The need to flout rules..

.. seems to be an Indian thing – or so some people I run into seem to believe.

On the day trip to White Scar caves, we ran into some ‘proud’ Indians. So proud they were, that they felt it necessary to announce it, ‘Rules are meant to be broken, yaar’, and ‘We are Indians’ – as if that meant that we could just ignore rules, or flout them, as we please. There was a rule of not taking pictures in certain places, and this group made it a point to ignore it, while loudly proclaiming that they could do it – because they’re Indians! It makes my heart break to see my nationality used as an excuse to not follow rules.

Sadly, this happens almost everywhere. We seem to have built up a reputation to not follow rules. I remember at a restaurant in Switzerland, the waitress coming and telling us very sternly that outside food is not allowed – we were not carrying food with us  – but clearly our compatriots have left such an impression that they felt the need to warn us. It felt really sad -but I could understand why she must have felt the need to say it to us. Clearly lots of people do things like this.

One time, we had a dance function, and they asked us mothers to stay out of the dressing area, while the dance teacher and other assistants would get the children ready. It was not big enough for all of us to fit in. Yes, we were not entirely happy, but understood it and  respected it. One of us,however, found a reason to go up there, and refused to leave. She said, she is ready to break all rules when it came to her child. That attitude makes me very uncomfortable. If you do not set an example to your child, how would you expect her to have a respect for rules and regulations? When as responsible adults we cannot respect rules, what can we expect from children who grow up seeing this?

If you have to break rules, I am sure nothing any of us say will make a difference – but please, please do not justify it by bringing in your nationality.

The Trials of Motherhood

PnA’s post, reminded me of how I have crossed over to the other side of the divide.  I am now a mother tut-tutting away at all that I consider ‘inappropriate’ for my daughter, while she looks for ways to flout my rules 😦

Poohi is extremely girly, in a way, I never was(and still am not). She loves nail colour, and long nails, and is absolutely unable to understand why she can’t have all of it.Thankfully, she is more fond of school than nail colour and all that jazz, so telling her that she can’t wear nail colour because school does not allow it, works.

This last holiday, however, she found a way to get around that rule.

And if nail colour was not enough, she also wanted some body art!

and some more 😦

Disclaimer – Those long nails are the effect of not letting someone’s mother cut nails 😦 Thankfully school is far more exciting than long nails, which is a mercy 🙂

The art of queuing

Apparently, Britain plans to make ‘art of queuing part of the citizenship test for immigrants’. It is no joke either. Apparently they feel that ‘lot of tension is caused by immigrants not understanding that they must wait in line for services rather than barging to the front’.

Not really surprising, isn’t it? How many times have we wished that people queued properly in India, instead of barging in, or trying to nudge their way to the front. Any way of getting ahead.  People on two-wheelers trying to wedge into that tiny bit of space between two cars in an effort to reach their destination one second earlier. But does all this really work? I have been stuck in traffic so many times, because at traffic lights, people try to get ahead in so many ways that it takes a while for the traffic to start flowing and just as it starts, the lights change again.  Even people getting into trains just barge in, without waiting for those trying to get off the train. Instead of poking and nudging their way ahead, if all of us just queued and waited, life would be so much more peaceful for all of us, wouldn’t it?

I remember the first time I saw the railway reservation queue in Bangalore – nice and orderly. After Jamshedpur, it was a nice change. And just because it was orderly, there were no raised tempers, fights or irritated tellers. And I do think it was much faster even though the number of people queuing was much more. I have no idea how it is now – but 8 or 9 years back – it was wonderful!

In Britain, I have seen people queuing up nicely for so many things. I wonder what makes people behave differently? Is it the attitude that is different or just that when a system gets put in place – people tend to follow it? Is it simply the lack of awareness that makes people behave in this way? What do you think?