Spice of life | Blundering on, on the quest to set things right
When I sheepishly narrated my exchange with the captain to him and our friends, they obviously had a hearty laugh, more so when the very next day the buffet table was laid out with those similarly cut and garnished bananas
We all love doling out free, usually unsolicited advice. The older we get the more self-assured and smugger we become and mistakenly think that the added years have given us enough wisdom and knowledge which needs to be treated as largesse, disbursed to all the unfortunates who know no better!
I am going to admit that I too am such a perpetrator, to a fault, and am often hurt and surprised when my husband tries, mostly in vain, to put a stop to it because suddenly I am like a horse with blinkers who will blunder ahead, unmindful of rejection, seeking listening ears where there are none, much to his chagrin and protestations.
Also, along the way I am learning to laugh at myself, accept my gaffes, all the while cognizant of the fact that I am wired to do it again, should the moment arise.
Recently on a trip with friends to Shimla, at the breakfast buffet in the hotel we were staying I approached the decoratively arranged exotic fruit with appreciation when my eyes fell on a salver with banana roundels sprinkled with chaat masala. The iron in the banana oxidized with air and the result was not pretty looking pieces turning a little brown, slightly wet and gooey.
Obviously, the Good Samaritan in me called out to the captain, pointed to the congealing fruit and launched a polite spiel about the negative aspects of cutting a banana and leaving it lying around to react with the oxygen in the air and change colour. “This is a fruit meant to be peeled and eaten as a whole instantly,” I explained sagely. “Please tell the chef it doesn’t behove well of such a good establishment to serve this kind of food. No one is going to eat that because it is not really a palatable sight,” I continued, smiling, not wanting to give offence but wanting also to get my point across. The captain, nodding gravely at the floor heard me out and after profuse thanks promised to inform the kitchen.
Satisfied with my good deed of the day, I bade a chirpy good morning to the rest of the crew, who were all coming down for breakfast when to my mortification I saw my husband set his plate down on the table. Along with delicious scrambled eggs, grilled tomatoes and bacon there they were! The very ‘culprits’, three roundels of the same bananas I had just carefully criticised and condemned.
When I sheepishly narrated my exchange with the captain to him and our friends, they obviously had a hearty laugh, more so when the very next day the buffet table was laid out with those similarly cut and garnished bananas, once again.
“See, is there any point in your giving unsought advice to people?,” my husband said, exasperated. “They will anyways do what they want to.”
I know he is right but it is impossible to control this little, mischievous elf in my head that whispers and prods me forth, eggs me on, bolstering my confidence wherein I feel I need to help set things right because I know and so, dear reader, I blunder on.
The writer is a Jalandhar-based freelance contributor