Monday, April 14, 2008
An Evening in my society!
At 7:00 pm, my mind reminded me about the promise I had made to myself about trying to keep fit by swimming regularly. I pushed myself and got out of my house. As I went down in the elevator I had to give those usual put on fake smiles to strangers standing besides me. Only a few years back this was not the case. It was not considered rude to totally ignore the presence of any stranger standing next to you. But I guess this is the U.S of A culture which is slowly getting imbibed in the educated elite of India. People in Indian cities now seem to smile or even say a "hi" to people they are seeing for the first time in their office, societies, gym, during walks etc. I don't know why but this smile or "hi" is generally accompanied by a small nod of the head. This is a slightly toned down version of what happens in U.S. People suddenly pop up the question "How you doing?" and the other stranger responds "Good. And you?". The Indians, who have failed miserably to respond to this kind of greeting from an American stranger during their virgin visit to U.S are somehow trying to pratice the same at home in India. Why are they doing this? Well, the reasons could be many. One, I strongly believe is that they genuinely like this concept of treating even a stranger as fellow human being and granting him a smile rather than the suspicous Indian look. Other one could be teaching back here what they gravely misunderstood back in US. Any Indian who lands in the US for the first time is taken a back by the greetings received from strangers in the office, elevator, even on roads, malls, parking lot and basically every damn place one can think off. After a few silent confused look kind of response, he learns to say Good. Soon, our man is taught by another fellow Indian, who has been there in the US for slightly longer time, that he needs to ask back the same question by saying "Fine. And you?". Only then does our man realise that all this time, people would have perceived him as rude. Although getting this culture in India is fine, even indianizing it with a nod of the head is fine, the thing I don't like is the selective use of it. This selective use renders us hypocrites. For some reasons, we don't seem to give the same smile to the watchman or a labourer or any other person whom we perceive as doing a "low" job. How often have we noticed - the way people shout at waiters, the way they talk with taxi drivers, salesman, servant, cook.... This list would go on as much as "low" jobs perceived.
As I walked out of the building lobby, I noticed the cute small children flowing g (article stopped here)
You must be wondering why there was an abrupt end in the previous sentence. This is what happens when you don;t write with the flow. I felt very strongly to write about a beautiful evening I spent in my society. It was about my thoughts when I saw the sky turn dark with sparkling stars from the light blue colour. It was about the thoughts that went through my mind when I saw children screaming and playing as I walked through the gardens towards the swimming pool. It was about the thoughts that were going in mind while I was swimming. The differences I could see in people. On one side of the swimming pool were a group of teens enjoying their usual gossip and masti . Reminded me of my college days when we used to sit around on the "katta" for hours, especially this time of the year when exams were over. On the other side of the swimming pool were a group of 40+ people working out in the gym, trying very hard to keep fit. This made me wonder how would it look if their positions were switched.
When I started writing the article, I barely managed to write about the thoughts I had while I was coming down in the elevator. My evening was yet to begin. :) . I slept on my task and thought I could write down the rest of the article tomorrow. As always, tomorrow never came. Now it would be wrong to write about those thoughts of which I have a very vague picture in my mind. It would be unfair on my part to make up or recollect the exact thoughts and try to write about how I felt on that day. Therefore I have given up on this article and from next time onwards would try to jot down my thoughts then and there.