"Didi look, she doesn't know how to eat with a knife and fork!" screamed a girl and everyone at the table started laughing. They mocked at her like she had done some crime. Poor Anagha sat there, with her head bowed, not knowing what to do. It was the first time in her life she was attending such a huge gathering. She had never been to these big towns where people laughed at each other more than helping them. Life was easy back in the village where she had lived with her grandparents till now when her dad forcefully brought her to Mumbai for her further studies.
It had been too much of a cultural shock for Anagha! The first ever social party she had attended was now becoming a pure nightmare. People were laughing at her, looking down on her as a piece of entertainment. They were mocking her way of dressing, her so called table manners! She instantly developed a hatred towards these cruel people. She ran away from the table. She wanted to hide. "The more you fear, the more will they make fun of you", said a voice from behind. Anagha turned around to see a girl around of her age standing near her, wearing a concerned expression. "I am Shruthi", she said noticing Anagha's confused expression. "Don't let those people get into your head. Just enjoy your life without bothering about others".
Anagha and Shruthi became the best of friends. Anagha slowly learnt about the etiquettes that so called people of high society followed. She learnt that once you were confident enough, nobody dared to make fun of you. But the parties always remained at the end of her list! The first experience she had was enough to leave a scar for life time. She sometimes longed to go back to the peace of her village. Whenever it got difficult for her to take the change, Shruthi was there for her, as her constant support.
Seven years down the lane and now she was a doctor. Graduation party! Though graduation sounded like music, the latter sent a chill through her spine. "It will be alright Anagha. Nobody is going to laugh at you. You have come way longer and its time you let go of the past. Parties are fun. You will love them once you learn to look past your prejudice"
So here was Anagha, at the party, after a lot of coaxing from Shruthi. She waited for people to look at her and make fun of her. But to her surprise, she was rather received warmly. She began to enjoy the ambiance. And when the time came for dinner, Anagha smiled as she held the fork and knife. When someone asked her why she was looking at them and smiling so fondly, she said, "These knife and fork have taught me some of the greatest lessons in life. Everybody isn't the same. There will be people who can make you feel vulnerable and also just like this pair of knife and fork, there are people who stand by you throughout your life, good and bad times alike. It's up to us to decide who is worth our time and energy!"
PS: This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.