On faux pas and embarrassments

On faux pas and embarrassments

Representative image. Credit: iStock

Once in a while, everyone faces a situation in which they want the terra firma beneath them to open up and swallow them whole. When you want to dissolve and merge into the atmosphere, just to avoid embarrassment after doing something silly.  Unfortunately, I have had the ignominy of going through such cringe-worthy moments several times. 

When I was in school, we had a science teacher called BKP. He was single at the time and when his wedding was fixed, it turned out that he was getting married to a woman who was close to our family. On the day of his wedding, I was in attendance. An elder relative told me to do “namaskara” to my teacher. I went the full step and did a “shastang namaskara” and fell at the groom’s feet! I am not sure who was more embarrassed, the groom or me!

In college, a lecturer asked the classroom who our favourite stars from movies and cricket were. When my turn came I stood up and said I liked Rajkumar. When the lecturer asked me why and I promptly said because he was my fan! The entire class had a good laugh at my expense. I had meant to say I was his fan and he was my idol, but the words just tumbled out.

In another instance, several years into my work life, I was driving to office when I suddenly noticed that my shirt had a few stains. Being a stickler for clean dressing, I called my manager and told him that I was near office but my clothes were stained. So, I would return home to change and reach the office a bit late. He was okay with it. When I returned, he loudly told me in front of all my colleagues that I could have taken the day off if I had an upset stomach. Leaving me red-faced and trying to explain the situation. 

Recently, at the prestigious World Trade Centre in Bengaluru, I was on the 22nd floor. The elevators here are state of the art and you need to press the button for the floor you wanted to reach on the outside. I was pre-occupied and kept pressing 22 but nothing was happening. A lady standing next to me waited patiently and then pressed 0 and presto, an elevator was allotted. I did not get into that elevator as I could not ride down 21 floors with her with my face red again!

I would say I am lucky, as these faux pas were not recorded for eternity. I have seen a video on WhatsApp where a groom’s dhoti slips off right in the middle of his “saath pheras”. I wouldn’t want to be in his dhoti, ever!