Monday, February 02, 2009

Shleepy thoughts

I am really looking forward to going home and sleeping today. It promises to be a long, long day and I have to drive back home. Home is so far, far away. The other day, I had to go and check out a flat near Andheri station. A girl there wanted a room-mate, but for some weird reason I don’t want to shift just yet.

I’ve started running in the mornings now, at least three-four times a week, and I don’t want to break the routine just yet. Maybe in another couple of months. For now, I will have to handle the commute from New Bombay. It’s not really difficult, if one has a good head of sleep.

I don’t get why people at work can’t understand the seriousness of a sleeping disorder. How can you expect people to turn up to work early day after day, even if they stay late the night before? And if you stay late and come in late, you have to fill up a blooming form. Which is irritating. I hate forms.

I mean, if no forms have to be signed for me to stay back, then why should forms be signed to waive off late arrivals? It’s so callous.

A friend of mine had recently been to the U.S. When he came back, he mentioned how free a country India is. How people can actually break the law here and test limits. According to him, people in the U.S. follow the law because they are ‘afraid’. I think that is completely incorrect. People there follow the law because they know they will not get away with contravening them. It’s not fear, it’s respect. And it’s a pitiful Indian mentality to mistake respect with fear. Our idea of establishing importance is by ensuring inconvenience to the maximum number of people.

On another note…if I ever own a company wherein I require my people to work for eight hours or more, I will definitely provide places in my office to take a nap. How can you expect people to stay healthy and productive throughout the day without allowing their spines and backs to get some respite? Daft. I think from tomorrow I’ll just sleep in my car for sometime during lunch.

Now I am irritable, so I will list a few things that annoy me about the Indian mentality:

Crippling low self-esteem. That’s why we are hypocritical, defensive, quick to judge, slow to forgive, and lazy to appreciate. When I travelled to the States, or even to Jordan or Singapore, people were so appreciative of anything they liked. If they happened to like what I was wearing, they’d say that. If they liked my work, they’d say that. If they didn’t know or understand something, they’d ask a question straight-out. They wouldn’t cast sneaky glances around, feel as if they have to ration compliments, or think that it makes them stupid if they ask an obvious question.

Thoughtlessness. I don’t think we are an unintelligent lot, but we can’t seem to think beyond our noses. Therefore, there’s that idiot car that will try to cut lanes mid-way. Therefore, the irritating ladies who will hang out the doors of local trains and not let people walk in, even if the train is empty. Therefore, the stupid men and women who walk on the roads dangling their children by their arms. Therefore, the dumb pedestrians who will dash across a road right on the tip of a slope – the part where it is hardest for a car to manoeuvre.

Corrupt and dishonest. We are both because we are cowards. People without fear are people with integrity.

Whiners. Instead of taking responsibility for their own actions, they will make lists about what is wrong with the rest of the junta. Hmm, this hits closer to home than the others. :-D Comprenez-vous?


Aries said...

I agree on the point that its respect more than fear that keeps people from flouting laws. For instance even where there are no laws on littering, you wont feel like throwing a ticket stub on the street because its so clean. You end up waiting for the nearest dust bin.

I think I see that same respect to some extent in the Metro in Delhi. You get out of the grime of Chandi Chowk into the metro station there that's miraculously roomy and clean. Still!

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

"People there follow the law because they know they will not get away with contravening them. It’s not fear, it’s respect."

This is poor logic. The argument is right, the conclusion wrong. The argument implies that it is fear, not respect. Fear of the consequences of contravening the laws.

The Idle Devil said...

I agree with all you said. Put these same law-flouters in a different country to watch them obey any kind of law.

Mukta said...

Hi Aries, yes...that's true. In fact, I'd read about this one paper that said that sometimes, cleaning up areas in urban spaces actually helped in decreasing the crime rate. A clean area gave the impression that nonsense would not be tolerated here.

Hi Karthik, what I meant was that people respect the fact that no-one is above the law. And hence abiding by this authority that is fair and just is respectful.

Yes idle, that's true.

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

@Mukta: You've structured your argument and conclusion coherently now. So the logic part is correct.But the argument is untrue. The primary reason rules are not flouted is still the military efficiency and penalty of the law and order system. If fines weren't so punitive for traffic violations, and the implementation so rigid, the violations would be a lot more. This is what I've gathered from three years' experience here. However, as with all things second-natured, because this system has been in place for several generations, it might've become second-nature to obey the law for many americans, in stead of a conscious fear, as is the case with immigrants. Most immigrants, like from India, follow the rules while in the US, but will again violate them back home. Why? Because they followed in fear here. Not respect. Anyway, I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

"People without fear are people with integrity." Nice... I likes.

Lonely sky over the sea..... said...

quite a good take on "Indian mentality" but don't you think that you are stereotyping a clan of ppl to which you belong yourself but contradict. I mean I agree with what you say, its just that the use of "Indian mentality" to explain a set of behaviors which are there to change is not fair. I agree that the "westerners" are better n all but dear come to think of it even they have flaws in their society. US has always recorded the highest social crime rate though its not the most densely populated country. what do u say to that... if low self esteem is an Indian issue, then why is US the biggest consumer of antidepressants & cosmetics & anorexic drugs....... its just a way of living & believing, no matter how crude it is... there are bad practices no doubt, killing n injustice cant be justified, but to stereotype that all criminals are so coz they dont fear anything or are maniacs is not fair, a murderer is not always a villain....

Mukta said...

Hi anon,


Lonely, hey! hi lonely,

yes, i am aware that I am stereotyping...a clan to which I belong to. Of course, all people and societies and nations have their flaws, but I just seem to be rankled more by these ones than the others.