The malls. A showroom. A mirror.
I look into it, trying to judge whether the dark black trousers suit me, whether they produce awkward creases, whether the sleeves of the shirt I have on are too long, whether the shiny, black shoes I intend to buy would go well with the entire outfit.
I’m tense, a little irritated and very tired. And in between all the noise around and inside me at that moment, I stop and it occurs to me that this is the way it has always been.
And will be.
Oh never mind, that hardly matters!
Your life is lost in this perpetual charade of trying to look like someone else, so much so that sometimes, you get scared of just being yourself. Trying to look like the well-dressed schoolboy when you are only a kid, being told to wear T-shirts more often when kurtas suit you fine, and now – trying to look like a prim-and-proper executive when you are at least a good one year away from actually being one.
And they do in the name of discipline. Even if one agrees to dress codes in schools and institutions, to ask someone to appear in suit and tie for an interview is totally preposterous. For once in the institution, the powers that be have the right to dictate how they want you to appear, and as a member, it is only correct that you follow the rules. But to do so when you are only applying for admission into the same is something that I don’t understand.
Isn’t it true that they are conducting the interview just to know you better, what you are and of what use you can be to their company? If the answer is yes, won’t it be more helpful for them and easier for you if you appear as you really are, be it unshaven, dirty or haggard? Doesn’t it harm the ‘selection’ process if everyone appears as if in uniform, with the same fake ‘confident’ smile, giving the same prototype ‘smart’ answers? Won’t it make things simpler for everyone involved if they decide to see each person in his own mould, his individuality shining through, and isn’t that what they are actually here for?
The whole exercise, as it stands, is a sham. It is, and excuse me if the phrase sounds a bit exaggerated to you, a perfect example of identity assassination.
But oh well, if you think I’m going to have my own way in this and play the harbinger of change, you can’t be further from the truth. The companies arrive in ten days time and you can be sure to find me all nicely dressed up in suit and tie, wearing the ‘confident’ smile, giving the ‘smart’ answers.