>How does a girl sitting down alone at a table in a restaurant look? Like me?
Two months of living alone in Delhi means I must come to terms with what people must think of me when I enter an eating place alone. And when I sit down in a crowded place and eat by myself. It means I must get used to the stares – inquisitive, judgmental, amused. Sometimes, people look at me for a little longer than is polite, probably trying to guess why a girl should be out for dinner alone; I stare back at them blankly, just to make them realise I’m not up for scrutiny. Sometimes, they stare long enough at the back of my head to make me want to get up and go away; but I never do.
I just sit there, intent on having fun, even if I’m alone. Sometimes I try so hard to do it, I could cry. Sometimes, I just focus on silencing my growling stomach and make those stares melt away. It makes things easier, but rarely enjoyable.
My Blackberry gives me company when I’m eating out alone. It never asks me questions, never leaves me alone to fight perceptions. It lends me a look of not being alone in this world, of perhaps being busy, conveys to the curious eye that I have friends and family who would take me out under different circumstances.
Sometimes people are nice enough to not send as much as a second glance my way. And that makes me feel at ease – as if it were the most normal thing for a girl living in a big city to just get up and go out for a meal all by herself! It seems like it should be, if it isn’t anyway!
I could almost love my solitude if people were better at pretending that it’s okay for a girl to be sitting alone at a quiet table in a crowded restaurant. But because they suck at this so, I end up a little more lonely than I should.