Daily Prompt : Bewildered
There is a working woman, named Sujata aged between 30-35, who lives in the room directly across from mine. In our executive ladies hostel, all the rooms have 2-4 beds. Each floor has only one room that can accommodate a single person. Throughout the years, I have encountered people who lived in those single-bed rooms. There are some strange similarities among all these individuals that perfectly explain why they choose to live alone.
Sujata lives opposite my room and always tries to strike up conversations with people whenever she sees them. After coming home from work, neither my sister nor I have the time or energy to spend half an hour talking to her about random shit. However, she manages to find plenty of people who are willing to chat with her in their local language.
Even though we don’t have much time for socializing, I can’t recall ever being rude to anyone.
Walking on the Egg shells
One day, I put some eggs in the fridge in a box. We didn’t have an egg tray or anything, so I placed it in the lowest spot where it was unlikely to fall. Sujata accidentally dropped the box and broke the eggs. She immediately came to our room and informed us about it. I assumed it was unintentional.
After 2 hours, we heard Sujata talking loudly to someone. Normally she speaks in her local language that we don’t understand, but this time she was shouting in English. It wasn’t hard to tell that she was trying to convey something indirectly without directly talking to us.
The gist of the conversation was that somebody had thrown away her clothes that were hung from the corridor window. She concluded on her own that either me or my sister must have done it because she broke the eggs. The other girl didn’t bother getting involved in the argument.
“Their parents didn’t teach them anything. How can people in industries do such mean things! I’ll go to Uncle (owner) and ask about the CCTV footage. These guys need to learn a lesson.” The door was closed, but I could hear the anger in her voice. She kept rebuking us without directly calling us out for about an hour. She knocked on 2-3 doors and talked to other girls. Later, my sister was walking in the corridor when Sujata started talking to her.
“You know what? Somebody threw my clothes out of the window. They are such criminal minds that they even switched off the light so nothing would be recorded on CCTV. These people are worse than terrorists…” (chattering continues). My sister was bewildered to hear that this person thought terrorists were better than us. Did someone make a plan to throw away her ratchet clothes?
We didn’t throw her clothes. The place where she hangs them is not meant for that. We don’t care if she broke the eggs or not. We won’t do such things. She tried to make us feel guilty for something we didn’t do. I don’t understand how someone can have such shallow thoughts in this day and age. This is how we became worse than terrorists, according to the most overdramatic neighbor of ours.
The misplaced Jwellery
After that we avoided arguing with Sujata on anything at all, we kept our distance from her after the incident. Let her think what she wants; we don’t need to worry about petty things like this. Eventually, we noticed that other people didn’t want to deal with her either. One day, while returning home from a long vacation visiting her hometown, Sujata realized she was missing one of her gold jewelries. In South India, both men and women wear heavy gold chains and rings on a daily basis. This stood out to me when I first came to Hyderabad. As soon as she couldn’t find her ring, she immediately started calling the cook who also took care of the hostel. The owner of the hostel only visited once a month to collect rent. There was a full-time cook living on the ground floor with his family and cleaning staff was hired on weekly contracts or so. The caretaker uncle was terrified when he received a call from Sujata because he knew that if the ornament went missing somehow, she would cause chaos in the hostel by accusing everyone – including the cook, housecleaning staff, and even some girls – of theft. He instructed the cleaning ladies not to clean her room anymore.
Caretaker uncle came to my sister to video him unlocking Sujata’s room and search for her ring. Fortunately, he found the ring and felt relieved. Although we always kept to ourselves and never did anything wrong to Sujata, we were treated passive aggressively by her. We noticed that she frequently got into violent arguments with other girls. She was such a bully!
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