It was a perfect day. The sun shone brightly in the horizon. As I left for office, I had only one thing in my mind. The negotiation at 08.00 P M. With my hands on the car wheel, I cogitated for some time. What strategies do I need to adopt? It was going to be a huge challenge as the opponent was a tough nut to crack. Since I had lot of time left to strategize, I relegated the thought for the time being.

I reached office in time and started to schedule the days work. Whatever happens I needed to finish off everything before 07.00 pm and then get ready for the negotiation. As the day progressed, the work piled on. I wrestled hard to keep everything at bay and to some extent I succeeded. When I checked the watch it was 02.00 P M. Time for lunch.

I usually have the typical south Indian thaali for lunch. The dishes were aesthetically arranged in front of me. It was a visual treat. The Green thoran, the Violet Beetroot, the Orangish Red sambar, the Brown rasam and the White curd. As I was having the food, my thoughts gravitated towards the impending negotiation. What makes a good conversation? It should be short and succinct, like the Green thoran (always rationed!!). It should have clarity, like the rasam (what I get is a pretty diluted rasam). And most importantly, there should be a perfect mix of these ingredients, like the sambar. Strangely, what comes out of our mouth is more important than what goes in. But we seldom realize that. With these thoughts burgeoning in my mind, I pounced on the food.

Post lunch I sat down and started thinking. What should be my approach in the evening? Should I be aggressive or should I play the conformist? It was all pretty confusing for me. Anyway I decided to finish off my work at the earliest. Time just flew and when I checked my watch it was close to 06.30 pm. In the next 30 minutes, I breezed through the winding up process. At 07.10 p m I started my journey back home.

Though I was physically present in the car, my mind was somewhere else, hurriedly strategizing and doing the leg work for the impending negotiation. On the way I did some shopping and then resumed my journey. I reached home by 07.50 p m. As soon as I opened the door, my 4 year old son rushed to greet me and then hugged me tight. I saw the TV remote surreptitiously kept in his pocket. From my bag I took out the toy which I had purchased for him and gave to him. His happiness virtually melted my heart. In his delirium of happiness, I asked him whether I can watch the IPL finals in the TV at 08.00 pm. His face contorted and immediately he rushed back to his seat and ensconced himself, tightly hugging the remote. I then tried to lure him with the toy which he brusquely threw away, out of his sight. I lost my control and vehemently chastised him for his unruly behavior. He started to cry. Not knowing what to do, I just sat there motionless for sometime. Then I hugged him and cajoled him and asked him what he was watching. For the next 5 minutes he narrated, quite animatedly, the antics of Tom & Jerry. I then thought to myself "To hell with IPL". Where will I get such wonderful live entertainment?

We then spent the rest of the evening watching cartoon

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