When it comes to embarrassments, we may laugh about it later on in life, but at that critical time when fate beckons you to make an ass of yourself, it is a very very difficult situation. It was such a situation which made me hate a 500 rupee note. The fateful morning, I was late as usual and did not have time to check my purse as I marched to the bus stand to catch the bus to college with all the life sustaining air in my mouth. As I puffed and panted up the stairs into the moving bus, the conductor had already started collecting his fare. He was speaking crossly to a woman behind me for not giving him change. She had given him 10 rupees instead of 6. He was coming towards me and I checked my purse to give him my change, that was 2 rupees, the minimum fair. To my horror, I saw only a 500 rupee note in my purse. I searched all its nooks and corners, but alas! that was it! a 500 rupee note.
The bus conductors are notorious for their jibes and I looked up, heart in my throat. There, on the dash board was written: "Chillarakku pakaram chiri venda"(we don't want your smile instead of change). My throat felt dry. I asked the girl next to me, if she had change for Rs.500. She didn't. I thought of getting down the bus and walking to college. But I decided otherwise...After all why should I, when I have a 500 rupee note? So I decided to nail my point home..When the conductor asked my fare, I gave him my 500 rupee note. He took it, looked at it and then stared at me hard. I maintained a poker face. "You are giving me 500 rupees instead of 2? Don't you have change?", he fumed. "I don't", I replied. "Then why did you get into the bus in the first place?", he asked. My face was all innocence. You could briefly read the expression on my face as follows: "I am new to this place, and I am getting into a bus the first time in life..So how am I ever supposed to know, you have such rotten rules?"
The conductor's face had all the animosity of a cloudy sky just before a thunder storm. He must have truly believed I was making fun of him. He made the most out of my disadvantage by showing the 500 rupee note off to the driver and the cleaner, fluttering it under their noses."This is what she gave me instead of 2 rupees". He chuckled to them. The brute! If I could , I would have kicked him where it hurts. Anyway I got my change back, before I got down from the bus. After that incident, I have never forgotten to check my purse before I got in to such 'filthy vehicles'.
Later in life, I had more and more golden opportunities to be embarrassed. They includes:
1) Falling flat on my face in front of everybody in a restaurant. (The hotel keeper had looked on in horror as if I had caused serious damage to his tiled floor :( )
2) Stopping an unfamiliar teacher in front of the college and redirecting her to the college hospital, thinking her to be a patient. (I was doing my house surgency at Ayurveda College at that time and didn't know that she was newly appointed lecturer ;) )
3) Calling my dad's north Indian friend all bad names, when he phoned to ask for dad mistaking him to be my mischievous cousin (The brute, my cousin, had played pranks on me twice by calling in disguised voice and speaking in Hindi saying he is my dad's friend :( )
4) Dossing off in the middle of 'savasana' in Yoga class.... (My colleagues had to wait almost half an hour before I woke up from my nap. The rule in 'Yoga' is that, if somebody goes to sleep while doing Yoga, you are not supposed to wake them up. They must come to their senses by themselves naturally :D)
...... And the list goes on....
Nowadays, I don't give my heart into embarrassments. I have accepted it as a part and parcel of life. So let me tell you all "Don't be embarrassed by your embarrassments... Stand your ground as it comes.. You can certainly laugh about it later" :)