A boy in his late teens goes to a 5 Star hotel for the first time in his life. He is as bewildered at the Glitz and Glamour associated with hotel, feels his presence is the only aberration in that environment. I stood completely out of place with my hosts who were one of the big business people in the city.
I was private tutor of their son who was a below average student with history of inablilty to clear secondary school examination in two earlier occasion. He was nearly my age and some the best teachers were there to guide him. My job was to see that he learnt lessons on regular basis and practiced his sums. I made friendship with my student and tried to make him enjoy lessons. Somehow he managed to clear the examination with poor score but he had no worry. His father had decided that he had studied enough and now he should sit in the shop working as a part of their business. So they decided to give a grand party on his passing and joining the business. This led to me being invited to the party at the 5 Star hotel more as friend of my student. Initially my joy knew no bound but just after entering the portico of the hotel I understood that I was at wrong place.
My hosts were effusive but I was ill at ease. The lounge so big with biggest chandelier I had seen all lit up. The flower vase just below the chandelier had flower arranged in such a manner that the flowers seemed to meet the lit up chandelier.I held my breath at such unique beauty both ecstatic and out of place at the same time. The people were so well behaved and polite that it all seemed rather like dream sequence, completely unrealistic.
We were taken to the one of the restaurant, chairs were moved back to help us sit.Given big menu cards to choose our dishes most which I could not decipher not because I did not understand english, I could not visualize the food offered. My hosts ordered the food but my discomfort increased every passing moment. I just cursed myself for being there.I was feeling completely out of place and wanted run away.
None of my hosts noticed my discomfort, they were completely at home. I was not touching any food, just sipping my Blue Lagoon, a mock-tail. My student cum friend was almost like a fish in the water and I was surprised that he who could with great difficulty write single sentence without mistake was so fluent in conversation. Every passing moment my discomfort increased. My ears seemed to burning, my eyes burning i just wanted to run away.
Just as everything seemed going wrong one person came to my side. He was one of the guys serving us and he seemed to have noticed my discomfort. He bent down his head and whispered ‘never mind you are doing fine. These people are talking too loud for those coming to restaurant, you seem to be the only one who knows how to behave in public. And if you have any trouble using cutlery you may use your fingers nobody will notice.’ I smiled back giving a silent thanks took knife and fork and attacked my food. I found my appetite returning along with my confidence.
I have been to so many swanky hotels thereafter, always confident that nobody is sitting there to judge me but have always silently thanked him who gave confidence first time.