Around 10 years back, we had a very pleasant trip on the Star Cruise which sails from Singapore to Penang in Malaysia and then to Phuket in Thailand and then back to Singapore. Our group had a few known friends from Assam and Kolkata who were travelling with their spouses. While the other passengers on the cruise were not known to us, but as it happens, they also became good friends during the trip. It was a very interesting and enjoyable trip, with lot of fun, music and dance. The ship sails during the night, and during the daytime, we used to go on shore to see the different places we were visiting.
One evening while on sea, we were enjoying a party on board with a lot of good food, beverages and music. Many of the passengers started dancing. During that time, a girl came to the floor for a dance. She was very beautiful and vivacious. She was wearing a small top and a very short skirt. That reminded me ofwhat Winston Churchill had supposedly many years back, “A good speech should be like a women’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”
The arrival of the young girl met with a bit of consternation among our spouses. Some of the ladies in our group whispered things like, “Si, Si, she is wearing such a short skirt; she will spoil the children, especially the young boys. Almost all the male eyes were on the young lady.
Suddenly one of the ladies in our group asked her husband, a friend of mine, in a low voice: “Why are you observing her so minutely?”
“I am looking at the crowd dancing. So what?” he replied.
“No. Your eyes are on that girl only.”
“What can I do if she comes within my field of vision?”
“No. You are STARING at her!”
He then turned to me. Hearing their conversation, I had already turned my eyes towards the sea. I tried to look like an innocent person enjoying the vastness of the sea. I saw my wife giving an appreciative nod. My friend took me aside, saying that his wife had spoilt his mood.
I told him that it was his fault and reminded him that we were on STAR Cruise, and not on a STARE Cruise! He commented in despair: “Et tu, Brute?”
During that cruise, I learnt an important lesson of my life. I can look at a girl but NEVER DARE STARE!