I was harmlessly reading an ebook in a cafe near my house, wired by my second cappuccino and the companionship of my granny, when I noticed that the cafe had filled up to its brim over the past hour. The chilled out environment that I was enjoying till then had, therefore, been converted to an over-enthused, laugh-out-loud environment. Usually, I enjoy ambient chatter around me. That’s why, when I’m in my own company, I prefer to converse over coffee. 🙂 However, I needed to chew the book’s information and well, it wasn’t chewing. So, I decided to bail.
As I got up, a group of almost ten people turned to look at me. Usually, staring doesn’t phase me. Over the years, I’ve grown to live with it. But such obvious practice of the action was baffling. I heard a curly-haired, plump girl exclaim, ‘Oye, She’s leaving!’ to one of her friends. That did it. It was beyond disrespectful. As I walked toward the door, I paused, looked at her and smirked, making it obvious that I knew they were talking about me. Then I looked her up and down and left. Hopefully the message was clear: look at yourself first, woman! It’s not cool to stare and point, whether in adulation or criticism.
I was a little disappointed by the fact that it affected me so much that I had to resort to demeaning ‘looks’ to make a point. But it also made me wonder why people so obviously stare. I went home to tell my cousins that they better never stare stupidly at anyone and that judgement is best left to the gods. I hope the message stuck.