Story Of The Life They Call Balanced!
by Tejas Nair
She’s wearing tight pink trousers which made her look slender. The black tank top over a translucent camisole was part of the best decision she made that day. Standing in a queue at the heavily crowded D-mart hypermarket, she had both her eyes strain on the display of the smartphone held on her hands. About 20 men around her relished the sight. And she knew it.
A queue adjacent to the one in which she was standing had a a guy in beige shorts and an orange tee. He was tired of standing in that inactive line, for the counter was experiencing a credit card problem. The guy had taken a gander at the girl and was instantly in love with her blue eyes, which the other men had not even reached looking at; they were somewhere between the neck and the waist. I don’t know if she had noticed the guy, in between the distractions in the queue she catered to, because I’ve never myself understood women. Who am I, you ask? Well, that is none of your business. I’m just a sign the author of this article intends to use to convey that he is currently reading Indian-origin author George Orwell’s novel on a draconian, totalitarian system, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
So, coming back to the story, the guy is finally one customer short from the counter while the girl’s father managed to tweak a position in another queue few counters away. The girl was managing her smartphone, two trolleys and a satchel contributing almost to a faux pas, and now her father steered one trolley to his new queue. Meanwhile, her mother analyzed the other trolley in case she missed anything. The guy had stopped watching her; he was more interested in the various pamphlets hung by the counter poles.
A man, obviously a septuagenarian, carrying two huge packets of wheat-flour looked like he had lost his way among the confusing queue setups and had found his way beside our guy. If you looked closer, you might even mistake the hairs on his hand as being smothered with the flour he was carrying, but trust me, it was the old age speaking. Now I don’t know if the guy was being obtrusive, accounting the fact that our girl had a direct view of our guy’s wont, he gestured the oldster to go before him, guessing the two packets were the only things he wanted to purchase. Our guy heaved a sigh of relief when the grocer commanded the printer for a receipt of the two packets of Annapurna Chakki-fresh atta, 10 kg each. Our guy side-glanced and saw the girl displaying a wee amount of interest in him, definitely impressed by his act.
Now the question is: would he have gestured the man had there be no pretty girl in sight? He would or would not have, but what followed gives me a bad feeling about the answer to that question.
Her queue was on and she helped her mother help the grocer read the bar-codes of the viands in quick succession. While our guy was busy unloading his trolley. The counter flashed INR 1495 as our guy handed three notes of INR 500 denomination. The grocer would make a fantastic marketing guy as he coaxed the guy into buying a bar of chocolate to round the figure to INR 1500. The guy agreed and assented for 2 carry bags for extra 6 rupees, which he paid in coins. Two bags ready to be driven outside the store, the guy moved his trolley away from the counter. The girl was waiting for her father along the exit hallway. He knew she was watching him; her pretty eyes killing him inside. His vanity preceded his footsteps as he singlehandedly maneuvered the trolley through the way, not being cautious.
He came closer to her; she stopped blinking, the guy had still not made eye contact. He swished the trolley as he reached her when finally the rear wheel of his trolley hit her left toe so bad. “Ouch!” she screamed as he was now at least 4 feet away. He heard her painful voice, visualizing her stooping in a jerk to alleviate the throb. Something forbade him from turning back and apologizing and having a good look at her eyes. Maybe he thought he would have made a spectacle of himself because the 20 (10 old, 10 new) men around her were still ogling and now they were concentrating more in the area below her neck because of a clearer view, all thanks to her 4-second hunching position. He turned to the exit as it still itched him to go back and be apologetic. But he didn’t. The girl was now accompanied by her parents as she realized the hit on her toe was not that sore after all.
But, the damage was done. She loathed the guy. She could’ve thought about how oblivious the guy might have been about the incident, but there is where we introduce ourselves to the thing we so fondly quote in our conversations daily: the balance in life. The guy was fond of her eyes, the girl was fond of his nature. This is positive balance. The guy turned out to be a relentless bonehead, so the girl lost interest. This is negative balance. Although this example happened way too conspicuously, if you concentrate, things always weigh themselves as they happen.