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I have always felt jealous of suave, good-looking, and well-dressed men. The reason: they make heads turn wherever they go. Everybody ignores me!
Well, on one occasion I, too, had caused heads to turn. That was the only occasion.
My company transferred me to a new location. Everything was unfamiliar, even the language.
The first thing that needed to be addressed was to find myself a place to live; my office colleagues helped me find a rental flat. Second, some place had to be found where you could get affordable healthy food. After eating at fancy restaurants for the first few days, it didn't take me long to realize that money doesn't grow on trees! This problem was also soon resolved; there was an eatery quite close to the place where I lived. It was a nondescript joint situated on the first floor of a commercial complex and, therefore, easily overlooked. I noticed it one day and gave it a try; the food was alright and affordable. The biggest advantage was that it was not popular; you could always be assured of a vacant table. It was a small eatery and had only four tables; at any given time, only two or three tables used to be occupied. I became a regular patron.
One evening, there was a group of youngsters occupying all the tables excepting one. Seven or eight of them had pulled together two tables so that they could sit together; a boy and a girl sat at another table because there was not enough space to join the bigger group; another boy and girl stood leaning against the rails, looking down upon the world below and exchanging sweet nothings, or maybe discussing studies; the fourth table was unoccupied.
I sat at the unoccupied table. Shortly, a girl from the larger group looked up at me and whispered something to her friends. I was thrilled!
I had always craved for recognition. I racked my brains to discover what good I had done to earn this recognition, but nothing came to mind.
Following the first girl's whispering, the other youngsters turned and looked at me. Meanwhile, the waiter came up and took my order. The group made quite a noise to attract the rail-leaning couple's attention; the two were still unmindful of the world, and were unquestionably discussing their studies. His intellectual conversation thus rudely interrupted, the rail-leaning boy could not understand why his friends were trying to draw his attention towards me. But he was a quick thinker and walked up to me with a swagger and said, "Mister, this table is occupied."
I was astonished. The waiter had not said anything about it being occupied. I apologised, but pointed out that the waiter would be bringing my food anytime now.
The rail-leaner became quite belligerent and refused to see reason. The boy who was sitting at the second table appeared to be a reasonable person. He called out to his friend, the rail-leaner, and said, "Come and sit at this table." That settled the matter.
But I was crushed! The realization that the youngsters had turned to look at me not in admiration but with an intention to disfigure me, was very depressing. That was the only time when I had caused heads to turn.
Some useful links for
- Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
- IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
- Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
- Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
- IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
- Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
- Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
- Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu