A mouse-like woman sits next to me as I wait my turn. As much as I try to hide my papers from her, I constantly catch her peering, trying to read something. She has cracked heels and wears large spectacles. Some men crowd around the counter I need to get my money from. Another bunch of women huddle around the counter (DOCUMENTATION) in front of me. I spot the doctor who got her forms stamped last Thursday. She looks sweet, like those doctors who don't like to prescribe even crocin to their patients. The mousey woman still peeks into my notebook when she takes breaks from fidgeting. Voices rise from somewhere inside the city of cubicles. Mouse Woman sits straight, pulling at her nails, not unlike what I do. The man manning DISBURSEMENT COUNTER has disappeared.
More people walk in.
The door is peculiar. Every once in a while, it makes a pop. Like a tennis raquet cutting through the air just as it smashes a ball back. It feels like a release in the vaccuum of noise inside. Pop. Silence. Pop. Silence. I welcome the silence followed by every burst in the door, even though they last less than a few seconds.
My turn arrives. I'm sent along with my folder to meet the manager who isn't here. Why isn't anyone ever in their places? He arrives only to walk off to the other end of the cubicle maze. At this point of time, I sit diagonally across my earlier seat, minutes ago. I'm still on something chequered though. Pink and chequered. I just realise that the entire place is done up in salmon pink. A pink bank.
Written sometime last year, Septemberish.
One of many days of waiting at SBI, Ahmedbad.