India is a country where we place great emphasis on food and dining together. Indian cuisine is extensive and the varieties seem endless if you were to travel the length and breadth of the country. With such prominence on food, majority of Indians love dining together and rarely step out to eat alone. I belong to that large group and would find it odd to eat alone fearing somebody would judge me to be an introvert, person with no friends and what not!
There were many instances I would find myself hungry when I’d step out alone but never really walk into a restaurant to grab a bite. I would take the pain of postponing and eat at home. Even simple things such as eating an ice-cream seemed so weird doing it alone. I wanted this to change.
The big question is “Is it really odd to dine alone?”. I figured out that it’s not! It’s all in your mind. Today I walked out of office to a restaurant, ordered myself a full breakfast, sat myself on an empty table facing the whole restaurant and began eating. At first, I didn’t want to look up fearing that people are looking at me.. judging me..or busy looking aimlessly at my phone. After a few minutes, I decided to look up and to my surprise I realised that people are busy with their own life and minding their own business. I calmed myself, carried on eating my breakfast and even enjoyed my cup of hot filter coffee. The people sitting beside me did watch me eating alone, but it didn’t really bother me. They resumed with their own talking and I finished my special breakfast, got up and walked back to office.
At the end of it all, I did enjoy eating alone, walked back peacefully to office, I didn’t have to put up with somebody’s conversation, wait for anybody, get influenced about what I wanted to eat. Dining alone gave me a unique sense of freedom and I’m glad I did it and I will start doing it more often going forward.
Since I’ve conquered this fear, the next one is to watch a movie alone. I should do it sometime.
What are your fears?