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I have the uncanny knack of inviting trouble. There have been quite a few instances in my life when I have found myself neck-deep in trouble, or when I have landed in the most embarrassing situation all owing to my own doing.
Consider, for instance, the other day when I went to the book shop. Now, with so many online shopping sites, why did I have to go to a book shop? And, if I did go, why did I have to carry a large envelope full of papers? If I did carry the envelope, why did I not deposit it at the counter before entering the shop?
Okay, let me begin at the beginning. I went to the book shop the other day. I was carrying certain documents as I wanted to get their photo-copies. There were five or six papers and they fitted snugly in the envelope. It was not much of a burden really. But the envelope was somewhat large and would not fit in any of my pockets, and I didn't want to fold the envelope.
I walked into the shop with the envelope in my hand, and since it was only an envelope it never occurred to me to deposit it at the counter.
But as I started pulling out books from the racks, I needed the use of both my hands. At first, I kept the packet on top of the other books; but there were other customers who wanted to look at those very books. So I had to pick up my dear little packet and place it atop books on the other side. But the bibliophiles would flock to that side also, and I had to shift my packet once again.
There were not many customers in the shop. But, perhaps the section that I had chosen was a popular one, and that accounted for the continuous assault on my poor envelope.
Then, I hit upon the brightest idea of my life. I tucked the envelope inside my shirt. That was comfortable! I could pull out books without having to move my envelope from side to side. The only disconcerting aspect was my appearance - the envelope bulged out of my shirt in an uncouth manner. But who cares?
Well, someone did care - the manager of the book store! A bulging belly on a male and that, too, a man who, otherwise, was quite lean needed to be investigated immediately.
Of course, I did not know what was happening behind my back until a security staff tapped me on the shoulder.
"What is that inside your shirt?" he wanted to know in a voice that was audible across the shop. He sounded thrilled at having nabbed a thief - an achievement that was likely to earn him a promotion!
"An envelope," I said humbly.
He was not satisfied, but wanted to hold the envelope in his own hands to be sure.
So, I had to do a bit of stripping. Okay, I am exaggerating - I only had to unbutton the top button of my shirt to remove the envelope. But that was embarrassing with everyone now looking at me; I saw a few of them shudder in disgust.
Satisfied that it indeed was an envelope and not a stolen book but unhappy because the prospect of promotion evaporated, the man went away. But I was burning in shame. I left the shop in a huff without making any purchases. Serves them right, I said to myself. Once outside, I realized that a loss of one customer was unlikely to alter the prospects of the store. After a few minutes of introspection, I had to acknowledge it was my fault. If I had only deposited the envelope at the counter, I would not have been subjected to such embarrassment.
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