…in the company of other average desi males.
*For ones who’ve read it before, sorry this is a repeat. Wanted to post here so it stays all together. Next one will be new, I promise ;-) *
I’ve been itching to write about this particular incident from last Friday. A friend and I decided to meet for lunch. We picked a Thai restaurant mid-way between our work places and I somehow miraculously (as am known for maintaining IST true to my roots.) landed there ahead of time.
I park and make my way up the small ramp and I have my hand on the door.
Just as I begin to pull forward, I see a yellow polo shirt sporting a brown face with a pair of glasses perched precariously on a stub of a nose peek back at me through the glass, through the various credit card stickers on the door. The door opens out towards me and somehow it seemed like Karma had it that it was already pushing its way onto my face.
I step back, with my hand still on the handle.
The yellow polo shirt waddles out with a nod. I nod back, and before I could step forward, a blue shirt perks up quickly behind.
I must interrupt this delightful parade of colors am about to take you on to give you a visual of the setting. The restaurant’s set in a low building, the interiors dimly lit with a low ceiling to boot. There were a couple of instances that I felt if I raised my hand and got on my toes, I could dust the ceiling. Stepping in from the bright lovely 75 degree weather we were graced with, one wishes our eyes would move just a bit quicker to adjust. Old age certainly doesn’t help. But I digress.
So, standing at a vantage point on the tiny 2 feet little square space between the door and the metal barricade behind me, I was what one would describe a tight spot. Pun unintended.
We left at the blue shirt didn’t we? Okay, continuing on, I figured (well, I wasn’t given much time to figure with the colors hurtling out at tremendous speed as if they were held captive in the space) that I could allow two -apna des bandhu – to leave ahead. After all, hum tum bhai bhai in a phoren country no?
So, I take a dainty step forward and in a haste that my PTC bus training in Chennai formerly known as Madras – would be glowing with pride, I rushed back to my protective spot against the metal fence. Yes, as you guessed it, there was another desh-vasi who refused to look up, but raced out leaving a waft of minty vapors behind. I stand there, eyes growing rounder with each passing brown male. He was followed by a polite man in a white shirt who courtesy-ed me and even had the good manners to mumble a “thank you” – I nod my head benevolently.
Out comes another bespectacled intelligent geeky IT dude. He would fit the image of Dwight (from Office), the guy who sits in the corner of his dim cube with wires all around him and his only existence would come into play when the system misbehaves and would start throwing windows at us at crazy speeds and all we wanted to open was MS Outlook?
Right after him is this extremely tall gentleman who stooped a bit to exit and then grinned at me. I give up counting. It’s all a blur. It felt like I was back in desh.
In this tiny span of time, my expressive face has shown it all. From politeness, to camaraderie to humanity to amusement to annoyance to shock to well, I don’t cuss in public, but yes, I had the ultimate ‘WTF’ look written all over my face in whatever languages one could imagine including Braille.
After the grin (like he was my long lost langoti yaar or something – ugh!) I debated on letting go of the heavy glass door onto the next unsuspecting pretentious smug mug and make a quick getaway by jumping the fence. Unfortunately my ploy didn’t work. Coz the next guy didn’t appear. I peer into the darkness. There they are – three nice men who are standing on to the side and the leader of them all, ushers me in with a wave of his hand.
I stare at him. I guess he interpreted it as “are you for real” and I let him. He smiles and waves his hand a little more quickly. I dart in thanking the Lord, that there was indeed God, and well, there is a saner part of the parade after all.
My face must have registered an appreciation, as I roll my eyes and smile and nod at the trio who managed to look both apologetic and chivalrous at the same time.
Thus ends the tale of the average desi male who continues to waltz through doors held by well dressed average desi woman at Thai restaurants in upscale commercial neighborhoods during lunchtimes.
ps: Feels awesome writing again! :-)