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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    November 16, 2006

    Aap Qatar mein hain

    A contribution to "The Hindu's" 'Open Page' by B Lakshminarayanan yesterday was very timely. Titled 'Shall we ever improve?', he writes about behaviour by Indians in India and overseas. He touches upon acts of discourtesy, discipline, road rage, breaking rules, corruption, standing in queues, etc.

    On Saturday, I was waiting in the bill counter queue at Fabindia, on CMH Road. There was a lady in front of me paying for her purchase. There was a lady behind me in the queue. Both seemed to know each other since they were chatting away. The lady behind me seemed to be from North America, going by her English accent. Then out of the blue, the lady in front of me, who was Indian, invited her friend to jump the queue and pay the bill after she did. Her friend, to her credit, did hesitate for a second. But she accepted the invitation, and without even being courteous enough to ask me if I had a problem with her skipping the queue, went ahead to pay for her purchases.

    This may have been a one-off occasion. I'm obviously not generalizing this to say that all North Americans are impolite and jump queues. But I'm willing to venture that had I done the same thing in her land, I'd have had quite a few folks shouting at me and adding to their list of clich├ęs about India/Indians.

    Yesterday, at Landmark, I was in yet another queue. The chap behind me, Indian, bent down and picked up a book from my basket. I thought he'd dropped one of the books he meant to purchase and it'd fallen into my basket. But that wasn't the case. He was interested in browsing through the book that I meant to purchase. Did he ask if he could browse through it? No. Should he have? Yes.

    In both cases, I didn't say anything except shake my head in disgust. Perhaps I should have been more vociferous.

    NB: The title of the post is obviously a PJ/pun on 'Qatar' (the country) and 'Kataar' (queue)

    Update: An edited version of this post was published in 'The Hindu' today.

    Rambled @ 1:45 PM

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