In our final year of college, three friends and I, enthused by the lovely Tanishq ads in the papers, decided to visit a Tanishq showroom and do some window-shopping. Shopping with money was out of the question at that stage of our poor lives, so window-shopping it was. One friend was slightly reluctant to go in and just look at everything and come out, so to make her feel comfortable, we concocted a story of our "colleague" getting married, and we going to buy a diamond pendant for her.
The story worked well, and varieties of pendants were being shown to us, while all we wanted to do was gawk at the gold and diamond necklaces, which were on display in the next room. We painfully enacted our drama, and then pretended we did not like any of them, and then casually set out to look at the other bigger stuff. I walked up to the diamond necklaces and spotted a particularly pretty one.
My curiosity got the better of me, and I pointed at the necklace, and asked the salesgirl casually, and with as much confidence as possible, "How much does that cost?"
The salesgirl looked at me quizzically. "Which one?" she asked.
"That one, third from left, with the number 5-8-0-0-0-0 written underneath it".
She smiled sweetly "That's the price ma'am".
My jaw hit the floor. I saw the salesgirl smiling at me ever so politely, but I saw the glint of amusement in her eyes. And then I wished I were a tortoise....
It was the annual day at school. I saw our Kannada teacher, dragging along a little girl. I went up to her with a couple of my classmates, vowing to spread a little of the butter.
"Oh... howww sweeeet", I gushed. She smiled nice and wide.
The smile froze. "No, daughter", she said.
The night suddenly became cold. I quickly recovered.
"Ohhhh!" I was suddenly all bubbly and effervescent. "Such a sweeet child! She looks jussssst like you!" And I took the little girl by the hand and played with her for ten minutes, and then delivered her back to her mom, smiling brightly. Yet, she looked daggers at me, and then I wished I were a tortoise.....
My classmate C once challenged me to jump down a flight of stairs. It was lunchtime. I stood on the top step, and eyed the landing. C was standing on the landing, watching me. I could hear steps behind me, and I spread out my hands, motioning for whoever was behind me, to stand still and wait until I jumped. I concentrated on the landing, and then took one look at C before I jumped. She was gesturing to me desperately, but it did not really register. I was already in the air. I landed safely on the landing (see, that's why its called a landing), and looked triumphantly at C, whose eyes were averted.
Suspicious, I looked behind me immediately, and there coming down the steps, with a smile in the corner of his lips, was our Sanskrit teacher, infamous for his quick temper. "Practicing for the Olympics?" he muttered, while he walked past. There was laughter all around and then I wished I were a tortoise.....
..So that I could just withdraw into my shell and pretend I were a rock.