The next whole 2 weeks went away in a haze and there was not much interaction with any of my other batch mates. As I usually keep to myself till I get used to the people around me, I made little effort to talk to anyone in my batch. The fair and tall guy had made friends and lost a few in the short duration and I kept wondering what was the reason not to have this guy around. He was definitely pleasing to the eye. I was loving being independent and all that I rarely gave notice to this guy. He used to say a "hi" everyday in the morning and I used to return it.
After two weeks in the company I had made 2 friends. I had still not spoken to the tall and fair guy. When I could not solve the matter at hand I thought it would be a nice way to add another person to my growing friends' list and spoke to the fair and tall guy. He came over to my cubicle and gave suggestions. The next day he came over again and his shirt was stained and his breath smelled. I spoke to him a little keeping a good distance from him. After this he came to my cubicle every morning and I dreaded these encounters. I had a box of tic-tacs and orbit which I offered to him daily. This was the assertive way to handle a smelly breath but I never knew how I was supposed to tell someone that they smell bad. In our painful (at least on my side) conversations the biggest mistake I did was to tell him that I like Harry Potter. After office hours he would stealthily come up behind me and whisper (with his mouth open) Harry Potter just like Voldemort does in the movie. In such encounters I used to be startled and would turn and be blasted with a breath of smelly hot breath. Imagine keeping a straight face through that (I am waiting for my noble peace price). He was not smelly on only one day a week. I assumed that was the only one day he took bath. To add to all this the summer came. He was soon included in my prayers each day. I used to ask God to please give him the sense to take a nice hot bath because long hot baths, according to me, solved everything. Be it a stressed day, a troubled mind, a fitful sleep or a smelly big guy. When I realized that even the sweltering hot summers would not make the guy take a bath everyday, I took matters in to my own hands. Whenever he came over to say hi, our conversations went like this.
He : Hi
Me : Hi, do you smell something bad ?
He : No.
Me : Well, It seems like somebody needs a bath, huh ??
He : Hi
Me : Hi. There is that smell again. Don't you smell it ?
He : No.
Me : Well, looks like someone in our batch is skipping taking a bath huh ?? *smiling and nodding head*
He : maybe. *changes the topic*
After a week or 2 of this I got a better idea.
He : Hi.
Me : Hi.
< after 5 mins >
Me : Do you smell that ? What do you think it is ? Do you think it is me ? I have bath everyday. The geaser kept breaking down so our PG owner has installed this new Racold instant water heaters. You know that you will sweat less if you have a nice hot bath in the morning. Yes. I know this by experience. You should try it. See, you are sweating right now and look at me, not even a drop of sweat. Just try this for a day or two.
He : What ? Have bath everyday ? I have bath only two times a week. Hence save water and a lot of time.
Me : How long do you take bath on these 2 days ?
He : For at least 40 mins.
Me : How about this ? You have bath for exactly 80 mins per week ? So, if you have a bath for 11 mins everyday, you will be using the same amount of water and spending the same amount of time for the bath. And on top of that, you will have 3 minutes spare time. *smiles and nods*
He : Maybe I will try.
I went home that day feeling victorious. The next day I found him not smelly at all. The day after that too. I asked him one day if he was sweating less after everyday bath and he said yes. The whole of summer went away and except his mouth nothing smelled. I had my tic-tacs for that. After some 4 months, everyone in my batch were my very good friends.
The rainy season had started and when I was on my way to the office it was drizzling. I entered and there was that smell again. I went to my cubicle. The fair guy came to say "hi".
He : Hi.
Me : What is the smell, boss ?
He : I don't smell anything.
Me : Have you bathed today *smiles and nods*
He : No. It is rainy season. I feel odd taking bath everyday because it is so cold.
Me : You stink. Take a bath tomorrow.
He : I will try.
After 4 months, we were good friends. There was no need to beat around the bush. As the saying goes.
"Old habits, die hard".
This post is written for Racold What's that smell contest in association with Indiblogger.
Check out Racold's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/racoldthermoltd