‘Ding, Dong’……….’Ding, dong’…’knock, knock…..’thud’ thud’……………….I ran towards the main door; who was in such a hurry to ring the bell and knock simultaneously.
‘Aunty’, a woman in her 30s looked at me. She was obviously in distress.
Her distress didn’t stress me. The word ‘aunty’ did. I mean I am not that old that people in their 30s could call me ‘aunty’.
‘What happened?’, I asked
‘I am locked out’. She said. ‘I came to leave my son and got myself locked out’
‘You can use my mobile to call your husband’, I suggested, ‘He may be having a spare key, right’.
‘No, he doesn’t. We have only one key.’ she said. ‘Give me your key, maybe it fits’.
‘How can it fit’, I said
‘Pleaseeeee’, she pleaded. I gave. Obviously the key didn’t fit.
‘Give me a hairpin’, she said. Obviously she had seen too many movies. I gave. No luck
‘Come and sit inside’, I said.
‘Aunty what will I do now’, she said. I flinched at the Aunty
‘I will call the landlord maybe he has a spare’, I said.
15 minutes later we were all set. The landlord had a key which he was sending with someone. He had also advised me to keep a spare with one of the neighbours in case of emergency..
We sat talking. She spoke about her son and husband. I spoke about mine. Now she was calling me ‘akka’ . i often use the trump card of telling people that I have a ten-year old son. People on knowing that I have a ten year old assume that I am not that old.
Some time later the neighbour was back at her home maybe telling tales of her key adventure while I was lost in my thoughts.
How easily we assume someone fat as one who overeats. Or someone who has less hair as old. We may say that looks don’t matter but looks do matter especially when you meet someone for the first time.
Don’t we deck ourselves on special occasions or smartly dress for interviews.
But it is not looks that bother me. It’s the assumptions we make or rather the judgement we pass in a second. Our conditioning is such that we don’t take time to think, analyse or process. That is one ability which we all should try to cultivate.
Think, analyse, process and then jump to conclusions.