Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Embarassing moments

We all face embarrassing moments in life, when we wish the ground below would open up and swallow us! Let me share with you a few such moments from my life.

One of the first instances relates to my son when he was still in school. A boy who was very fussy when it came to eating – like most children are, he hated the sight of many items, particularly Upma. Once on a visit to a friend’s place, it was tiffin time and my friend had prepared upma for everyone. Looking at the item, I confidently told her, “My son does not like upma, so don’t give it to him, he will only waste it.”

Before she could revert with an alternative, my son shot back, “No aunty, I like this type of upma very much”. He literally grabbed the plate from her. Not only did he eat the upma in a jiffy, but also asked for a second helping. I did not know where to hide my face. My friend consoled me by saying, “Don’t worry, my children also do this to me”. It is some consolation to know that all children are the same when it comes to embarrassing their parents!

I generally have a policy of not lying. That is mainly because I have found that to cover up one lie you have to tell many more lies to justify the first lie. With a poor memory like mine, I find myself caught with my ‘pants down’ on the rare occasion when I have been forced to tell a lie; as it happened the other day…

A person, whom I consider a pest, wanted to meet me on some matter. I was not very keen on meeting him, so when he called to ask if he could meet me on a particular evening, I told him that I have an appointment with a doctor on that day and he will have to excuse me. I completely forgot the talk with him and happily landed at another friend’s place for dinner at the same time. Much to my embarrassment I found that ‘pest’ also at the party. Naturally, I had to tell another lie to cover up my first lie, but I know I was not very convincing!

The most common disease that all of us suffer; leading to embarrassment almost on a daily basis, is the temporary lapse of memory in relation to names of friends. Engrossed in an interesting conversation with a friend when another friend suddenly slaps your back to draw your attention and you have to introduce the two friends – and then you realise that you have forgotten the names of both of them! I get out of such embarrassing situations by requesting both the friends to introduce themselves or asking for their latest visiting cards for updating my mailing list!

I will never forget an embarrassing experience I had on a train journey from Chennai to Bangalore. I had booked my travel ticket on my favourite Brindavan Express on a particular day. As is my practice I reached the station 45 minutes early and after double checking my coach and seat number, I got into the train. I was comfortably settled in my seat reading the morning newspaper when suddenly I realized that another passenger was tapping my shoulder to draw my attention. “Sorry sir, the seat you are occupying is my seat” he said. I pulled out my ticket, looked at the coach and seat number and told him confidently, “This is my seat as per the reserved ticket I have” and without even looking at the passenger’s reaction I went back to reading my paper.

A few minutes later the passenger was back .He was now beaming and told me, “I have checked the reservation chart on the coach and I find that my name is appearing against this seat number. Let me see your ticket sir?” Before I could look at my ticket, he grabbed it from my hand and when his expression changed to that of a winner in a contest I knew I was in trouble. “Sorry sir, you are late for this train only by 24 hours. Your ticket is for yesterday’s Brindavan Express!”

When I sheepishly got up to retrieve my baggage I could feel the pitying looks I received from my fellow passengers who were watching the fun. I have never felt as embarrassed and humiliated as I felt that day!!

These days, however, as a senior citizen I seem to be causing embarrassment to my children very often, with my behaviour in public. When they stiffen and their faces become red I know I have performed some indiscrete act or said something which I should not have!

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