Where have basic manners disappeared….

Reading a news article about how a woman’s Mr Perfect changes with her age, and one line in the mass of small, close spaced font jumped out at me with the ferocity of a lithe feral animal. “Less than 1% of the females surveyed said they would date a man with bad manners.” This was for the 35 to 44 age group of women, in which I am.
This finding hit home in light of a recent experience. A week or so ago, I was waiting patiently in the lobby of my apartment complex for the lift to come down. As the doors of the lift opened, a young chappie, probably in his late twenties, dressed formally in a suit, with a tie, and very dapper at that, exuding expensive perfume, impeccably groomed, entered the swinging glass doors and elbowed me out of the way to get into the lift first. Shocked, I waited for an apology. None came. He jabbed the button of the floor he wanted to go to. I stood out. We have three elevators. I could take the next one. I could climb up. I would not share the elevator with such a boor.
Manners. Plain and simple. Not manners because I am a woman, but just simple manners because one is another human being seem to be outdated. It seems cool to be brash and abrasive and permanently in a hurry and pushing people around. Where are the manners, people?
Call me a crochety, old biddy, but I preferred the time when men were men, with chest hair and underarm hair, who could be counted on to be polite.
And no, I’m not talking chivalry, that’s another cup of tea altogether, chivalry is charming, if considered a tad outdated, but I must confess even if it is politically incorrect to do so, that it is quite fascinating to find a rare man with good old fashioned chivalry that one stands and gawps like a goldfish not knowing how to react, having gotten unused to seeing good manners around. All I’m looking for is a return to basic manners, minding your Ps and Qs, children who wish adults around good morning and good evening or get a rap on their ear from their parents, youngsters who help older people down stairs, a people who offer a pregnant woman a seat, an older person a chair. What can we do to go back to being a sensitive concerned society, a society with manners? Maybe we can start at home, by being mindful of our own manners and passing it on to our children. By being the squeaky wheel that constantly reminds our kids to say their Ps and Qs, to not talk with their mouths full, to not interrupt conversations, to wait their turn, to learn that no matter what the people around, they must be polite and well mannered because in the end that reflects on who they are as people and on how we brought them up. Though, we’re not going to tell them the latter. Can we also be more polite as a people? Can we smile at people in the lift and wish them a ‘good morning’ or ‘good evening’ or even just a ‘hello’ without being labelled the scarlet woman on the premises for the women or without being considered a lech for the men around. Can we….there are so many of these that this might take up more than the ten minutes I’d allocated myself to type this out.
All I say is bring back the manners. Bring politeness back in fashion. We could all do with some pleasantness in our everyday.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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2 Responses to Where have basic manners disappeared….

  1. Kshipra says:

    So true.. I agree completely. Even I feel the same when in office you hold the swinging glass door for the person following you out of courtesy and the smartpants will just put his hands in pockets and pass through the door as if I am the watchman there and I keep standing there like a fool… Basic manners have actually disappeared – people smoking in a park near children’s swings, littering the stairs and what not – you see them everyday and get irritated and can’t do much except telling your kids not to do the same. Probably, they are giving us a chance to teach our kids through examples :p

    Loved the post.

    – Kshipra


  2. Ranbir says:

    Deplorable. A ray of hope: since the last few years I found boys and girls, 15 to 18 years of age, both in England and India, offering their seat to me in metros and offering to help with my luggage at airports etc….perhaps I look pathetically in need of help! Think the youngest of them are different from the louts who are in their 30s. Anyone with similar experience?


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