"YOU! You there!"
Terrified, my walk changed into a a slight jog as I tried desperately to merge into the crowd around me.
"You! With the specs. Stop right there."
Uh-oh. Dammit! These specs of mine. Always getting me attention from the least wanted quarters. Anyway, realising I was no longer getting the benefit of doubt, I stopped.
I stood motionless as the swarm of people around me moved ahead, throwing me an occasional bewildered glance in the process.
*Tik tok tik tok tik tok*
The sound of the approaching heels only heightened my sense of terror. Doom was imminent.
The crowd too had long gone by now. Standing there alone waiting for my fate, I felt bare.
"Why didn't you stop the first time I called out to you?" she thundered to my face.
"M-m-ma'am I thought y-y-you were calling out to someone else - - -" I stuttered.
"Oh really?" she said. Of course she was being sarcastic.
To say we were terrified of our school co-ordinator Mrs. Khanna would actually be an understatement. There was no escaping her. Not one to tolerate nonsense, she was especially particular about the uniform.
And unfortunately, today was my turn.
"What is this?" she pointed to my neck.
"This? This is - -" I trailed off.
"THIS!" she said while tugging on the knot of my tie. "What is this? And why is your top button open? Aren't you supposed to button it?"
Oh-kay. So that's what had triggered her. You see, I hated buttoning up the top button of my shirt. And to wear a tie on top of that felt like someone was literally strangling me. Also, I hated ties. Actually, I still do.
"Ma'am actually it feels a little suffocating buttoning the top button - - -"
"I'll button it ma'am," I said as I tightened the knot that felt akin to tightening a noose around my neck.
This was 8 years ago. And my hatred for ties and formal wear has only increased since then.
Actually, come to think of it, I don't hate formals.
It's just that I hate wearing them. I personally feel that a tie and a shirt confines you. Like it restricts your movement. It dictates you to behave in a certain fashion.
And that, my friends, is too taxing, TBH.
Now I fully understand that there are occasions where formals have been deemed absolutely necessary.
Occasions like an interview or a professional meeting.
However, the problem arises when your clothes are taken as parameters of your intellect. What does a tie have to do with my IQ? In what way will a formal shirt enhance my intelligence? Will wearing polished black shoes automatically make me an asset to the company?
Gimme a break!
A guy wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to work is automatically labelled as 'laid back' no matter how hard he works. A guy wearing a pair of slippers is automatically labelled as 'shabby'.
Add to that the fact that most of formal wear is not only shit expensive, it's constricting AF.
Why would anybody want to tie a rope around their neck and eradicate even the minutest possibility of good air circulation?
Why would anybody want to torture their feet by wrapping them in socks and then putting them inside a claustrophobic pair of shoes for 7-8 hours?
Having said all that, at the end of the day, I do understand that it's your choice. If you don't want to experience the awesome ventilation a pair of soft shorts provide, so be it.
If you don't want to experience the comfort a loose t-shirt provides, fair enough.
If you want to strangle your feet with a pair of shoes, who am I to object?
I'll simply stand in a corner, comfortable in my shorts and slippers, and just judge you a little.
Not a lot.
But a little.