This happened when I was in college, I had woken up late from my slumber and was already behind the clock to catch the train. Hurriedly I ran through my early morning duties of brushing, attending nature’s call, ironing out my clothes and running through my breakfast all the while keeping an eye on the clock. Dressed with my formal attire to college I checked myself out in the mirror, “I look fine” I convinced myself. I started to breathe easy when I saw that I was well ahead of schedule on catching the train. I left my home with a spring in my steps and a tune playing in my mind.
It was a glorious morning, it had rained the previous night, the sun was playing peek-a-boo, the air was crisp and the road was scattered with morning walkers, school kids and office goers all walking at their own pace. I could see the smile in their faces as they walked past me and I smiled back at them, they eyed me with what I felt was admiration. “Looking sharp can sure win admirers” I thought to myself blissfully. I reached the station well before time, there was an air of chirpiness as I entered. The women/girls were gossiping, the men/boys were busy studying the women/girls who were gossiping, and I was too immersed listening to “Enya”- the right artiste to listen to on such a beautiful morning.
As I was waiting for the train I could see a group of girls giggling among themselves, bemused I surveyed around and could see a group of boys eyeing me suspiciously. They looked like a bunch of goons, one of those low-lifes who flaunted their machismo by staring at unsuspecting geeks like me and pretty damsels, trying to be intimidating. “Lets not dignify them by giving back the stare” I thought to myself, I started fidgeting waiting anxiously for the train to come; every passing minute seemed like an hour. Just then a guy from that group started walking towards me, and I hurriedly racked my brains for a “tough guy line” to ward him off. He came towards me, pulled my arm and whispered: “Zippae Podu thambi" ("ZIp up your pants man") . And it all started to make sense then – the looks of “admiration”, the women/girls gossiping, the bemused looks of passers- by, the giggling group of girls, the eyeing goons. I zipped up my pants and felt like digging a hole and burying myself in it.