It floats around, has to land on somebody. Say a storm comes through, some folks sit in their living room & enjoy the rains. The house next door gets torn out of the ground & smashes flat. It was my turn, I was in the path of tornado." (Shawshank Redemption)
Okay, It wasn't so dramatic. There was no tornado. No house got uprooted. But yes, there was bad luck, and more importantly, there was me - in close proximity of bad luck.
There is this cardinal rule about men's dressing - 'black doesn't mixes with white'. Those with religious bent of mind would recollect the un-written 11th commandment:
"Thou shall not wear white shirt on black trousers"
I violated this rule & got promptly punished.
It's a typical weekday morning, I curse and drag myself out of bed. After a quick shower, with towel wrapped around my waist, I find myself inspecting my wardrobe. It's a not a pretty sight. Crumpled shirts and ill-fitting trousers hanging dejectedly on assorted hangers. I scan through my collection of trousers. To call it a collection would be a joke, coz this collection of mine consists of a sum total of 3 pairs of trousers:
1> Dark chocolate(y) brown
2> Light brown
3> Khaki brown
Minimalistic is the buzz word. All 3 trousers are crumpled and worn beyond redemption. It's been almost 2 months since they saw the innards of a washing machine. In a state of panic, I turn to my collection of jeans, which again is, Minimalistic. Two pairs of blue and one pair of black. I look at the black jeans with hope & trepidation. From a distance it can pass off as a black formal office trouser. I decide to stretch my luck. I settle for black jeans with an off-white (whatever that means) striped long-sleeved shirt.
The thing with long-sleeves shirt and me is that, I always find the sleeves bit too loose around my wrists. I have very slender feminine wrists (to go with my delectably soft hands). My wrists, make it almost impossible for me to wear men's wrist watch (or for that matter even women's wrist watch). Seven years back I stopped wearing wrist watches altogether (much to the disappointment of my mum). She use to look at my bare wrist and feel sorry for me. Which mum doesn't like to see her grown up son sporting a manly wrist watch ? My mum is no exception. Okay, I digressed enough. So you get the picture (slender bare wrists, loose ill-fitting off-white shirt, rolled up sleeves, black jeans).
It's evening, I am now at Saravana Bhavan (the friendly neighbourhood South-Indian eatery) . Standing at the cashier's table I ponder over my order. (Much earlier) the day in office had gone off uneventfully. As always, nobody had the time or inclination to notice me (or my black jeans). At Sarvana Bhavan, you need to place your order at the cashier & pay-up in advance. They, then give you a plastic token number which you place strategically on your table, and wait. I order one 'appam' and coffee. Just then, my eyes wander to the tantalizing array of sweets on display right next to the cashier. Predictably, I give in to my temptation. To gratify my sweet tooth, I order one Baadushaa. The dessert is handed immediately at the counter on a small steel plate. I pick up tissues, spoon & fork from the self-service cutlery counter and then : Tragedy strikes (Tornado, House, Path, Badluck, Me..... Remember ?).
With tissues, spoon-fork in one hand, a steel plate with the sweet in other hand I start walking precariously, looking for an empty table. As I walk past few tables, I notice a guy with his ear glued to cell phone, looking at me. For few tiny seconds my eyes lock with his and I know from that moment onwards I am doomed. Still talking animatedly on his cell, he raises his free hand and signals me. This isn't any friendly 'hey there buddy' kind of waving of hand. I know for sure, what's on his mind. I ignore his frenetic calls and continue walking past him. He almost grabs hold of my arm and tries to stop me in my tracks. That does it, I can't take this humiliation anymore. I stop, turn back in my stride and shout on top of my voice :
"I am not the friggin' Waaaaiteeeeerrrrrrr"
My words float gently in the air (for what seems like an eternity). The ripples carry across the length and breadth of the restaurant. A hushed silence descends. The tension is palpable. The cell-phone guy lies stunned & frozen. In a reflex action he disconnects the phone and starts apologizing profusely. I don't need an apology (if anything, i should be thanking him for gifting me with a blog-worthy anecdote). I brush him aside and make my way past few more stunned diners and find an empty table. Sometime later, as the 'real' waiter comes with appam and coffee, I realize my folly. The dress code for waiters, in Saravana Bhavan, is same as mine. White shirt & black trousers. It was a classic case of me being at the wrong place, at the wrong time, in wrong attire.
p.s. : song of the week
Aye Ganpat, Chal Daaru La..
Ice Chala, Soda Kam, Thoda Paani Mila..
Thoda Table Veble Saaf Kar De Na Yaar..
Aye Ganpat, Ganpat..