Friday, June 17, 2011

A little civility perhaps?

I can't presume to talk of other countries, I haven't travelled enough. But in India, land of the oldest 'civilisation', do we know the meaning of the word 'civil'?

A few familiar instances come to mind:
Traffic Jams: We try & squeeze into every little break we get irrespective of the lane we ought to be in or inconsiderate of the incoming traffic on the other side, we firmly plant ourselves on the wrong side of the road waitingfor the jam to break-up and rush headlong ahead. And the honking!!!.... enough to hope the vehicles could sprout wings and fly away.

Mobiles on airplanes: How often have we heard the beep & buzz of phones going off while the aircraft has barely touched down? If they did switch those devices back on 5-10 mins later, would the earth shatter, I wonder? And some of them actually have the gall to be irritated when the cabin crew repeats they be switched off!

Pedestrian crossing: Instead of slowing down you'll notice some motorists speeding up, seemingly more intent on running the pedestrians down, as if the sight of people crossing is equivalent to 'incentives' in a video game... kill...kill!

On the flip side, there are pedestrians who walk on the roads blithely like a walk in the park, completely unconcerned that there is moving traffic all around them or jay-walkers crossing the roads as and how they please, sometimes making a dash across the road missing the oncoming vehicle by a hair's breadth... a sort of 'catch-me-if-you-can'.

Jumping traffic signals: Unbelievable, but yes, the number of times I have seen motorists look furitively around for a cop & if they don't spot one, take off while the lights are still red. And this is not only a two-wheeler or an auto-rickshaw's domain, even drivers of the big cars are party to it - chauffers probably earning brownie points from their employers for saving a precious couple of minutes and if the car-owners are driving it themselves, getting their 'cheap-thrill' of the day by being 'bad'.

This also makes me wonder if we are capable of self-regulation or do we need a 'policeman' at all times, but that's a discussion for another day.

And my absolute favourite (or not): Talking loudly on mobile phones in public areas: Mostly in closed, confined spaces like restaurants, buses/trains, airplanes. Helloooo... do we really want to know the details of your conversation? Get a life, people!

There's lots more... litterbugs, people on their phones while driving... but let me be considerate to my blood pressure and stop right here.

I have begun to think that these are probably the small joys of life in some people's lives otherwise instead of increasing, these instances should be going down. But there seems to be no signs of that.

I obviously cannot generalise, there certainly are brave people who try to be considerate of the people around them but sadly, they are an ever decreasing tribe.

(pics courtesy: and

No comments:

Post a Comment