I sauntered into the college canteen. It was evening and every table was packed, with students, juniors, seniors, peers bitching about classes, laughing, eating, being teenagers. It was the rare appearance of a salwar-kameez on me. Pink and white with high white sandals. Yessir, who says I can’t be a lady?
I sashayed past the hellos and the friendly catcalls and stopped at the table of my nemesis – the wise-cracking Alec Smart from the next class. Familiar cheeky grin replaced by a faintly admiring smile and a reluctant,
Gleeful, I perched on the edge of the table, all coy and ladylike, preparing to be the picture of flirtatious loveliness. When suddenly *creak*…the table legs folded under me and I was splayed all over the floor. Hmph….so much for ladylike.
Everyone in the canteen had a good laugh. Except Alec Smart who bent over in concern and said,
Are you okay?
I laughed right into his face. Yes it was funny and a start to a good friendship.
Once I rushed into the physics lab, a few minutes behind schedule, heaving a sigh of relief that the lab assistant didn’t spot me. Plonking books on table, I aimed for the stool but missed (can you believe how terrible my aim is???). Yes, once more I sat down straight on the floor. Plenty of hahaha that time round too. All my disastrous performances happen to packed audiences.
Once I was walking down the road showing off my new black leather high heeled boots, thinking to myself just how wonderful I must look. Indeed I must have since a guy on a bike slowed, then continued staring at me as he whizzed by, head turning full 180 degrees (well almost). I scowled at him and muttered a curse on ‘bird-watchers‘. And then my toe caught on a broken stone (these Mumbai roads!!!) and I keeled over. Net damage: Bruised knees. Injured ego. Total loss of ladylike pride. But it still makes me laugh when I think of it.
Fell down the stairs…once, twice…oh I think at least once down every staircase I’ve had to use more than twice. Count – school, college, work, three apartments….you do the math. Mostly when I was alone. Once in a crowd….right in the middle of lunch break in college. Like I said…my performances bring the house down – a full house.
Right then, sitting on your butt, looking and feeling like the world’s biggest idiot, you can choose to agree with life’s observation or not. I run with what’s before my eyes. So I laughed every time. And now too. Falling sure is hard on the knees (and the butt unless you’re really well-padded) but is a not-so-gentle reminder to lighten up and not take yourself so seriously.
Hence I conclude, pride may come before a fall, but what comes after? Laughter of course!