The light above the front-door started flickering and then went off without a fuss.
“Not again! Why does this happen every time I am in a hurry?” cursed Hari. He tried opening the door with the key and ran through the entire bunch before finding the fitting one.
“Unbelievable, if I had started at the other end, it would still have been the last key.”
It was pitch dark inside and so he began searching the pockets of his jacket for a torch he was sure that he had. He promptly found a screwdriver, three screws, a chewing gum and even the key to his previous car but not the candle. Shaking his fist at the spectre of Murphy gloating malevolently over him, he resigned himself to his fate and began using his mobile to navigate around the house.
“Let there be light”, he muttered sardonically while switching on the mobile light. He peeked a glance at his watch. He was quite behind schedule. He had a midnight flight out of the country to catch and the car was coming in less than fifteen minutes. In that time he had to pack everything as well as clean up. Remembering the spate of robberies in that neighbourhood he made a mental note to not leave anything valuable behind.
He went into the bedroom and started checking the various almirahs and drawers to see if he had missed anything. She had told him to clean up the place before he left. He hated the cleaning but knew that she will give him trouble if he did not follow what she said. He shuddered slightly remembering the last time such a thing had happened. He felt a faint tingle remembering the lashings that he received.
“Women! No point arguing with them. As somebody wise told, a man has got to do what a woman has told him to do. Or was that something different? Who cares.”
While cleaning up, his mind started wandering and he began thinking about his job. Years of experience had lent a mechanical bent to it. Truth be told, he was quite fed up with his work and wanted to start afresh somewhere. He had almost quit several times but financial difficulties as well as the fact that he was not much good at anything else always brought him back.
“Beggars can’t be choosers and at least I am better off than some of my ex-colleagues”, he consoled himself. Finishing everything, he took a quick glance to ensure that everything was fine and walked out.
“Shit, I forgot to call her. She will be livid. And where is that bloody car? It was supposed to be here five minutes back.”
The car came almost at that moment and identifying himself, he got into it. And the car drove off. He took out his phone and dialled her number.
“Ma’am, I have done everything you told me. I am going to the airport and will be out of the loop for some time while I enjoy that well-earned holiday.” His tone belied how intimidated he was by his boss.
He threw his phone out and taking off the mask and gloves which were stifling him, he began enjoying the wind blowing in through the open windows of his getaway car.