Civic sense in India is a little different from most other countries.In case you are visiting for the first time,here is a beginners guide.Here are are some rules for you to keep in mind lest you find yourself out of place. So here is an inconclusive guide on civic sense in the country.
- Movie Theater : Please watch, and only watch movies where you can leave your brains behind, where you need not listen to dialogs or understand subtlety.You will be at peace. you can talk on your mobile phone anytime,the ringer need not be turned off. You can nurse your wailing kid or even leave them to crawl on the carpet. Watching a serious movie will only disturb your sanity. Watch at your own risk.
- Elevator : Ofcourse while waiting you press both the up and the down buttons. You don’t want to miss the flight. And ofcourse this is the last elevator on the planet, and its the last time its going up or down.So make way for the hurried man lest he might just push you with him.In the elevator ,a.k.a lift, you stand still.Do not greet people – that could tantamount to harassment.
- Public place : Test the strength of your arm and throw the garbage as far as you can. You need to keep your city clean.Once the garbage is out of your sight, your job is done. Smoke on someone’s face – they enjoy it really – not all can afford a cigarette you see.Its okay to color the walls so spit.Spit for your dear life, spit long, spit hard and spit as frequently as you can. Better still if you are chewing tobacco or bettlenut (paan), you have a chance to add color.
- Urinate : The bladder is a free bird.Chose a spot and you are done.The place need not be stationary, you can stand outside a moving train, protrude outside the window of a moving bus or even open the door of your car and sit in-between. There’s no stopping you.Let it flow.
- Tourist Spots : Use your artistic skills to the hilt.The world is your playground.Write,scribble,scratch,deface do what you want.Get your favorite spray and design the walls of a flyover.Its yours for the taking.You pay taxes so technically the road is yours.So go let your creative freedom express itself in all its glory.
- Supermarket : Your trolley is your life.Hold on to it till you pay the bill. Push out others in the queue.You can abandon the trolley, once the boot is loaded…in front of the other car.Not your problem if they don’t see it.You obviously will search and search and look and look for the price tag of the same soap you bought for the last eighteen years..Maybe there’s a discount somewhere.How can you miss out on a deal? Sacrlilige.Ask for what else is free.?
- Credit Card : You are the richest credit card holder in the world.You have the right to scream,shout and throw attitude if ,for some technical error the damn card does not work on their machine.You obviously have another flight to catch and can escalate into a loud abuse and argument.After all the customer is always right.
- Cars : You have the right to honk even if there is a bumper to bumper logjam.Your car has wings they don’t know.You obviously have an urgency – the shit might just hit fan.You need to save the world etc. You have a right to talk on the mobile and slow down your car while on the expressway.Its safety you see.You also have a right to slow down your vehicle within city limits even though you are driving in the middle of the road.
- Personal Space : Huh? What on blistering barnacles is that ? You have a right to ask age, salary take home in exact decimal points, relationship status, child bearing status.You can pointblank ask blunt question if you see a special child…or even a kid wearing spectacles.You can also comment how your kid never had such problems. Its familiarity and you re just trying to help.
I guess you get the drift.I just don’t know where we lost the element of civic sense over the years.I don’t know how to get it back.I do understand that there are too many people to control and manage in a democracy which is just about going above the poverty line.However, I also do believe we do need to set rules and accountability in the society. People need to be more sensitive than ever before simply because we are a more diverse society than what we were earlier.
in the middle of all this civic sense less society, you will certainly find some sensitive people, some very caring people, so don’t be cynical.Because India is such a country that it tends to surprise you every time you take it for granted.