JournalismPakistan.com Aug 27, 2013
Have you ever walked into a swanky shop and felt so out of it that you’ve closed in your shoulders so you don’t break something so expensive you couldn’t afford the damages and shoved your hands deep into your pocket and slunk around the place feeling shabby and you dare not touch anything.
And that horrible sensation that the shop assistants are stalking you with suspicion because you just don’t belong. They follow you around and they don’t do that to everyone.
Same thing when you drive up to a super over the top hotel in your 1.4 litre toy car and they say welcome Sir but the Sir is slurred and you know they would be a lot smarter in the salute if it was a Jag or a Bentley.
And have you ever sat at one of those ritzy dinners where ‘formal’ means an arsenal of cutlery and you are looking at these six glasses at your setting and you know that they (whoever they are) know you are not to the manner born.
Not to the manner born because you slurp your soup and you don’t care if you use the edge of the knife to stand in for a spoon and the heck with the butter knife.
Ever been to the main branch of your bank, an expensive hospital, a corporate headquarters and immediately there is that lack of courtesy, it is concealed but it is there and it isn’t a complex in you, it is just there…you don’t belong.
And you enter a home that is more like a museum and you think, migoodness, do people live like this because the fittings in one corner of one room would cost more than your annual salary and everything is so perfect you wonder if they just opened it to the public and the moment you go they’ll close it because it is totally unlived in.
I once went to a bathroom in a home and it was larger than my bedroom and they had a gallon bottle of eau de toilette.
Imagine a nightmare in which you get invited on a billionaire’s yacht by some clerical error and the men and women look actually sculpted like you see in the ads, all tanned and granite jawed or gorgeously anorexic and they talk rich and privileged and you wonder what the hell am I doing here, I don’t belong.
And you know what, who cares, park your car in the porch, fling away the cutlery and if you forget to place that stupid napkin on your knee so be it, let it go.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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