She walked in to the seminar hall along with her colleague at 11 am imagining it to be already underway and hoping that she would have missed the preliminary speeches/ lamp lighting etc. They slid into the last 2 seats in the last row- uncomfortable but close to the buffet table laid at the back. That was their aim anyway, attend for a few sessions, eat the biscuits and thereafter the lunch, hopefully non veg and walk away. And bonus- all at company time.
Unfortunately the chief guest was delayed. They sat leafing through the program schedule and the name A editor of magazine D popped up under one of the speakers.
With a mixture of anticipation and excitement she began to look around hoping to spot A. She decided to anyway attend her session which was scheduled for post lunch and try and meet up with A.
A had been the coordinator for F magazine’s soon to be coming Design & Décor Magazine. She had applied for the post of a free-lancer, sending out a colourful sef-introduction highlighting her interests in writing and having the “write but not right” qualifications to be a freelancer. The response was encouraging and positive and they corresponded on a regular basis, she responding to A’s requests for samples of her work as in-house magazine editor and her attempt at designing the interiors of her home. One fine day she received a mail from A which she had probably sent to all on her address book, that she was quitting her job and joining D magazine as editor. End of correspondence on the subject since they had nothing more to discuss.
She turned her attention to the row right in front- occupied by 3 women – a matured looking one in a sari, a girlish one and a lady in salwar suit who could pass on as anyone between late twenties and early thirties, and a bearded man. Still no sign of the chief guest. She began passing time trying to see each face and guess their occupation, punctuated by comments from her colleague, at the same time being on the look out for A who could walk in at anytime since she was one of the speakers. A little while later 2 girls came in carrying stacks of D magazines and placed it near the foursome sitting in the row in front.
Of all the luck! Which one could be A among them. Surely the sari one – she looks the part of the editor. The other 2 are too young. Or wait. A will not be ganging up, signaling thumbs up and making other girlish signs and giggling away with her deputies. She will come late. Probably she must still be in her flight.
The conference started and instead of paying attention at what was happening on stage she kept her ears strained to the group in the front, with the hope of catching something being said about A’s schedule. Lunch came and she rushed to be the first one in the queue. Plate in hand she sat closest to where the D group was hanging around, interacting with people, getting themselves introduced. Under her watchful eyes and keen ears, the bearded man introduced the late 20- 30 something lady to someone saying this is A, editor of magazine D. She followed A with her eyes all the while, who was busy circulating. She quickly grazed through dessert and started moving towards the D group mustering courage to walk up and say hi! I am R, who applied for a job in your magazine F. what if she doesn’t remember. Don’t be silly, it doesn’t hurt to remind her. She is so hip and I am so drab. Let her not attach a face to my name in her address book. Why not? Why this cold feet? She is not god. If she is an (hip) editor you are no less in your field. She might find your field really fascinating after all. Everyone finds it so. Ok here goes.
Her colleague called out- lets push off, anyway we have done lunch and there are no great speakers post lunchI agree. And she left the place walking up to her colleague’s car, occasionally looking back, like a child who has been denied a toy keeps looking back at the shop and strains at his parent’s hand, hoping to catch a glimpse of A and getting a chance to introduce herself.