…and didn’t mourn his death too much. Nope. Even though he was ailing, and on his death bed for a while, coughing consumptively and spitting out the red stuff with his phlegm. Nope. We didn’t mourn his demise. Instead we gave him the most dignified burial we could. Stayed dry eyed and unracked over by heaving sobs.
Okay this eulogy has been a while coming, and it comes from my observations of the zero courtesy amongst Indians today. Anywhere one goes. Of course, there are the rare few who are impeccably mannered. But the rest. Zero basic courtesy, politeness and consideration extended to others in the common environment. Things like holding the lift door open if one enters first, asking the floor and pressing the button if one is hogging the space near the control panel, allowing a lady to pass first, get into a vehicle first, sit in her chair first before being seated oneself, helping a child clamber onto something, not elbowing past, shoving to get at a counter, jerk blocking a spot in a newly opened check out line just as the other person is approaching it. Basic courtesies. They seem to be non existent now. I see it among the younger generation. I see it among my generation. I wonder if I’m being anachronistic here to even expect it. A moment to help an elderly lady negotiate a tricky staircase, a moment to hold a swinging door open for someone laden with parcels and bags, a smile and a thank you for the courtesy when someone does it for you, and more on such lines. Is it me becoming a crabbity old lady or are we really morphing into a people with no basic sense of politeness and concern for the others around us.
I’ve grumbled about this before. I see it everywhere, I get elbowed out while waiting for lifts, I see people cutting into lines, almost fist fighting for them damn 3D glasses before a movie can start rather than filing in in line and taking said glasses and then fist fighting to have them returned and their Rs 100 or whatever refunded.
One of my more horrific experiences was when I went to order and collect the school uniform for my son. The parents there were behaving like they were flood affected refugees and the chappies distributing the uniforms were flood relief distributors. I went twice. Returned empty handed. The third day I stood my ground against line cutting in, aggressiveness and belligerence and emerged with said uniforms.
And then the airportgate carrion vultures. What is the hurry folks? Will the plane take off without you? Are you going to bag window seats if you get on first? And circling the gate attendant is not going to score you any brownie point either. Sigh. It’s me. I’m morphing into a crabbity old lady ready to jab her knitting needles at anyone who doesn’t give her place on the bus. Metaphorically speaking of course, since I neither knit nor travel on the bus. I’m one of them senior citizens grumbling about things were back in my days when I wasn’t carbondated and you could drink down a Thums Up without a parent threatening to dangle you over a 20th floor ledge for ingesting a carbonated beverage. When one greeted the parents of one’s peers with a good morning or a good evening as the time of the day might be, said one’s pleases and thank yous or risked being smacked within an inch of our lives.
Were those better times, or am I viewing them with the rose tinted corneas of the past? What do you feel? Are we becoming a less courteous, less civil, less polite people? Or we were always so badly behaved? I’d really like to know.