On that joyous note I return to the newspaper ad, which prompted this flashback. Holding on to it for dear life, I dialed the number listed and sought an interview for the position of a copywriter. The gentleman at the other end asked a few questions in chaste English, and having satisfied himself of my qualifications for the job asked me to turn up in a couple of hours.
The place was around 15 km from where I lived. Following the address I had scribbled down, I made my way across the city in search of an advertising career. Yes, on the same Bajaj Super. And from experience I can tell you it’s a good vehicle to have in hand when you’re looking for a job. No maintenance, and it carried me a fair distance for the extravagant half litre I could afford. On this trusty warhorse, I made it to the interview with some minutes to spare.
There were 2 people there. A young man in his late 20s. And a woman whose age didn’t matter. She was gorgeous. The drop dead and roll over variety. And I couldn’t take my eyes off her, which I think her companion noticed because he cleared his throat.
So with one more reason to want that job, I turned to face Mr. Late Twenties. I smiled sweetly. Had to be nice to him if I wanted to spend any time in that space. So what if he was the least of my considerations. I eagerly answered all his questions, and offered him some short stories and poems I had written, as proof of my writing skills. He took the sheaf of papers from me, and just as I was hoping I could take a break to look in a more rewarding direction while he read my work, he asked me if I could step out and return in 30 minutes. Not amused at all, I smiled and answered in the affirmative. I left reluctantly, nursing a vanquished libido and a grouse against Late Twenties.
Faced with this abrupt change in scenery, the more traditional way to a man’s heart reared its head. I had, in my haste to reach the gates to my career, raced past the dining table on which a sumptuous lunch had been spread out. The situation had to be addressed in a hurry, just so I could focus on the more important things at hand. So forward I ventured in search of my favourite eatery, and easily found a Mallu bakery within peeing distance. Don’t be surprised. This was Bangalore, the Malayalee’s plan B to the ‘Gelf’. There I bought myself a couple of egg puffs, and a soft drink to wash them down. It took me all of 20 minutes and 15 rupees. I was all set now, for another helping of my favourite eye candy.
I hung around the parking area to kill just the 30 minutes Late Twenties had asked of me. Not a second more. And just as the needle ticked over, I stuck my face in. I smiled at her. She nodded back. And then I heard his voice again.
“We like your writing samples and would like you to work for us. We will pay you a salary of 2500 rupees, and want you to start on Monday.”
I’d have worked for free and started on the Sabbath, but this wasn’t the time to give my blood rush away. Two-five was a very handy reward even if I didn’t account for my daily bonus. I rose and shook hands. The lady nodded again. I turned away, then looked back once more.
I rode back home overjoyed. My break into advertising had arrived. It was time to party. Egg puffs anyone?