Monday, 4 April 2016

Kavita, my office companion

I love it how my desk at the office sometimes becomes an artist's little nook.

As you know, Kavita is with us at the office all day long. She has literally grown up at our office. At first she was small enough to sleep on my desk, right next to my notebooks, pens and calculator. She now has a baby bed, a tent, a desk and all her toys here. The bathroom has her diapers, wipes, and baby power. We also have a dresser which has a spare change of clothes for her.

She and I get up any time between 8 and 9 AM and, taking our sweet time, get ready for work. We are usually out the door between 10 and 1030 AM and after a skip and hop later, arrive at the office.

We usually pass Auto Spare Parts, Electrical, and Building Materials shops en route to the office. There are a lot of hustlers on the Street. There are the sellers with the wheelbarrows or buckets on their heads or items in their hands. Some of them call out what they are selling "poison for roaches," "underwear," or "socks." There are women selling vegetables or ready-made food walking down the street or have sat down on a stool next to the security guard or shop staff who is eating some food with a tooth pick, picking out the best morsels from a large plastic container or pot. One can also sometimes spot a friendly game of checkers, two fellows sitting on make-shift stools or chairs, sitting opposite each other, surrounded by on-lookers. 

The most familiar faces are the children who live inside a dilapidated building right next to the Atlas Building Materials store. This is a run-down building which seems to host some church services now and then. There are also families living here. We have seen a brother and sister grow up in front of our very own eyes who are always smiling (or crying if they are hurt or fighting with someone, as kids do), rushing to greet Kavita. They are sometimes playing on the side walk, or eating rice from a bowl, or just hanging around. 

Finally, when we reach Harbel Supermarket, we cross the road to reach our office. 

It's usually Musu or a junior staff who opens the door for us. Kavita immediately hugs Musu. I glance around, to see from the corner of my eye who is at the tech lab, trying to create an intimidating boss face. I nod at Haresh and make sure he is not playing online chess on his computer. I arrive at my desk. My laptop is already here and plugged in. Musu brings me a cup of tea and my breakfast sandwich (prepared by my housekeeper, Christiana). 

I check e-mails, get to the business of the day, which mostly involves bossing everyone around and making sure everyone is doing their work.

Kavita eats her breakfast with Musu and then brushes her teeth. Afterwards, Musu engages her by playing some lego games or drawing and painting. After some time, I put on some cartoons for Kavita on the TV that is in my office. We just got a DVD player and I brought a lot of Dora the Explorer DVDs from Pakistan. 

Kavita's voice and little foot steps can be heard all day long. Very rarely she gets bored. I often photograph some of her cute moments.

I also try to make time to draw or paint with her or even play a game of hide and seek. 

Sometimes, our friend, Mitchell, drops off his daughter, Annie, to play with Kavita. 

It's a real joy to have Kavita with me all day long. 

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