I make a lot of mistakes, introduce problems in places which would otherwise be normal, is it out of incompetence, carelessness, confusion or ignorance, I know not but definitely Himalayan blunders that have grown with me and also aged like wine, getting better with time!
I am adept at messing up things, ruining well laid out plans, causing something to be bungled up leaving me and others red faced, but never to learn from mistakes and to repeat them more often. The maxim, once bitten twice shy never becomes relevant and the erring is human continues unabated. Goof-ups are like brickbats, they stay with you for life even after you have owned up for them very gracefully, which has always been my practice whether I was caught red handed or not
Boo boos are everywhere, in the workplace, at home, in judging, in events as a participant, as typos in posts or mails, well, all over the place, sometimes the people at the receiving end are magnanimous and tolerant to forgive them and let it go with minor taunts but on many an occasion, these blunders have given entertainment and laughter free of cost! From auto correct to mixing up names of people and places, it runs in the family when my dad in his college days while travelling in a suburban train in erstwhile Madras got it all wrong. The ticket examiner was all at sea when he got the reply from my dad to where he wanted to go as “Egypt” instead of “Egmore”!
There is a spate of snafus and let us take a walk down memory lane revisiting a few of them. I recall this incident from my childhood, though it fails me to remember the grade I was in; the twisting ringlets and spring rolls of my curly hair landed me a coveted role as King Mahabali in a school play much to the envy of wannabe actors and dancers. I was readied in the emperor’s clothes and all I had to do was to go and sit in the chair at the centre of the stage and the dancers would do the rest. I did precisely what I was told, went and sat comfortably in the chair but the blooper was that I sat with my back to the audience and despite all the signs and signals from back stage, I continued in that posture oblivious to the sounds of laughter from the crowd. Thankfully, it was not the Oscars to grab screaming headlines for a wardrobe malfunction, needless to say I never got a chance in a play again!
No gigantic goof-ups but petty ones that can cause people around you to cringe in shame and discomfiture. My family was in the habit of awarding nicknames and sobriquets and one of my classmates was given the title of ‘out of shape face’ by yours truly as a tiny tot and the most awkward moment arrived for my dad, when we met the girl’s father during a walk and he proudly asked me whether I knew who that was and pat came the reply, “I know, the out of shape face girl’s dad!” My dad had literally egg on his face and I had a sheepish grin on mine!
Not all goof ups can be funny and this one proved quite costly for my friends and I when we were travelling in the metropolitan bus after college. The gang in full strength were going hammer and tongs at our Business, Environment and Law teacher, fondly called as BEL amma. I was leading from the front, making fun of her with gay abandon. When the bus halted in a particular stop, there was a strong nudge on my shoulder and a mocking voice that said “I heard every word of what you said about your teacher, I turned around only to come face to face with BEL amma who got off the bus with the most offended expression on her face!
It was a case of mistaken identity that left many people in my house embarrassed; my husband’s cousins came visiting with their wives and to make sure that I was an engaging host kept up with everyone, only that it went a tad too far when I asked one of the cousin’s wives as to whether she was his mother in law! The consequences were obviously disastrous to say the least and I just sneaked away to the kitchen on the pretext of serving the guests with coffee!
My geographical sense is worth mentioning here, I have proved that the Earth is indeed round by coming back to the precise location from where I started after circumnavigating the town for couple of hours exploring all the major and the arterial roads, so if Jules Verne managed around the world in eighty days in 1873, I can pip him at the post today, albeit not the world but one part of my city!
I botched up an evening tea party with friends when I inadvertently revealed the plan to another friend who was never to be told of the clandestine meeting; my friends gave me dirty glares and unforgiving looks of disdain.
There has been clumsy and gawky moments on the job front like sending the wrong attachment in the mail to sharing the wrong set of question papers which called for embarrassing recall, time and again, to trying to open a deleted file in the class interactive panel, getting into the wrong class, calling out the wrong set of students much to everybody’s amusement.
I did cut a sorry figure shaking a leg in the group dance for Childrens’ day and had the audience in splits, cracking my friends up for all the wrong shakes and moves and the dance was anything but synchronized!
The latest one when I had two left feet, was when I sent a video to school, on how I was spending time during lockdown – I was confident of my video making skills and certain that this would be a grosser but it failed miserably at the box office due to sheer oversight. The video editing tool magnified my blunder by chopping off my face and head turning the 30 second snippet into sheer puppetry!
Life goes on with damage control missions by owning up, accepting and apologizing to wriggle out of bloopers and blunders, whether it is a mix up or a misunderstanding and often I guffaw at my own endless string of goof ups!!
Picture credits to the corresponding websites.