Tag Archives: urban life

A Smile Here. A Smile There.

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He looked visibly frustrated. And he had reasons to be so. He’d been on his feet for almost half the day and the ordeal was not over yet. He kept shuffling his feet across the floor, trying to visit each table more than once. He knew his boss was keeping a tab. He had to sell the offer they had just rolled out. He collected the offer pamphlets from the doorman’s podium.

He walked to the nearest table. The occupants were conversing. “It is bad manners to intrude,” his teacher had taught him in school. He didn’t want to intrude but his job demanded otherwise.  He went up to the table, excused himself and started explaining the offer to the customers in the middle of their meal and conversation. Halfway through, they took the pamphlet and resumed their conversation. Not a smile, not an acknowledgement, not even the plain old nod. He called it the ‘wallpaper theory’ – he was like the wallpaper, essential but not cast a look at, never smiled at and walked past. Well, at least they were better than those customers who turned around to shout at him, or be rude, or asked him to go away! Oh yes, there were such too. They’d look up and say, “Could you go away?” If only they knew how to even say please.

Every trip to the bathroom involved washing his face more than peeing. Waiting on tables wasn’t his dream job, this was no one’s dream job but if he wanted to get a monthly cash deposit in his bank, this would have to do. He had to remind himself every couple of hours that this job was more important than rude and impolite customers, than being treated like wallpaper, than having to carry people’s soiled plates, sleeping with a pain in the feet which seemed like it would never go away again, and a bruise to your self respect each damned day. But it would have to do. They say no job is small, yet the way they behave each day belittles him.


I met Bhanu, who works at a fast food outlet here in Bangalore. I don’t know what his story is, why he does what he does, how he motivates himself to wait on tables all day long, how he lets out all the frustration that is more than visible on his face, but I am sorry I couldn’t get a smile on his face! Probably one smile from me wasn’t enough to make up for his tough day!

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Let’s try harder next time and be more polite to the ones who have jobs that could not be further away from the term ‘job satisfaction’. Can we do that?

Graciously Yours!

The Past Week.

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Considering I am writing this post half-asleep, ignore any errors that creep through, deliberately or not.

And now the question is why am I half-asleep halfway through the day?

Because I have traveled over 1500 kilometers over the past week.

Because I’ve put band aids on hurt toes to continue walking in damned new heels!

Because I have packed, repacked, unpacked at least four times in the last seven days!

Because I have slept in five different beds in those number of days.

Because I spent more awake hours in Bangalore traffic day before than  I slept in the night.

Because my kitchen is packed in boxes and my combs stashed with shoes, clothes buried under toiletries and phone charger all but lost.

Because I was searching for an apartment to sleep in at 2 AM, blankets in hand, friend by side, giggles the only sound and the winds our long time companion!

Because my leg is cramping, hands typing and mind fogging!

Hope to have weirded you out by now,

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : Please don’t ask ‘how are you’!