Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Appearances can be deceptive

I have lamented this before. I don't look like a professor. This is one of the first things people say about me when they meet me. I am supposed to graciously accept it as a compliment, I suppose. I don't know. I like professors. I liked them so much that I always wanted to be one. So its hard to think of it as complimentary, you know?

We were at the Bose speakers store over the weekend. Yes yes, we are upgrading the system. Actually its long overdue. Someone gave us 2 Bose speakers for our wedding (15 years ago). They lay in their box till we moved back to India (10 years ago). One fine day the man and head of our household unpacked them and hooked them to our music system - dvd player - mp3 player - all in one thing.

The kids who visit us watch movies on that. We bought a new TV screen thing when we moved to Chennai (3 years ago) and hooked it on, finally getting rid of that awful fat Sony TV we had in Mumbai for years. Getting rid as in, moving it to the spare room where it stands, gigantic and looming and I have started turning away from it when I go there because no one wants it. Not my parents-in-law. Not any of the people who work in my house. No one I know.

We were early. The store was still closed. I walked over to the store next door and bought myself something to tie my hair with. Usually I don't let any husband touch the hair clips I use. The big giant ones (nearly obsolete and completely unwanted these days, much like my Sony TV in the spare room). He always manages to break it - in various ways. The metal clasp. The teeth. I patch it up and wear it for a few more days till it fully crumbles. This time, I broke three of them all by myself, metal clasp. I am getting strong from all my p90x workouts I think.

Okay now back to the Bose store. I wanted to say 'I am a professor though I don't look like one' but the word 'relevance' was reverberating in my head so I just smiled my silly smile. The guy had a lisp and looked vaguely familiar. I let my husband (I suppose he looks like a consultant, I don't know. He looks like the guy who chews gum when he plays basketball, as far I can tell) do the talking. We were taken upstairs for the 'home theater' experience.

I looked around and saw this skinny person behind me. He was wearing jeans, a button down, and chose to keep his sunglasses on. I wanted to judge him immediately for wearing sunglasses in an inside situation. Then recalled that its almost-summer (almost-mango-season!) and gave him the benefit of the doubt. Conjunctivitis is  not called Madras-Eye for nothing. He walked up for the 'home theater' experience as well.

It was some vaguely oriental sounding movie track. I lost interest since it didn't involve Daniel Craig. Mr. Sunglass asked a question. The store dude said 'I will answer questions after the track finishes' OUCH. Major diss. I felt bad for him. I decided to upgrade his name to Mr. Madras-Eye. Which might be painful and sort of oozy in nature but at least it gets you R.E.S.P.E.C.T. I guess that is the reason I don't take it as a compliment when people assume I am not what I am.

Its not like we didn't have sunglasses on. There were on our head. And we were dressed terribly. In fact, we hadn't even showered and I was feeling very stinky and keeping my arms close to myself to not release armpit-sweat-pervading-smell into the 'home theater' experience. Shorts. Round neck tees. Flipflops. No scratch that. That was the next day. Bose speakers day, I had run a Half Marathon early morning. And showered after that, obviously. Still, blue flipflops. He was wearing shoes.

Surprisingly, my husband was considerate and nice to Mr.Madras Eye. I guess we had wordlessly gone through the same set of arguments in our head about Wannabe-Rock-Star/Nouveau-Rich vs. Conjunctivitis-sufferer, and reached the same conclusion. Anyway by this time I fell asleep for a bit as the movie clip still didn't have Daniel Craig in it. And no dancing. Just some car chases and one bungy-jumping type event. Boring.

"Okay I am heading down" Mr. Madras Eye said and loped off, his shoulders slumped as the store guy just nodded in his direction and continued to look adoringly up at my husband. I slinked into a corner and emerged periodically to mutter things like 'where will the kids watch movies?' 'can we continue to use our existing speakers?' 'can it work with a 10-year old ipod shuffle 'cause thats the only place I have Britney Spears at?' etc.

Oh! I know the feeling mister. I will assume that you are a shy, retiring individual visiting from another planet. Which is further from the sun than ours, so that, this amount of sunlight, and this type of bright LED indoor lighting, feels too harsh on your eye. I will assume that you bought earth-clothes-and-shoes with the expert purpose of experiencing earthling electronic goods. And that you are boarding your craft back to maybe fourth-rock-from-the-sun with a not-so-pleasant feeling in your mouth about us...

No comments: