With nothing else to do in a steel plant which is shut for maintenance, I have chosen to write this piece. I am not writing anything thought provoking, as I am in no mood to provoke my thoughts. But I am writing about something very important to me — the bag I carry to office every day.
No, I am not going to brag about my Louis Vuitton. Being a trainee at a steel plant, I simply don’t have the aukat to own one of those. It’s just a Dell bag designed to keep an Inspiron N5010. But, you can’t call it a laptop bag because what I carry to office no longer houses my laptop that resides in a plush bag provided by my company.
Now, this bag doesn’t make me any less important in the affairs of my office. I am perhaps the second most important guy in my section (I am not bragging about this). The first is an almost ‘fat’ man whose job is to sit in a corner of the control room and curse others. Oh wait, there is another dude who actually gets things done. So that makes him the second, and me, the third most important person.
Now, my bag is small and black to go with most of my shirts, which are black. Don’t ask me why most of my shirts are black. It’s just that Mummy says black looks good on me. So, in my black non-laptop bag, I always have a novel to keep me company on boring days. Of course, not the stupid books you get at railway stations for `100. I hate those books and think I write better than those writers.
I have a pair of safety goggles, which may look like random cheap sunglasses from a roadside vendor but are not. They have some kind of special coating that make them anti-scratch, anti-fog, anti-UV, anti-blah blah blah. I carry my Fire Retardant jacket in the bag. Its manufacturer has made some tall claims that it will protect me from liquid metal or slag splashing. I hope an opportunity to put his words to test never arises.
I have a Parker pen which Mummy gave me for my Class 12 board exams. It stopped writing before the board exams. I still keep it as though it has some sentimental value. My greatest achievement till date is that I have not lost it. I also have a pencil, an eraser and a sharpener. An interesting fact about my pencil is that I have been using it since Class 6.
I have my punching card which basically is a dog collar the company gave me to distinguish me from the rest of the pack. I have a special bus pass, that privileges me to board a bus that leaves exactly 10 minutes after work. I have my medical insurance card and my bank passbook. For every day of the last three months, I have thought to transfer them to my cupboard.
I have three mango-flavoured lollipops that I got for a girl named Lucy. I completely forgot about the lollipops and now they are past their expiry date. I hope she doesn’t check the dates when I finally give them to her. I also have a diary that the company gave me. And a few shredded pages I tore off the logbook to hide my incompetence. Apart from that I have the keys to my room, my mobile charger, my earphones and sometimes, an umbrella.
Here’s what a female friend carries in her bag: lipstick, kajal, a small mirror, hairband, tissues, paper soap, comb, pair of earrings, insect repellent, bear spray, bear-resistant food container, duty belts, bulletproof jackets, hammock, tomahawk, scuba diving suit, oxygen cylinder, Lunar module medical kit, haemostatic forceps, Swiss army knife, AK 47 and Agni missile.