Bored sitting at home, I decided to go shopping for books. Landed at Blossoms after a little walk.
So here I am, looking for some books that would help me pass some time this weekend (and many more weekends to come) All of a sudden I bump into a lady, of a different country (more commonly known as a foreigner - or the one who foreigns)
"Excuse me", says she, "You work?"
Eh? Now what's this? Why is a person who is revered in our country (as in Athiti Devo Bhava et al) concerned with my employment? What would be the consequences say, if I am to reply truthfully, or should I rather escape with a lie? I had been caught unawares by this question several times until today (all the while this coming from fellow Indians - those who tried to heap upon me some sort of great pyramid scheme - that would help me earn more money than my current job) And now, this ? (Et, tu ?)
I made a gesture that indicated neither this nor that ie a shrug and tilt of head from side to side, in a careful hybrid of a yes and a no and tried to get away. Not really xenophobic, but some stranger asking about your employment usually gives one cold creeps.
Slowly backing to escape this strange predicament, I knocked over a small pile of books. Drat.. I started rearranging them, helped by the lady. Whilst reconstructing the pile of books, she spoke again smiling a little "Where can I find Vikram Seth's Suitable Boy", she said before I could disappear around the corner. I replied this time with words, that I had no idea. "Oh so I'm supposed to find it on my own?", she said a little more serious this time..
Somewhere in that dingy, cobwebbed, dilapidated old structure some people call my mind, a tube light flickered to life. "You work?" meant "You work here?" (or perhaps I had lost the last word of that sentence) "Oh", I managed to grin sheepishly, "I'm sorry, I don't work here"
Ten minutes later I left the store with my purchases, really wondering if I looked like a bookstore assistant.
(PS: Hope the lady found her "Suitable Boy")