How we Behave

There are times when i go to watch a movie with my son. Of course, these movies are children’s movies, but then, i seem to enjoy them probably as much as he does. Having said that, that’s not what i am writing about. Today, i went to see a movie with him … Toy Story 3. Now, this is one of those few series of movies where the sequel is as good as the original (somewhat gives a reason for them to actually create sequels) but again, that’s not what i am writing about.

So what am i writing about? Going to the theatre was fun. The popcorn and water was fun, too. We had reached a few minutes early for the show, so we had to wait. Which is ok, too. This is about father-son quality time, remember? The movie is in 3D so we had to collect the 3D glasses before going for the movie. And this is what i am writing about.

Actually, not this, but rather, the way we react to things. Sonny was excited about the movie, so he decided that he would get in the queue to collect the glasses (you cant really trust papa with these complex things, can you?). Slowly we moved to the top of the queue. Now, this is not to say that the queue was really a queue. As Jug Suraiya had written a few days back, we Indians don’t believe in vertical queues, but rather, in horizontal queues. Gives each one of the feeling of being close to the gate, window, whatever is the object of the queue, without anyone getting the feeling that they are being discriminated against in terms of distance. This again is something that i am used to, sometimes having participated in this phenomenon.

So what am i writing about? Its simply this. Some people believe that they have the right to reach out and get what is being given, even if that means, no, not breaking the queue, but almost jumping above a child who is being a good boy, standing in queue to approach the window to collect the glasses which would enable him to watch the movie he has been looking forward to for a few weeks now. As we approached the place where the glasses were being distributed (you had to show your ticket and get the glasses), a gentleman walked up to the counter, collected his glasses and walked off. Then a lady, with an infant in her lap walked up to the counter, collected the glasses and walked away. What is interesting is that neither bothered to look at the child standing quietly in the queue. After all, what are these stupid things they call queues?

I tried sarcasm. It usually works. Told my son that aunty (or uncle … choose your pick, i don’t really think its much of a difference) is quite a bit of a hurry, so he should let her get into the queue ahead of him (between him and the counter in other words) and take the glasses. Not that either of them actually got into the queue. They just pushed whoever was in the queue aside, reached out to the counter, and got what they wanted. Your stupidity is to believe in abstract geometrical concepts like lines, which don’t mean much either way.

What i found amazing is that this is the Sunday evening movie-going crowd in Gurgaon. This is the famous “educated Indian middle class” which behaves in a way which one wouldn’t expect from any educated people. And its not just about getting into the queue ahead of people who just happen to be decent enough to not shout scream and so on. What’s also unnerving about this “education” is that “educated” people believe that they can push aside any child as long as its not their child. What this means is that i am here to only ensure that i can push my child through, its ok, whether i push aside any other child, it doesn’t really matter.

The question i have here is just this … is this what education is meant to be? Are these the values, world-views that education is supposed to give to the people it is supposed to uplift? Because here i couldn’t find too many values in the way these “educated” people were behaving. Or is this just the way things are meant to be … the jungle brought to the city? Or am i over-reacting?


3 Comments on “How we Behave”

  1. Nimmy says:

    No. You are not over-reacting. I am with you. I lose my temper N number of times a day when I see educated IT folks beat the queue to lifts, food, rest rooms and what not. It is one of my pet rants. I even sometimes lose sleep over it. Deep inside, we are still animals. Calls for a completely new education system. Mannerisms, morality, ethics, integrity, discipline, justice…..more than Maths, Science and History. Grrrr.

  2. thoughtsandme2004 says:

    Agree to an extent, Nirmala. We are animals, basically, but important we try to rise above. Though maybe its beyond education?

  3. […] is hijacked by our unusual over zealous competitiveness, the kind we only show when we have to line up for virtually anything (For example – for getting into or out of an airplane. Irrespective of […]

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