The Problem With We Indians Is We Refuse To Grow-up (In lighter vein)
The great Indian Nani Palkhiwala in his book We The People once said: “The problem with we Indians is we refuse to grow up”. When I read this the first time I could not quite understand what this eminent thinker and a fine human being meant. But the more I applied my mind to this over a period of time, I realize how true he was. In every walk of life – private or public I find this to be so true.
Queuing or Crowding?
|Queue or a Crowd?|
We have seen children - they are so impatient. Don’t we see such impatience everywhere amongst us Indians? We don’t like queues. We want to rush in. Even when someone else is sitting with the officer may be in a bank or in an office, we can’t wait for them to finish. We interject our papers between the two and start talking about our matter. The other day I was at a Haldiram restaurant in New Delhi. I was ordering something to eat and an elderly gentleman just barged in, thrust the money in the cashier’s hands and yelled: “One samosa and one aloo chat for me”! I remember some time ago I had been to watch a play with an Australian guest. During interval this visitor wanted a cold-drink. He was struggling to be in the queue when none existed. Seeing his predicament I did as a Roman would do in Rome: barged in the crowd and got two chilled nice soft-drink bottles. Understandably he was bewildered. But I knew in the crowd of children you can’t queue up like an adult.
Our impatience becomes so obvious on roads. We honk horns as no one else does. In fact we are invited to honk by our trucks by their loud display of “Horn Please” invitations on their trucks and once we have honked, they also thank us - “OK”.
|Horn please - OK|
Like a child we want to rush, rush and rush. We are not afraid to drive on the wrong side just because the crossing was closer that way.
|Wrong side driving|
|Two wheelers: Thrillers or Killers?|
We swing our two-wheelers from one lane to the other caring the least for the four-wheelers who are in their right lane. On two wheelers that are supposed to be for two people we drive three four and even five. "Just jump on. We will reach fast' is our childish and downright dangerous reaction.
|I love my India|
This is not to say even in wildest imaginations that I am against my country India. I love it more than my life and would like to be born again and again as an Indian. But our habits don’t cost a million to change. Therefore I thought I would write this blog to express what I feel, not to run down my people but just to be aware of our shortcomings and thereby evolve to be still better citizens.
Huge Free For All Lavatories:
For us roadside is a huge lavatory. The other day I was out on my regular evening walk when a small child playing in the public garden wanted to pee. Plump on the place where he was playing he pulled down his shorts and peed. I wasn’t amused. Don’t we adults also do the same all the time? On countless occasions on the highway, on railway stations and in all imaginable public places and corners we see people blissfully relieving themselves as the child did in full regalia.
We are hardly worried about hygiene. As a child that doesn't move out of the crap till removed by someone, we as adults too are just tolerant to the dirt all around.
Thank You - What’s that?
On one of my trips abroad I was waiting to collect some foreign exchange at the airport. It was a small queue and all patiently waited for their turn. Just then an Indian visitor who stood ahead of me collected his exchange and left. I too collected my exchange said thank you to the lady at the counter and was about to leave when she gave me a wry smile. I looked at her quizzically and she said “You saying Thank You? Unusual for an Indian”! I didn’t wait to reply as I was in a hurry but was indeed pained. However while trudging on towards the taxi I did realize that these two words “Sorry” and “Thank You” are hardly taught to us to be addressed to someone as children As a result we continue doing the same. We are misers on “Thank You” and “Sorry”!
The Noisy Indian:
I was once returning home from an outing and I heard a big group of children living near my house shouting and yelling in glee. I inquired to be told that their team had won some local cricket tourney and so now they will dance all through the evening. Out came the drums and the celebrations began. Just then, a gentleman who heads the local youth body, passed. He screeched his two-wheeler to a halt and started yelling and shouting at the children for all the noise they were making. I was amused. Just a couple of days before the Ganesh celebrations had ended. His youth body organized it in our area locally. There was so much sound pollution and cacophony, as is every year. Even the Supreme Court orders in this matter prevailing in the country of not allowing noise pollution are openly flouted. What was the difference between the adults and the children? Both were celebrating and both were noisy. Being noisy while celebrating our festivals is our habit of childhood and we assiduously stick to it.
Children talk, play and interact loudly in a great cacophony. Just watch the way we talk on phones – are we adults any different? Sometimes I wonder if our simple looking ill-habits like parking our vehicles with scant regard for others, bursting noisy cracker rather than illuminating ones on our festivals and social functions and the like are all coming from what we see adults doing when we are children and continue doing that even on growing up.
Have you seen the reaction of a small child on being joked at or teased by others? Its reaction is predictably tempestuous. The same continues with us even when we grow up. We are so intolerant to criticisms and jokes cut in jest on us that like children we react. It is possible that some of you who are reading this and are Indians will get angry at me for showing a mirror. Cool down buddy - just grow up! I am aware of so many court cases getting filed on such jokes and jests. This led one high court judge to pass a remark recently “Can’t you tolerate a little humor?”
|Keep smiling folks!|
But then we don’t – we are that way, refusing to grow up!