I observe people. Hopefully without being too obvious about it*.
When they are unaware of the scrutiny, their actions, gestures and looks speak volumes.
A person having a meal with his family, beckons for mosaru (dahi / curd). As he waits, his hands play with the rice and he digs a hole in his rice to receive the mosaru, his eyes constantly on the man with the mosaru. The latter approaches and offers mosaru to the others at the table. The man fiddling with his rice sits straight, his eyes on the mosaru falling on the other’s rice, ready for his turn.
The sliding doors part. A woman walks in, and stops short. Her first visit – from the way she looks around, probably searching for a board or an arrow to guide her. At first she does not notice the people walking past. She fumbles with her handbag, as if to locate her mobile. Failing to find a board, her eyes glide over the faces around her and settle on the person in blue uniform. She approaches him and asks something. The man turns and points to the corridor.
The fifteen-year old tosses her long hair back as she walks – apparently very proud of it and aware of admiring eyes around her. Her chin is raised. She stops before her Maths teacher. The teacher enquires with a smile about her exams. She answers in her loud voice, her posture defiant, though her words are friendly. The teacher’s body language spells Gentleness. The girl’s spells Arrogance.
The child ignores his father’s advice and throws the toy to the floor, with a chuckle. Father stops and turns slowly around. The boy’s smile vanishes and he takes a small step backward, shoulders hunched, arms ready to protect himself against the torrent.
Four people sit around a table. Two are foreigners. The two desis could be software engineers – from their attire, the tag around their neck and their attitudes. One of the foreigners probably asked a question. The desi explains why ‘Ruby on Rails’ is called ‘Ruby on Rails’. The foreigners lean forward, so as not to miss a word in the Indian accent. The desi girl listens, her eyes darting back and forth between the speaker and the listeners. She knows what he is talking about, she wants to see the reaction and ensure that the explanation is clear to the listeners. If they look confused, she would like to insert a word or two to clarify.
*If someone was observing me whilst these surveillances were going on, they would have thought: Woman at the table with a cup of coffee before her. Eyes travelling between the people at the next table(s) and her coffee. Pretending to be looking elsewhere. Apparently waiting for someone. Taking an idle sip now and then. Asking for more coffee. Recording the gestures and actions of the people – probably to write down in her blog, later.