SHUT UP PLEASE!!

I talk, quite easily, hopefully effectively too 😜 but sometimes way too much. I am an extrovert, stark different to me is my husband – introvert. I remember how he used to pull me aside (not literally but more with gestures like signaling or a hush hush warning) and say “bas bhi karo” (enough is enough) when I would go on an endless errand of talking and talking and talking and had no company but mere silent spectators / listeners. It was a gentle way of saying “Shut Up Please”. Now after 11 years of companionship I think (I can’t be my judge you see) I have well mended my ways 😁.

Talking (can’t help 😁) about my characteristic trait – a chatter box, reminds me of an embarrassing situation which was more scary in nature to be precise for a newly wedded bride at her in-laws place when mind and tongue are not in sync.

I was in India for few months right after my marriage due to Visa issues. And like any newly married girl I was getting myself acquainted with the relatives and the relations, an important exercise. And watching TV serials could be a good bonding formula with mother in law. And while exercising that ritual, I let my tongue loose just as the logic in the TV serials and called the actor “Idiot”. My word to word dialogue – “what an idiot he is”, and that was quite loud. And in a fraction of second I realised what blunder I have just committed in my wake to be honest 😁. The actor was my mother in law’s brother (yes he is quite rich to produce and act in his own series). No prizes to guess how tense the room was then. My mother in law didn’t say a word, seemed to be stunned and I could only meekly say “sorry, said out of habit”. And rushed out of the room, tried to avoid interaction at least for few hours. If that wasn’t enough idiotic I confessed to my brother in law that I am really sorry for not realising what I am saying and completely forgot that he is his maternal uncle. “What are you talking about? I haven’t heard anything” he replied and I had my tongue in cheek. Fortunately my mother in law being a gentle and sweet person, would have understood what allergy people of my generation might have watching daily soaps 😜 didn’t drag her feet on the issue and nothing dramatic or drastic happened. And on this date she trusts me and confides in me completely. A happy state to be😊.

This is not the only incident when my tongue behaved like a rogue and my face needed a hideout. From bursting out (read back bitching) about a teacher that too while in notice of his colleagues to calling classmates of a dear friend “dumb” and on confrontation telling that friend that “dumb” means “not trustworthy” (cough cough, excuse me for my excellent vocabulary as I was quite young then) and everything (lot more) in between, embarrassment has been my constant consort.

These incidents seemingly funny now on paper have been good lessons to me : It’s ok to be friendly and let your hair down but not your guard while talking, talking too much, giving away a piece of your heart and mind more than asked for or even not needed could always lead to OOPS moments and troubles too.

Guard that gold (silence) and spend the silver (speech) more wisely. Learn to Shut that chatter box😜.

WHEN IN DOUBT, JUST GOOGLE

It was our first ever on-site stay. My husband, Anuj, a software techie, was given a project in Shanghai, China. Language barrier- the first concern popped in my mind, the moment he broke the news to me. Staying and surviving was going to be tough, but “we will manage”, Anuj assured me.

Being an internet freak, I thought of using Google Translate for all the communication in the foreign land. And, voila, things were so much easier. We were using Google Baba almost everywhere.

On one of our shopping days in Walmart, I had this printed list of the commodities to be needed, in English as well as Chinese. We were looking for a conditioner, but got confused between the similar bottles containing shampoo. Since everything was written in Chinese, except the brand names, which was in English thankfully, it was hard to differentiate which bottle contained shampoo and which one conditioner.

Tired of playing who’s who, we approached one of the staff members and pointed at the item on the list- Conditioner. He took us to the electronics section of the store and we got a bit baffled. A moment later, Anuj laughed at me, saying your list did not mention which conditioner- Hair Conditioner or Air Conditioner! I was bewildered. We had a good laugh and I sheepishly thanked the staff member. I went back and picked up the bottle that was kept vice-versa of the shampoo bottle.

Ahh, victory!

From then onwards, I always cross check to ensure that I have asked the exact question from the Google.

____

Author’s Bio: Preeta Bhatnagar is a homemaker and a mother. Professionally, she comes from a diverse background, having experience in jewelry designing, merchandising and teaching pre- primary children. Academically, she holds Masters in Commerce and Business Administration, along with PG Diploma in Pre-Primary Education. Writing is her hobby and apart from articles, she also likes to compose poems.

THE INNOCENT LOGIC

“A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer.”

My sister still calls me a monkey. For her, I am the naughtiest, mischievous and cutest brother in the entire world. Whenever there is an opportunity to talk about me she never misses out on the chance, talking about my mischievous acts. I will present to you all, one such act of mine which is often discussed in my family. 

I was five years old, used to hate milk and to avoid drinking it I used to tiptoe and empty the tumbler in the garden and silently keep it on the table pretending I finished it. My grandmother always used to keep tabs on me and she found it pretty soon and she made it a point that every day I will drink in front of her. For few days I was left with no choice but to oblige her, but then I managed to escape her keen eyes and this time I chose to hide the tumbler in her old wardrobe, it went for two days and on the third day, her room and wardrobe totally stink. She went totally mad running after me and I managed to escape and later I employed the best defense a child can think off, kissing to cool her off and promising I won’t repeat it. 

Pretty determined not to do the same mistake, the very next day I hid the tumbler in my uncle’s bookshelf where he used to keep his office materials, and I left for my school’s Annual Day function, graced by the presence of the then famous Telugu film Director (Dasari Narayana Rao) I participated in nursery rhymes competition and won second prize, during prize distribution I literally snatched my prize from chief guest’s hands even before he could give it to me only to show that to my friend Divya(she is cute) embarrassing my parents with that behaviour of mine. After reaching home everyone was determined to teach me a lesson and my grandmother took the lead asking, “you promised me that you won’t repeat the same mistake,” and I quickly countered saying “yes, and so I hid the tumbler in uncle’s shelf instead”.

22Totally irritated she warned me that she will send me out of the house if I keep behaving like this. Insulted, I took few sandwiches from the kitchen and wrapped them in a handkerchief, tied it to the end of a stick and walked out in anger thinking they don’t want me at home, I will go away. Luckily even before I could cross my street, a known person found me and brought me home. When everyone found out what really happened, they were in a state of shock and couldn’t actually scold me. As for me, I happily sat in one corner and finished those sandwiches. 

Now whenever they discuss or narrate this incident I feel embarrassed and ashamed of my own stupidity. I often wonder what would have happened to me if that gentleman didn’t spot me ? My innocent logic could have put me in deep trouble. The lesson which I learned was not to repeat the adventure which I undertook years back. 

CHOICE OF WORDS

I would most definitely start with a disclaimer, this was not one of my finest moments… It is funny now but at that point I was horribly embarrassed….

This was during my college days.  It was a normal college day but I had had a terrible day so far and was in a really bad mood. I along with my classmates was hanging out with a few of my juniors and were discussing about few things that really made me feel disappointed. I was annoyed and in my anger and frustration I uttered a few choice words in the English vocabulary against our colleagues’ managing director. I never knew who’s around us… and unfortunately he happened to be standing right behind me.

Oh!! the horror!!

I just stood there frozen!!! He left without saying a word!!! I went apologized to him later and the rest is history.

Now when I think about it…. the whole incident sounds hilarious to me but I did learn a lesson that day…. two actually…. and both lessons apply to every aspect of my life now. First, look around before you speak and second, don’t speak ill of others…. there is a good chance of others eavesdropping.

THE ELATED FOOL!

“Mistakes are the proof that you are trying”, has been the most used phrase by our elders and teachers. Well of course we can say that we do learn a lot from our mistakes and we can afford to make new mistakes every now and then. But some mistakes not only makes us laugh but also they take our self respect with them and dive deep into the ocean of shame.

Playing a prank on others can be listed as a primary quality of notorious humans!! I would like all those who read this article to tell me that, how would you feel when your crush tells you that they actually love you? Then they would ask you to come wearing a dress, they like, to class and this that!! What would you do??? Think if it’s really true or not?? Or just wear that dress and go?? Of course the latter… Of course, of course!!!!!!

When we hear someone loves us, we either smile or shy away or get elated. For me, “ELATED” was the feeling that day. Happy, happy as I was, I got dressed in the same dress he wanted me to and left for college. Excited to meet him, I didn’t see any of my friends and went past them, my eyes eagerly searching for him. Oh there!! There he was, standing right next to my friends. Wait!! Why was he standing next to my friends?? I stopped walking. They were all laughing at me by then! Clueless, I examined myself properly. Then I saw that friend of mine, who knew I had a crush on that guy. Still, why were they laughing?? I went towards them… I smiled at him… I gave them all a frowned look… And they all started singing… “April fool banaya!!! toh unko gussa aya!!!” (‘I made you April Fool, so she got annoyed…’ in a funny way) And suddenly I found myself drowned in the ocean of shame. It was 1st of April, the fools day!

I shook the matter off, showing off how sportive I can be. Though I didn’t look at my crush for a month or so. Later we became good friends. As the years went by, we all friends started laughing at that day and the expressions we all had. We never actually think or talk about the pain. My mistake there was, I shouldn’t have expressed my feelings to someone who wasn’t as trustworthy as to handle my emotions well and I should have thought about all the pros and cons. Being blind wasn’t really necessary. I really did learn many things from that day but foremost I learnt that, our heart can hold in as many pains and aches as it holds all the love.

KNOW WHAT YOU WRITE

It was a day of August 2008 I faced my first professional interview to work as Customer Support Executive for a software developer company in my hometown. I was selected in the first two rounds but in the final HR round, I was cut down. It was very much discouraging and was also an embarrassing incident for my professional career as well.

Like every other HR, that company HR first asked me to introduce myself, I went well then he asked me what is your idea about the job you have applied for, somehow I went well, then the HR manager took my C.V. and asked me a very simple question – “Explain me your objective”. My answer was, “Sorry Sir, I didn’t get you”. He said, “I asked you, would you please explain me the objective which you have written here in your C.V.?” As I was ignorant of my C.V. objective, I started bluffing and the HR tolerated my bluffs for 2 minutes and then he said, “Avinash if you don’t know the answer say ‘I don’t know’. Don’t try to show your smartness”. Very lovingly he also added to that “my dear, when you are writing your C.V try to write your own career objective. Never try to copy it from some other person’s C.V or don’t even try to copy from Google. If you are doing so, then you must understand what you have copied and why you have copied.” And the reality was in my C.V. apart from my Personal and Educational details every another line was a copy from my elder sister’s C.V….

Though this incident is funny and embarrassing but this incident taught me some very valuable lessons from every other mistake does. 

  • The truth is always simple and admirable but Lie is always complex and abominable.
  • Bluffing is covering up your mistakes. Cover-ups are always lies which need another lie to support its sustainability.
  • Don’t think that you can make people bogus.
  • Smartness is good but its show-off is foolishness.
  • Take other’s work as examples of your life never copy them.

This incident helped me to develop my own C.V., with my own career objectives and other information, which is ORIGINAL not copied ! Whenever you are writing or doing something it’s better to follow other’s accomplishment but follow them as examples to reach to your purpose. Remember, when we add our originality to our learning that brings the creativity!

Stay original !!!

BLIND COURAGE

“He isn’t a man if he does not commit any mistakes.” We all do and we develop ourselves from them.

I am reminded of my school days five years back. It was a bright winter morning. The school bell had rung and all the students assembled and lined up according to their classes as per the rule. The morning assembly was conducted by the students which included the school prayer, national anthem and the national pledge. This was followed by the news headlines and finally concluded with a pleasant thought.

That extraordinary morning, I was allotted for the thought reading. In my mind of fantasy I had foreseen the response of my audience to my reading, which was a huge applause. The confidence and excitement dominated my nervousness beyond measure such that I found it futile to rehearse. Rightly had someone said, ‘anything beyond measure is dangerous’. With that blind courage I went in front of the mike and began, “Good morning everyone……………..”, and politely ended with a thank you. But to my surprise everyone stood still as if something unusual had occurred. Their response perplexed me.

After the assembly, all students went to their respective classes. When I reached my class I asked two of my closest friends how my reading was. They looked at each other and then one of them said, “Where is the piece of paper in which the thought is written?” I took it out of my pocket and showed it to them. She read it out, ‘smile is the curve which sets everything straight’. She paused and continued, “you read ‘ honesty is the curve which sets everything straight’”.  That hit me like an arrow and brought me back to my senses out of my world of fantasy .I was dumbstruck for a moment. I was so firm not to rehearse that my mind had merged two different thoughts; the first one and ‘honesty is the best policy’ creating a mess and making complete fool of myself in front of the entire school including the teachers and principal. I felt like a complete idiot at that moment. My entire day was filled with embarrassment.

That night when I was on my bed, calm and quiet I made a vow that never will I be blindly confident on myself, no matter if it is for a thought of two lines or for a speech of 50. Over confidence can ruin it all!