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Yesterday, there were no interruptions. No society watchman with some inane message, no presswala, no couriers, no chores to do. Hell, even my maid decided to take the day off. So there was nothing but yawning emptiness ahead of me. That’s good, right? Eight-ten hours of interrupted writing…sheer heaven, right?

Wrong. It was one of the days when I wanted interruptions.

It’s been a difficult past few days. I’ve finished about twelve chapters, or about 54,000 words on a non-fiction project that I’ve taken on. But it’s been full stop after that. The thirteenth chapter refuses to flow out. The beginning, the content, the flow, everything seems stilted. I have been grappling with this for the past one week but there’s been no breakthrough yet. I know it will eventually come but that doesn’t make the present frustration any less sufferable.

Meanwhile, I sat with my comp and tried. And tried. I’ve got to maintain a semblance of working. But it just made everything worse, reminding me of yet another wasted day. Every five minutes or so (although it seemed much monger) I looked longingly at the doorbell and cocked an ear at the telephone, willing either to ring. They are legit excuses to bugger off from the workstation. But neither obliged. Was I suddenly credit unworthy? Why didn’t anyone call me peddling a personal loan or a credit card?

I cursed my maid for taking the day off. Usually when she’s around I don’t get a moment’s peace for the two and a half hours or so she’s around because of her incessant chattering about my neighbours (of whom she knows much more than I do, in spite of not working for them) and her neighbours. When the gossip threatens to run out and her two and a half hours are not up yet, her prattle expands to include the general (abysmal) state of Mumbai and its politicians. So yesterday I had to do without knowing what the local MNS leader Manish Dhuri and the Shiv Sena leader Vishnu Korgaonkar, a.k.a., Maharaj were up to.

I tuned into CNBC on the telly and found the precarious state of the global economy suddenly very gripping. But after a while, all the red on the screen and the doomsday scenarios being predicted by eminent economists started to make me feel queasy. But, at least, that explained why no one called me tele-selling something.

Cake! I thought brightly. My maid had been telling me that the malai was piling up and we had to do something (read, make a cake or ghee). I mean malai is perishable and if I didn’t do anything about it ASAP (read right now), it would soon start growing yellowish-greenish mould. Usually these jobs are cringeworthy but yesterday I welcomed them. I would bake a cake. Much more fun than making ghee any day.

Cut to 30 minutes later. The cake was done.  And the rest of the day stretched ahead emptily.

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