It is often said that a girl carries an image and so did she…..
Knowingly or unknowingly everyone is in a haste to conclude some perception about each other. It is a popular programming software that has been permanently installed, but is it that necessary to define the colour of water; couldn’t it just be reflecting what’s beneath or above it? Is it that important to put words in the sentiments; couldn’t it just be sensed and kept as a memory?
Such questions arose while I drove back home from the club at around 03:00 am in the morning. Obviously, driving home from a party at midnight also brings a person under the lens of verdict. Like, he must be drunk driving, party freak, spoiled brat or indeed some positive ones as well- could be a trendy type, enjoying his life, success redeems through parties and such more. And the moment I would disclose that I was bar-tendering in the party, completed my shift & drove back sober; I might again be judged in a different manner- working hard, that’s a pity, poor soul; or that’s not even a job, must be a part-timer etc-etc. Moreover, if I am a girl, these preconceptions might become a lot harsher, stranger or might be a little amusing as well.
That was the night immediately before her wedding day; she was dressed in her best for the cocktail organised by her fiancée. She looked as pretty as she could be, in her red bright tunic, garnished with olive frills. The bash had all the close relatives & friends, who were either young or at least known to be young for today. There were hookah, smokes, alcohol, dance floor and a smashing music playlist with the DJ, who made sure that each of his guests was drenched in the beats of musical intemperance.
The party hit the floor like a trumpet of an elephant and continued resembling a howling of a fox. The lights were dim and colourful; everyone danced their hearts out, cheering and hooting in the name of new couple. There were tequilas, vodkas, scotches & beers being poured in the glasses and swallowed by the guests at an inestimable quantum. Well, enjoyment and happiness has its own inebriations, however it was catalysed by few “helping verbs” today. And it was being all tremendous until these helping verbs took over the control notoriously.
After a while, party moved towards a romantic mood and as was planned by the hosting clan, Mr. Guy took her missy in the arms and portrayed a proposal in a full Bollywood Web-series style, with a background music being “kinna sohna tenu (the remix one)”. The girl gave him a glimmering smile and puked. Yes, she spewed all the juices out of her suddenly and ignited some newer tale of prejudices.
Music stopped and she was hurried to the bathroom, accompanied by her to-be-bridesmaids. I received an immediate order to stop the drinks and close the bar. Reportedly, there were 5 more guys who puked earlier at the same night during the party. So I started to wrap, when a guy came to me and said “bro ladki ne back maar di hai, they aren’t matured enough to handle alcohol, so pls girls ko serve na karna”. I told him nicely & calmly that we’re closing for all, as it’s already midnight. He got furious and ran shouting with a huge cry “fufaji kahan hain, yeh koi tym hai daaru band krne ka, abhi toh party………”, while he broke some expensive glasses out of rage. There were more whispers amongst the ladies “hum bhi to aye hain, we never took a drink, what’s meant for guys is meant for guys”; “It’s all because of that advertisement –why should boys have all the fun-, see the fun has taken her to the bathroom in the middle of the celebrations. She ruined her noble impression amongst us”
After few minutes, the bride came back in the hall and everyone tried comforting and consoling her. She was made to sit near the counter with a Nimbu-pani ka glass. Each person had an advice and a desi-treatment to cure her, so she kept listening each one of them while nodding with every sip. This over-weighted lady pointed towards me “apka toh roz ka hai, aap hi btao kese thik hogi” to which I replied “Ma’am! Now that she has puked, she is perfectly fine. It’s absolutely normal, I always advise people to try vomiting, when they feel sick after drinking”. The lady next to her snapped “aap itna zyada peeney hi kyu dete ho”, I clarified again “it is not necessarily because of the volume of intake, there could be so many reasons or there could be none; body reacts, you shall not worry, its common. This may happen even at a first or second drink”. They obviously weren’t looking for a reply, so the whys and wherefores went unheard.
I realised that such judgements & prejudices may never end; it is an uncontrolled action by an outsider enzyme causing a silent defeat to oneself. And the defeat becomes more successful when we ourselves start participating in the ceremony of mis-judgements.
The girl in her bridal bests, started talking to me while sitting at the corner of bar-table: “You know, I have been a decent girl throughout my life, the one who would go to school & college with two pony-tails exceptionally oiled by mother, clothes nicely tucked in and would come back straight home at sharp 2:00 PM, looking exactly the same as in the morning, every day. Everyone considered me an obedient, sincere and pleasing person UNTIL TODAY. I certainly looked like a bad girl because I puked.” She continued “Chachu, harshit bhaiya, shomu and 2 other random guys did weird things, puked, broke things and even fell on the dancing floor”. “But I don’t know why they’re just adamant to judge- Only Me.”
It’s a well said quote that “Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom” We often confuse ourselves and the people amongst us, with prejudices that are irrelevant and immaterial. I am not a great admirer of game shows now-a-days, they induces an element of judging people enormously to amuse its viewers. And no doubt, judging someone might be of great interest and bring a source of entertainment to the people. But such petite judgements may become dangerous when they tend to form a public opinion and thereby develop a hazardous public opinion.
Being a judge also brings a responsibility to oneself, whatever opinion we may state shall be filtered through a strong support of facts and foreseeability of future effects/affects. It is often seen, time and again that some meagre and imprecise judgements of people are interpreted in an obscene way and thereby brings disturbance amongst the society in general.
The last thing one shall do is to judge oneself from the eyes of others. And like I mentioned earlier, it’s not necessary that each feeling needs to be defined or judged by a word, phrase or a label. I will always be fond of some dialogues of Manoj Bajpai from the movie “Aligarh”, when he was asked if he was in love-
“Tum log ek shabd ke peechey kese pad jaatey ho… koi meri feelings ko 3 aksharon mein kese samajh sakta hai, yeh ek kavita ki tareh se hai- bhavnatmak –an uncontrollable urge !”
It’s been more than a year from that cocktail party; I met her again in the same bar during Christmas, sitting at the same corner while I made her lemonade. A voice echoed from the crowd “bhabhi, Don’t you booze! Don’t forget what happened last year”
I smiled and uttered-
यूँ ही किसी के लफ्ज़ की बंदिश में ना बंद जाना
कहता है जो ज़माना उसे नज़र-अंदाज़ करते जाना
खुद की ही बात से ज़रा ऐतराज़ जो हो जाये
तो वक़्त पे ठहरकर मुस्कुराना
और आगे चल कर उसे कहना —
बहुत हुआ तुम्हारा, अब गुज़र जाना…
I could read it in her eyes as she replaced her order with a red one…
“They’re still adamant to judge me. But why?”