I was sitting in the last row of the auditorium, waiting for the orientation session to begin. Among all the others seated in front of me, a gang of girls caught my attention. They were very noisy right from the start and the comments they were passing on each other were quite funny. From what I heard, I could clearly get that they were freshers right out of college. After a while, their topic of discussion turned to what I knew it would – Finding handsome guys from the lot and assessing them. How many times I have seen college girls do this! And it never gets boring to get the variety of views that rush through these teen minds. It never fails to take me back to those days when I was one of them.
By this time the presenters of the various sessions of the orientation were in and were making arrangements. The guy who was preparing the projector was Kashyap or so his ID card said and he was the then topic of the girls. The discussion went on as:
Divya: “Hey! Look at him, Is this how you come for a presentation?”.
Sneha: “What’s wrong with him? He looks good to me.”
Priyanka: “Are you mad? Just a formal dress doesn’t make you good to go for a presentation. Look at his unshaven face, gives him a lost look.”
Ria: Right, You know I have been in the college students’ council for 4 years and I have never seen any guy come like this for a meeting or a presentation.”
The argument continued and as I listened on I could detect that girls take beards too seriously in men. I stifled my laughter and continued to eavesdrop.
Divya: Even among us, only you think being unshaven is cool. And I know that you think that on an informal note. (Winks)
Sneha: (Teasingly) Oh ho, so you are taking that line? You think I didn’t see you making eyes at that other guy? Uh.. What’s his name? I can’t see properly. (Leaning to see to his ID card)
Ria: You have gone blind. His name is Anurag and what’s with Divya and him? I didn’t notice.
Sneha: You are the blind one, she’s been looking at him ever since he entered. But I can bet my life that she only likes his looks because of his clean-shaven look.
Divya: What’s wrong with that? As long as we are assessing by the looks, I would say I am right.
Priyanka: Look at your guts. But, I too agree that Anurag looks way better because he doesn’t have a beard. If only Kashyap had shaved, sigh!
Ria: (Sternly) Shameless! Does any of you remember that we are not in a park but in an orientation for joining our company?
All the girls giggling together in chorus : (Teasingly) Ok Ma’m! Sorry Ma’m.
Ria: Shut up you guys!
As I looked at my watch, I realized it was time for the session to start. The orientation session went well and during our habitual chai time after the long day, Kashyap nudged me “Come on, Anusha! I won the bet, didn’t I? Isn’t that why Anurag is dodging me?”. I couldn’t contain it anymore. I started laughing out loud and amidst laughter, I explained how Kashyap lost his bet and became the clown of the circus because of his ill-wagered bet. Kashyap and Anurag were my best friends since school and fortunately we were in the same company and represented different sections of the company to new hires on the day of induction. They both had a silly bet of the role of beard in a guy’s appearance and had come to me for mediation. While I thought it was silly of them, I was interested in making a game out of it. I took the back seat before the session started, blending in as one of the new hires and was able to get public opinion about what current teens thought about the subject.
After I finished my narration of the entire conversation among the girls to a rather red-faced Kashyap, we dragged him to Barbeque nation for the treat he owed us.