The needles

The first thing that changes in you after returning to India is that the needle of your swear-meter flails very close to the danger mark, almost to the verge of rupturing a nerve in your brain. Well, almost.

It happened with me. It’s still happening. I am a lot more angrier now a days. Small things like someone opening a glass door with his hand, imprinting the Congress symbol on it while ignoring a bloody handle irritates me to no end. I feel like shouting. A few deep breaths later, I am fine.

Then I see people falling over each other to get into a lift to go to a floor above when the lift is going to the basement, simple because they can’t take chances. What if it is filled at the basement? They will be stranded at the ground floor till eternity.

These are small things. I know. I know we will be ahead of China in a couple of years. We are reproducing like crazy. Just like a virus experiment gone horribly wrong. I think that is why people have no patience for anything. They have to take shortcuts, do everything as quickly as possible. Win the race. And, of course, you can’t take away the fact that we are still quite rustic at heart.

I was telling Polly (who is a teacher) that you can define liquid to your class by showing them a photograph of a traffic jam in India. The stream of vehicles take the shape of any vacant area around the roads. And it took me a lot of time to get used to the honking. Believe me, that is the first thing you notice after coming back. It is like needles in your ears. And people honking at rickshaw-pullers is funny. The rickshaw will not develop wings and fly away.

Today, while driving my car, I saw a woman cross the road with the school going kid. She did not bother to look both sides before crossing. A lot of people do that. They believe that even if there is a car coming at a speed of 70, the guy will eventually apply the brakes when he will see two people in the middle of the road, roaming as if in a park. But what if that guy is distracted? What if he is not able to apply the brakes?  I don’t know whether the fact that our religions talk about rebirth provides us with the audacity to belittle life or are we so wrapped up in taking shortcuts that we forget to bother about anyone’s life? When I see people driving on the wrong side of the road just because the U-turn is a bit ahead, I start believing that the latter is true.

Making queues is unheard of at most of the places, leave alone the courtesy of letting the person standing before you complete his transaction. A few days back, I had a fight with a woman who created a new ‘ladies’ line at the metro station when the original line was only 2 people long! She called herself Anna Hazare and labeled me Rahul Gandhi. I had to tell her that she was an idiot. And then, I was watching the crowd surrounding Anna Hazare at the Ramlila ground and thinking – Given a chance, most of the people sitting here will disregard each other with utter disdain. What if I leave a suitcase full of money in the middle of the crowd? Movement be damned, won’t they claw each other for that?

What kind of people are these? Why is there such utter disrespect of the needs of other people? Why are we always at each others throat?

And then mulling over it, I start realizing, that it’s not just in India. It’s everywhere. It’s basic human nature. Put 10,000,000 humans in Manchester at it will decay as quickly. Developed or developing, societies are directionless in their own way.

Anyways, I was angry, so had to vomit it out somewhere. Thankyou for your patience. And how have all of you been?

p.s. It’s not a comeback post. It’s just a random rant blip.

10 comments on “The needles

  1. My short trip to Korea made comeback to Bangalore a nightmare. I was sure that my head would pop out with frustration in the 2 weeks that followed. With great unruly population, comes great frustration!

    • Yeah exactly. I believe its not the people but shortage of things that make everyone desperate. But then it becomes a part of our life and we do things even when they are not required.

  2. Wow! Interesting! I have never been to India, but I have always heard that everyone there accepts everyone else as their own… That there is a lot of love between the people when it comes to day to day things… that everyone will look out for you even if they don’t really know you… Your post seems to suggest otherwise… Is this the real India?

    • Well, I have generalized everything a bit. But, yes, the urban population is getting a bit Americanized, if you know what I mean. I guess that is natural as we develop.

  3. After some time one gets used to it. 10 years of staying outside India and during my initial trips back home, i used to get too upset. But then there is no point cursing and ranting other than just raising our BP. Now i just go with the flow.

  4. We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 🙂

    I guess all these stuff hit you more when you have been abroad for a long time. sad to know it is not a comeback post.

    • That is a very apt line.
      Yes, I have heard it from a lot of friends who came back from abroad but you realize that it’s true after you experience it yourself.

      Well, I really don’t know right now but I might be writing on and off. 🙂

  5. I’ve never lived outside india, never lived in an organised city/couontry where people follow rules and are considerate of other. I have no standards to compare us with…yet, I feel I’ll snap a vein when I see the mad rush we’re always in!

    I guess it is even more for those who’ve been living in a better space and has come back.

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