I opened my eyes. It could not have slipped out of my mind that today is one of the most coveted days I have been expecting since long: 26th January, wow!! another extra holiday, that too in the middle of the week. We were pretty unfortunate during the last two consecutive times: December 25 and January 1 were Sundays. I went up to see the time- my mobile read 9:oo hrs. Ohh!! how come it's just 9 in the morning!! I should have been in bed till 11 this cosy winter morning. At least it was good that I don't have a kid to be taken to school yet, else things could have been a real pain. The sadness that engulfed me being early to rise was to some extent compensated by the fact that I don't have to see Mathur today, my manager. Mathur is probably the most annoying man I have ever seen, always poking his nose once every couple of hours to take a measure of my progress through the slides and the more cryptic reports that he passes on to me to analyze and of course he assesses the number of minutes I spent in facebook. Well having said that, I must admit that since the last couple of weeks, I find myself to bear a little respect for him at least in one aspect. We have got one thing in common: our sheer interests in how to save taxes and I must say that he is a real boss with immense knowledge about saving (I don't want to use the word 'evading' here out of my sheer respect) that three letter word. The techniques are real intricate and requires one to be skillful enough in implementing them.
Mathur invited me to his home last year within a week after he was promoted as our senior works manager. He stays in a decent 2BHK with his family. The Andheri flat costs him 30K as rent. He owns a more lavish flat at Colaba that he has let out. Smart chap- ensures a tax benefit on his EMI and as well as for his wife on the rent they pay for the Andheri house; impressive enough to establish himself as my tutor.
Mathur could clearly see my admiration for him while he spoke to me about his feats. He did not really mind chatting with me for hours even if it meant that we did not progress through the reports. This possibly gave him the necessary boost to be candid about his other achievements. He spoke to me about how he arranges petrol bills from friends and also a number of medical bills that are instrumental to his success in decreasing his income tax. Whatever, I must say that I could not resist being happy when I felt today is not Mathur's day. He had two kids to take to school for the republic day parade at their schools.
Atreyee got up pretty early as usual and was watching the television quite religiously. Some school students were singing 'Saare Jaahaan Se Achchha'. I remembered vaguely my school days, students parroting patriotic songs and giving slogans 'Meraa bharat mahaan'. "Crap it", I murmured, "God knows in what way it is so. Every time I go to office, I get the impeccable fun of the roller-coaster ride to my office through the potholes along with the inevitable traffic jam of Mumbai roads." "What crap!!, you are a crap", Atreyee almost shouted. I possibly murmured louder than I wanted to. "You guys do not pay your taxes properly. Still you expect things to run smoothly. Ours is a country with a big population and has of course certain problems. Things need time to be improved visibly. Why don't you do your job before criticizing anything else? Why do you buy things always without a bill and escape the VAT?" I have been taught since childhood that good boys never get into arguments with girls and so I acted a little pragmatic with my small 'Hmmm' and sank into the sofa to engross myself in the morning newspaper.