“Don’t you feel out-of-place in an Indian dress?” someone sitting across me asked.
“Why should I?”, i asked.
“Well, I wouldn’t ever come to a party like this in an Indian wear. Western wear makes you feel a part of it.” That person replied.
Now a little background.
This was at an office party recently. It was evening, thunder and rain all day, so-called summer time in Germany. And I had just been in rain for a run for over 3 hours. I was cold and right before getting ready, thought to myself, what would I like to wear that goes well with me. Hence, I picked out a nice kurti with leggings and happily went to the party.
The party was awesome. A lot of non-Indians who are not used to seeing something like this told me that it looks good. I was happy with myself. I was not cold, comfortable and got a chance to wear something that I generally don’t (I can’t cycle to work otherwise with anything that isn’t trousers or jeans).
Anyhow, had a nice evening and got back home. Next morning, this question lingered in my mind and I kept thinking about it.
Why was it such a big deal? It’s just clothes, I thought to myself. But it might have been taken in any other way. I don’t know. So I decided to ask one of the most honest and best friends I’ve got, and discussed about this. She had her own views on it and I got another perspective.
She told that it is private time (the party), and as far as I’m not wearing something inappropriate for work environment, or offensive, I could wear what I like. True. No doubts about that. What she further went digging into was the question I was asked. She is an inquisitive person and it’s in her nature to get into roots and learn something from it. So she gave it a thought and tried to help me with all possible inputs and possibilities.
And couple of days later, I couldn’t care any less about the comment/question or anything. Thank you for that 🙂
Now that I have that cleared from my mind, I wondered how many times have I actually felt out-of-place. Is it when I wear something cultural? Is it with new people? Or is it simply when I sit there and can’t speak the language?
No, it isn’t any of those times or situations.
Speaking a little language gets better with time, people we hang out with don’t remain new forever, and wearing something is just first few moments thing, then it’s not a factor that affects your evening or conversation.
So what is it that puts me out-of-place?
This is a very personal opinion on it. It’s the thoughts. When I have conversation with someone and of course the thoughts don’t always match, it puts me a little out-of-place.
Does it ever happen to you that you’re talking to someone (someone close to you) and you wonder from time to time, how different things have become? Why can’t you relate to most of the things being spoken? Is it age? Is it time? Is it situations? Or is it your own fault?
These are the things I ask myself when I feel that the same situations that used to be so much fun, now make you think back and you don’t find answers to most of the things. No contributions. The same funny things are not funny anymore.
My spirals of questions do make me spend a lot of evenings just over-thinking scenarios and people. But is it really worth it?
Answer is not yes or no. Nothing is always white or black. There are a lot of times things with gray areas and this is one more such time.
Yes, it’s worth thinking about what you can do better, learn new or simply improve yourself with. And no, it’s not worth driving yourself into black hole of thoughts when it’s not really affecting your life in any significant way.
Just some thoughts on my never-ending thoughts.
I’m sure I’m not alone here.
And if you too are or have been through such days and evenings, feel free to share in comments below or via email. Because, you’re not alone 🙂
Keep smiling and stay strong! 🙂
P.S. Funny how one simple question can get you into such a rail of thought… Can’t stop being fascinated how our brain works!
P.P.S. I also learned that it’s not just feeling out-of-place in a literal place, but simply a conversation is also possible. 😛