Humour: Easy like Sunday morning
The tea is on the boil. The music is on. The bed is undone. And the day smells of newsprint and possibility. We are, by and large, a species doomed to fall into clichés, but as I limp into my fourth decade, I’m coming to terms with this predisposition. What’s more, I’ve even begun to rank my favourite clichés, for we are also a species given to obsessive list-making. Let me hereby announce – while running the risk of sounding like a corporate automaton that only breathes over the weekend – that the Sunday morning feeling is quite unmatched. Its very manifesto states: This is when thou shalt relax. But that’s where the trouble begins, for yet another human trait dictates that where there is a command, there is non-compliance.
The pressure to unwind
For someone who works on their own schedule, by which I mean freelancers and other anarchists, Sunday can be quite a dampener. Consider this. The week is gliding by very well. All the office-goers are shut in their cubicles, using their printers and couriers. By the evening, they return home, too tired to complain about being tired, and so socialising with them is completely without pressure. This same creature turns into a desiring beast by the time the clock strikes six on a Friday evening. The pressure to unwind is immense. By the time it’s Sunday, everyone has to maximise their leisure time. Hence the unplanned trips to Decathlon, that sports Mecca, where archery kits and keychain torches are bought, only to be revisited the following Sunday with a lingering sense of remorse.
Then there are the hurried out-of-town trips, to pleasant-looking villas “just an hour’s drive from the city”. This shameless claim – like the promises of politicians – doesn’t seem to dissuade us. Off we go in our hatchbacks and CRVs, listening to the gym playlist on the stereo, hoping to feel the excitement we believe we’ve earned. Truth is, I’ve woken up on many an unfamiliar bed on a Sunday morning, secretly longing for my own.
Sorry, we’re closed
Who here hasn’t encountered that frustrating feeling of being stranded without tracing paper on a Sunday evening? Replace tracing paper with cardboard, ribbon, oil pastels or any of the endless supplies our implacable schools demanded of us, week after week, year after year.
The world has changed several times over since those helpless ’80s and ’90s days, but it’s still the same story. Whether it’s photocopies or dry cleaning, some perverse clock setting in my brain urges me to get things done on the day that most people reserve for idling.
Thankfully, one gets invited for the occasional Sunday lunch, where a hissing pressure cooker promises a spectacular feast. Failing that, one scours the city for a leisurely drink and satisfying meal. But since everyone else has the same idea, all you find is a faraway table at a packed restaurant, where you spend almost the same amount on a few cocktails as you do annually on medical insurance.
Sundowners and Netflix
These days, the more socially evolved of my circle have taken to inviting people over for ‘sundowners’ on a Sunday. This, I believe, is the most advanced form of communal merry-making. It begins at 4pm, when you’ve just woken up from your weekend nap (high up on the Sunday manifesto) and goes on till about nine or 10. The evening pivots around interesting conversation, because even the most committed alcoholic refrains from hitting the bottle that early. And so, it follows, that the level of discourse is impressive, as is the quality of refreshments. Confused about what to serve – appetisers or real food – the hosts err on the side of Swiggy and Zomato. The best part of the whole deal is that the time to disband coincides with the time that people start aggressively disagreeing about Maharashtra politics and The Joker.
When one heads back home from a sundowner, there’s still some life left in the Sunday. And which self-respecting professional can allow these few precious moments to be squandered on something as nourishing as sleep? In steps Netflix, the thief of time. The next thing you know it’s Monday morning. The pressure’s off. Phew.
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From HT Brunch, December 22, 2019
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