11 Nov 2006

In Search of the Silver Lining

Posted by Oblivion in General | 2:38pm


They were in their teens, five of them. There were at least twenty-odd other passengers in the bus, but these five thought - or at least their behaviour suggested so - they owned the bus. Denim trousers, demin jackets with those I-don't-give-a-damn kind of captions, and all kinds of rings dangling from all sorts of body parts, three guys who don't need a dash of grass to feel high, two girls whose navels lay bare so you can spot without any fucken trouble - one of the more common gangs of teenagers.

A kannada FM channel was playing on the radio, and the destination was about 40-minutes away. Radio wasn't playing loud; you could comfortably hear a fellow passenger's voice from a distance. With those five busy in gossip-orgy, nobody thought they were paying any attention to the radio. However, it wasn't so. One of the girls voiced her impatience with the boring kannada channel and the guy next to her was up to grab the opportunity. He beckoned the lady conductor and told her to change to some english channel. She was not pleased. "There are many other passengers, we cannot change for a few. Sorry", she said. The girl couldn't take it. The guy got only more motivated. He walked straight to the driver and made him change the channel. Confidence or brashness? Depends.

I wasn't enjoying the kannada channel myself, so I liked it, after all, when it was changed, but that is besides the point.

The right or wrong of it is not my concern, the world is fucked up anyways. I don't think highly of etiquette, tolerance and all that shit, but I do feel the world would be a better place if people appreciate appropriate behaviour in public spaces. The guy's deed would've been quite fine if he was in a homogeneous group - friends, for example. If you are with a group of friends and you insist on your preferences, yell, booze, fuck, it has its place, for the group is more tolerant and understanding of your choices and tastes. To expect the same of a heterogeneous group in a public space is definitely arrogant.

To voice one's opinions is verily a right and should very much be appreciated, but to impose it on the group is a disturbing trait. And if the world should become better, the young should be all the more expansive, respecting one another's space. But this seems to be becoming an obsolete trait. I don't mean to suggest that one should put up with majority's choices. Where the choice is imposed, it's fine for an individual to stand firm against. But where it is not being forced upon, and where a chap has the freedom to walk out of the group, the individual is being despotic if he expects the group - specially so if it is heterogeneous - to agree with his preferences. "Be assertive", says everybody - and it's only, unsurprisingly, misinterpreted. Be sure of your opinions and conclusions to the point of becoming totally closed to others. You are the smartest chap on the planet and everybody else is an asshole.

What kind or amount of tolerance/consideration for others can you expect from people who can't adapt to a little discomfort on a 40-minute bus (volvo bus at that) drive? It's quite fair if you prefer your drawing-room comforts wherever you go, but it's a thing of regret if you cannot adapt to anything less. You don't have to accept unconditionally, but you have to know where to draw the line when you expect the pleasures of your private space to be offered when you are in a public space. This isn't just a one-off event. Such events happen regularly. CM's son creates a scene at a hotel and his dad - the CM - justifies it saying, "boys will be boys"! The case is tweaked and the hotel is taken to task instead! Young chaps exploiting their connections with the powerful is a very prevalent phenomenon. These are the chaps who would be tomorrow's cops, lawyers, bureaucrats, policymakers, teachers, and that goddamn species called voters.

We are a pampered species. Megalomaniacal and insane, we believe that the Big Brother in the skies up above has nothing better to do than keep accounts of our fucken deeds and misdeeds, that all those glittering objects splattered in space exist with the sole objective of shaping our destinies! Everything revolves around the damn "I, me, and myself".

Fuck! Big Brother save us, for we don't seem to be doing much to save ourselves anyways!


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