Quote Challenge Day 1 – Be Like a Duck!

“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.”  – Michael Caine


It was just another day wherein my alarm rang at 4am, my cabby picking me from home at 5 and me reaching work at 5.45. I knew I had a busy day ahead. But little did I know what was actually in store for me. My job is time-bound, each task assigned by a client from Canada at a specific time, usually beginning at 6.30 IST. Based on the criticality, I take up more than one task in a day, sometimes up to five or six. Saturday was no different! I had two beginning at 6.30 and another one at 9.30. I manage my time fairly well and I know that I’m good at making decisions (if not in life, at least at work). But when both my tasks weren’t finishing on time and when the third also began, I started to panic. There came a point, where I had to attend three conference calls, three IMs open and more than a dozen servers to be worked on. A small mistake..that was all that was needed to cost my job.

I survived with four cups of tea and six cups of caffeine. Forget breakfast or lunch, I couldn’t leave my seat even to use the restroom. It was chaos and with nobody to seek help from. Clearly, hardly a handful work on weekends! And I knew it was my battle, even if it meant that I have to face the music. My heartbeat had increased, blood pressure hitting a high and breath uneven. If this was a kind of cardio workout, I’m sure I would’ve burnt at least a billion calories.

To top it all, by the end of my shift at 3pm my client requested me to extend for a few more hours so that after verifying, they can take a call on rolling back the entire task done. I learnt what the word ‘patience’ meant. The moment I boarded the private cab at 6pm, I bursted out in tears, leaving the cab-driver in utter shock and panic. I still do not know why I cried. Was I overwhelmed because I could pull it off spectacularly well? Or was I done with the stress? Or was it just the release of all the caffeine I had taken? It is hard to say.

I knew I had to talk to someone. Anyone..! But I didn’t know whom to talk to. It was a moment where in I felt A.L.O.N.E and believe me when I say, literally alone. That feeling of loneliness, I do not wish even on my foes. I switched off my phone and sat in front of TV…watching something, my mind elsewhere. I didn’t want to talk to my parents which is what I usually do. I didn’t want to talk to my husband as well… though by now I already had a couple of missed calls from him. Everyone deserves someone else to be there for them, no matter how solitary they may be. But at the end of the day, they always do. It was just a moment which passed by. But the one which was the most depressing in my life.

I used to think that I will be content in resigning my job, be a house-wife and bake all day and night. Then, I thought I will be a professional dancer. Or a chef even! But now that I’ve pulled myself together, I realize that I love what I do. I might crib again…waking up so early, or spending my weekends at work. And there was no one to see the hard work and dedication I had put in that day, none of my managers will ever know. Still, the amount of joy I had, cannot be explained.

We all have our own demons! But just that we do not know how to face them. Be brave. Keep calm and face the fears with a smile. You needn’t let the world know your battles (except that I’m writing almost all of them in here 🙂 )

I have been tagged by Vinitha and Sunita for the 3 Day Quote Challenge. Thanks, ladies! Though it is a difficult task to pick my favourites, I will post six quotes. And 99.9% of the bloggers I know have already taken up this challenge. No point asking them to do yet another. So, you are all free to take up this challenge or simply let me know your favorite ones by posting in the comments below.

This one’s for you Vinita. Thanks for writing such poignant poems! 🙂

Also, linking to #Monday Musings at the Write Tribe!


  1. it is so important to have that spirit and be brave in the face of adversity. I like the concept, to be like a duck!


  2. inquisitivegeet says:

    Sometimes, work does takes a toll on us, but the realization that it makes us happy and contented at the end of the day keeps us going..



  3. At least you did well, some people just give up mid-way. So be proud of yourself and love what you do.

    My sister was in your situation last week and cried too. My take is tough phases don’t last long…and it is a learning too.


  4. Lovely post and such honestly written. I loved your quote. Yes, work sometimes takes so much energy out of us but in the end gives us that contentment of doing something for the place we work. It’s a good feeling. When in that kind of mood – somber and introspecting, even I want to spend time with myself.
    Life after all is getting back up every single time we feel knocked off 🙂


  5. Oh.My.God! What a day!! But first of all, *claps* for you for pulling it off so well! You are a star performer, aren’t you?? Keep sharing your experiences, will come in handy for me 😉
    Yah, those moments of loneliness, they just sneak into our otherwise happy life. But we battle them away, right?
    P.S. Loved the quote, reminds I have one to host too!


  6. Every work and everyone’s life comes with their own set of problems. Everyone has to learn how to face them and brave them.


  7. Oh I completely understand what you would have felt…Sometimes it’s good to cry and just disconnect from everything, just for a while though…I have read enough of your posts to know that you are great at what you do..So take heart and stay well!


  8. Can relate to what you have said, and its tough when we have to handle too many things at the same time; and you managed it quite well….affirm and appreciate yourself with a smile…. you will feel better.


  9. Well Shalini, I think, in the end we are our only best friend. So we do have some moments where we feel that ALONE.


  10. That’s the positive spirit Shalini 🙂 yes, sometimes, stress takes a toll, but we all know – we chose something over the other because we really wanted to do that. Nice quote.


  11. shanayatales says:

    I agree. We all have our demons that we have to face alone. No one can help us. No one can fight our battles for us. But you know what, I believe that we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for and more resilient than we imagine. We can handle it. 🙂

    I am glad that you truly enjoy what you do. Very few people can say that. 🙂


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