Random people and some even more random conversations. Allow me to narrate the ones which I remember a lot more vividly than the others! I just had to share these.
The other day a friend and I were in this plush mall for some window shopping. We were just about to get onto the escalator when I heard this voice behind me, “Do you think you are walking in a garden!” I immediately turned around to see this aunty (at least 50 years old), with a rather grumpy face looking at both of us. I was not sure if I heard her right. I thought she needed help with something. So my retort was “ I am sorry.. what did u say?” The voice then got a little stern “ Do you think you are in a garden to walk so slow!!” Imagine the audacity! My friend immediately said “ Why don’t you move ahead?” I was beginning to lose it. “ Yes, AUNTY! Don’t you see enough space? Why don’t YOU go ahead?!” I bit my tongue from saying anything more. My mom definitely did a good job of “Remember to talk to your elders with respect” bit! Pah! Anyway, our irritable aunty grumbled something under her breath and brushed past us onto the escalator. I was shocked to see the way she was hurrying up, scared in fact. I don’t think she realized that in escalators, one doesn’t usually “climb” the steps, especially not at her age. Who or what was she hurrying up for?
The other incident happened on a local train. I was sitting inside the train and this petite girl sitting opposite to me said “You are wearing a very pretty kurta.”I did think it was quite nice of her to complement a total stranger. She looked interested in starting a conversation. I had nothing better to do either. It started with the casual exchange of names and within 15 minutes we managed to cover books, movies, fitness, shopping, Mumbai, marriage, traveling…..! We ended up exchanging numbers and added each other on Facebook. I got back home and told this to my husband. His obvious reaction was “Wow.. you added a total stranger on Facebook!? “ That is when I asked myself “Did I as usual overdo it?” :P
This last incident happened recently and I thought quite a bit about it when I got back home. Perceptions vary and how!
My sister and I were at this garment store, browsing through some very pretty dresses. A lady in her mid thirties came up to my sister and said “That is a beautiful ring.” Then she turned to me and said “Your earrings are so beautiful.” Amused, but nonetheless pleased by the admiration from a total stranger, we thanked her with a broad grin. She immediately started talking about how much she loves silver jewellery and asked us about some good stores. Then she moved onto what she actually wanted to talk about. The compliments were for simply breaking the ice, I realized. Our lady was an associate producer with a renowned TV channel and she was looking for a game show host. She talked about how glamorous the job was, and the pay package, the fringe benefits and the works. I kept wondering did she really think we were “glamorous game show material?” NO way. I don’t even want to be featured in that category. Reminded me of all the skinny girls I see on Zoom TV with body glitter on them. Definitely not my idea of glamour.
I didn’t want to offend and I feigned interest in her conversation. My sister got back to her browsing. In between the nonstop chatter about the job, she stopped abruptly in between and asked “Btw, where are you girls from?” My nonchalant response was “Kerala”. Little did I know that would surprise her to no end. “Kerala…!? You girls look really cosmopolitan to be from Kerala!!” Huh!? That was my first reaction. I knew why. I figured she arrived at this conclusion seeing our regional talk show hosts. Thanks to our Kiran TV Vjs. I must sadly admit that most Vjs from Malayalam music channels seem to be very far from glamorous in the eyes of an outsider. In fact they are far from glamorous in my eyes too. I wish they didn’t try so hard to be ‘hep and happening’ and would stick to being natural. You know what I mean…
In any case, I immediately replied “Well, … It depends on where all you have been..” I am not sure whether she understood my point. Whether you are a Malayalee or a Bihari, it all depends on one’s exposure and upbringing. I wanted to somehow make her end her game show promotion and hence added “Actually I work with an IT firm and my sister is still studying, if we come across someone who might be interested, we will surely let you know.” In my mind I was saying “If you don’t mind, I would like to continue shopping!” Having heard that, she immediately gave me her visiting card. I honestly have no idea now where I kept it.
Apparently Kerala is still a village and all Malayalees villagers?!