Please consider the excerpt below.
I felt awkward discussing such issues with Aarti’s dad, so I kept quiet.
“I know how the education business works, Tiwari talks intellectual, but he wants his share. I hope you guys won’t get me involved with that.”
“Not at all, sir,” I said. “Even I don’t deal with that stuff. I only look after the college.”
“So all such work is done by Shukla-ji’s men?” Aarti’s father asked.
“Yes,” I said, as I ____ at the floor.
I need little help how the words stare and gaze changes the meaning of sentence in the given context. Please find below the dictionary (ODO) meanings of those words: