This is the third article (S No: IS.3.03) of the series “It Happens Only In India”. It’s an endeavor initiated via a series of humorous articles sensitizing the society to the various idiosyncracies attached to Us. In the process the aim is to Improve Upon, where required and make the society adaptable, refined and progressive.
In the previous two pieces on the idiosyncrasies of us Indians, I told you about some of our quirks though there might be many many more. Now, in this concluding part, I shall tell you about the quirks of those upwardly mobile Indians who believe that they are modern and globally integrated. By upwardly mobile, I mean those Indian brethren of mine who are doing very well in their careers and zipping around the country or the globe is a routine occurrence with them. These idiosyncrasies I have experienced, seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears so you can rest assured that they are straight from the horse’s mouth. I can only say, kya karein, hum aise hi hain…
So here we go:
1. Domestic Air Travelers
(a) We don’t know that there is a thing called a queue at security check; and if there is one, we’ve got to stand at the front just as Amitabh Bachchan said in Kaalia, “Ham jahan khade hote hain, line wahin se shuru hoti hai!”
We also feign ignorance regarding the rule that passengers shouldn’t be carrying any sharp items on board. I actually once witnessed a lady carrying an entire cutlery set in her hand baggage. When she was stopped, there was hell to pay for the security in charge.
(b) If the flight is delayed or late for any reason, be it technical or otherwise, we’ll rant, holler, scream our lungs out for no apparent reason…. Maybe Shakespeare was thinking of us when he wrote that immortal line, “Hell hath no fury…
(c) We are of the firm belief that the bus that transports us from the terminal to the aircraft is the last one. We have to be on it at all costs. What’ll happen if there is no further bus? We’ll miss our flight, what else.. and we don’t want to do that. Got it??
Once we’re on the bus, the only place where we’ll stand is five inches from the door. We’ve got to rush…what if the aircraft leaves without us?? Our business empire would collapse!!
(d) We refuse to wait for the passengers in front of us to store their luggage in the overhead baggage holds. What the hell, we’ve got to reach our seat first. It’s their problem. Why did they land in front of us?
We push back our seats with impunity, caring little or none at all whether the passenger behind us has finished eating or not. Whatever?? You looking for a fight??
(e) We believe that the only time to go for a pee is when the ‘fasten your seat belt’ sign has been switched on. Hey bugger!! It’s my life, okay??
We believe that we don’t need to lock the toilet door or flush the lavatory enough after we are finished.How do you now??You were sneaking??Don’t you have a father or a brother??
(f) We need to be told an umpteen number of times to switch off the phones switch off our mobile phones when the aircraft is in the air. I did it finally, didn’t I??
We switch on the phone as soon as the aircraft touches down and call up our relatives. You mean I shouldn’t call them and keep them waiting??
(g) When our spouses are not with us, we try our level best to get an aisle seat, especially on airlines where the air hostesses wear western wear!Hey man! Are you in your senses or do I pound some into you??
(h) We carry our favourite food onboard and bring it out when the aircraft reaches cruising altitude. What??And die of hunger if they forgot to give us meals??You never know!!
(i) We talk as if we want the entire plane to hear our conversation. Man, that is nothing!! You have to watch me roar in my haveli!!
Wedon’t use headphones to watch a movie on our laptops / i-pads. Bro, I don’t like the claustrophobic feel of the headphones!
(j) We assume that any newspapers/magazines kept in the seat pockets ahead of us is ours and we take them without asking. Of course, they are mine.Their cost are included in the airfare, you idiot!!
Most of the time, we also carry airline property like pillow, blanket or headphones with us. Once again, same answer, you moron!!
(k) As soon as the aircraft lands, we unbuckle our seat belts. What do you mean?? Should I stay fastened to the seat indefinitely?? Until the authorities pry me out??What nonsense you talk,Saar??
We have to disembark before the passengers do. In the process, we may also try to climb over them. That’s his fault!! Why couldn’t they keep on sitting and let us pass??
(l) As soon as the aircraft comes to a standstill, we have to take our bags out of the overhead baggage holds. And what will happen if the aircraft takes off before I get down???
(k) We frequently misbehave and even manhandle the ground staff if our baggage doesn’t reach the correct destination. What to do, Sir Jee???We are like this only!!
2. International Air Travelers
(a) When we go abroad, the entire neighborhood comes to know. The people come to see us off at the airport. So what, if they form a small crowd!! Yeah, so what??
(b) We nearly always carry excess baggage and when the airline personnel do not allow it, we engage in loud arguments. Obviously, we only carry what is required and rules can always be bent. After all, aircraft is mostly empty!!!
(c) We forget to fill up the immigration form or the landing card till we reach the head of the queue. Do we really need to fill it? But why? Beats me!!
(d) We buy bottles of alcohol, sweets and books at duty free before boarding the aircraft. Why not?? They are there for a reason, aren’t they??Or, don’t you know??
(e) After boarding, we complain that the entertainment system is not working even before it is switched on. Yes, we do. Why didn’t they switch it then??
(f) We also complain if the film shown is not to our liking. Sure, I‘d already seen the movie. So, what’s your point??
(g) We let our kids rule the aircraft. After all, it’s their first time??
(h) We take off our shoes even if they stink. You didn’t think I‘d be wearing them for the next 4-5-6 hours, did you??
(i) We become extremely happy if a pretty woman is sitting next to us and try to strike up a conversation with her. So what?? We’re chivalrous!!
(j) We closely look at what the passenger in the next seat is reading or watching. Aww!! Just plainly curious!!
(k) We ask, cajole, beg or badger for more alcohol, despite knowing that we won’t be able to hold it. Do you know how much can you hold??And finally, didn’t I pay for it already??
(l) We have to eat at whatever the time food is served. So what??It’s my food and my stomach!! What’ll happen to all the food if nobody eats?? Stop asking silly questions.
(m) We begin loud conversations whenever find someone from our region. Don’t you think it is obvious??
(n) We take regular walks to the washroom to flick Eau-de-cologne or moisturizer. Now you caught me in the act??
(o) As soon as the aircraft lands on Indian soil, we forget all rules and regulations. True. From when did we Indians begin to follow rules??
Previous Links To The Series
Now that this series on our famous poky behaviour draws to an end, it is time to call out to all my brethren to take a look at their idiosyncrasies and reflect!! It’s HIGH TIME we changed. Our country is getting more and more integrated into the global economy. The world will open further up and more and more foreigners will visit our shores to look and explore our great nation. We’re good people, though different but no two people are born alike, for that matter. We just need some spit and polish, though not in the literal sense!! I just hope we don’t embarrass or disappoint each other.
Am sure there are many more that you might have come across. To get those added, you can mention them in the comments box below or forward the same to us on Email contact @ news4masses (dot) com