words “Thank you for not smoking”. Were you to step inside this room, you will come across a set of sofas, an air conditioner and a rotating fan. As well as the sleeping bodies of a few men and the slouching bodies of another few men, taking drags on their beedis and exchanging profanities.
This is the room that I sat in the other day. Re-numbering each page of the appeal, making sure the papers were in the correct format and signing each page of the annexures with the words “True Copy”. Four sets of appeals. Three hundred pages each. Wonderful.
It’s not like I don’t love what I am doing. I do. Its just that sometimes you have to rake the shit off the road in order to drive on it if you know what I mean.
The cobbler shakes his head with every swipe of shoe polish. Holds the shoe in one hand, wipes the shoe with his handkerchief in this sweeping motion and his head goes in the other direction. I like the way they hold the shoes with their feet. And the fact that they have that shoe-repairing stand thing which they tap their wooden brushes with.
I could be a shoe shiner but I would only entertain high end clients. I would become the shoe shiner of the celebrities. Making sure that the Manolos continued to glitter and the Mischka’s drew in the ooos and the aahs. Meet them in their fancy houses and offer them shit advice. Rob them of their hard-inherited money and flash em pearlies at their fantastic jokes.
Within the next ten days or so, I will be making an entry into the motor vehicle driving class of people in this city. I cannot wait, I just cannot. Dreams of unmarked roads and meandering pathways and the sweet wind whispering into my ears.
I. cannot. wait.
If we all kept our dreams to ourselves, this world would be an incredibly dull place.