We all have that one night/day in our lives which makes us think we learnt something new about ourselves. This is one of those nights which made me more acceptable towards life and how it's up to you to make it or break it.
I was studying communication design in Australia and used to work as a waitress at a small Indian restaurant in Melbourne. After some 3 months of waitressing, I was pretty settled at the place. Used to look forward to meeting new people and have our last meal together with that chilled beer and a late night drive to home.
Sometimes our manager would get orders for catering and he was always short staffed and only hired girls. A lot of times he had to refuse as he didn't want the girls carrying all the heavy stuff and he couldn't leave the restaurant to go do it himself.
Once he got an order for an Indian engagement party where we had to make biryani for some 150 people. It was a big order for someone as small as us. Client wanted someone from the restaurant to serve at the party too. For some reason (maybe because I had a car), my boss chose me. It was a one hour drive, with my car full of biryani (I'm a huge biryani fan!) and me dressed in black, ready to serve families. I was pretty nervous. I was imagining all those judgmental eyes trying to picture how poor my family must be to let me be a waitress at a small Indian restaurant.
When I reached the venue, I realised I had to carry the containers myself since I was the first one to reach. After carrying huge food containers, people started coming in and I was setting up tables, hoping to avoid eye contact because that very moment, I was just a waitress who was dressed in her fav black shirt n black trousers trying to avoid conversations with judgmental Indian families living abroad. I could imagine them calling my dad n telling him how they feel to see his daughter serve other people when she should be out doing something more respectable. My brain wandered to places and what my parents would think of me if they saw me lost like this. While I was in that rotten world, smell of biryani woke me up. As dramatic as it sounds, it was that smell of home and how good food can fix everything in the world, pumped me up.
I uncovered the lids, poured biryani in the serving containers, ran around to find spoons and plates.
Bride's family was very sweet and tried making conversations with me but all in vain. After an hour, I was back to being myself. I had said no to putting on make up as aunties were getting ready just about anywhere they found a mirror or if they spotted me dressed in just black for an Indian engagement.
Soon I was out there like a pro waiter, serving food and even taking feedback from everybody and I was comfortable in my skin. I don't know how exactly it happened but now I'm glad it did as its important to go through the awkward moments just so you can appreciate the non-awkward moments. Strange is good.
And as it turns out, the client family came the next day to thank me for helping them serve, gave a gift n asked for one more event later. I had left the country by then :)
Anything from the heart, works.
Do share some of your awkward yet learning moments, would be happy to know you better.
p.s. - HI INAHITA! 'OMG I WON A LISTSERVE!'
New Delhi, India