Thursday, February 10, 2011

Out of Courtesy...

Wow! It sure has been ages since I last posted. I used to always think it's just been a few months. I now realize it has been over a year! Not good! Not good at all!
Needless to say, a lot must have happened over the past year, which unfortunately, I’ve been lax in recording down.
The freshest thing in my mind right now is the ongoing India trip.
Being in India with two friends, who have never been here before, has been quite an experience of sorts. There are tons of things that I could write about, but what has stayed uppermost in my mind is one specific incident.
While travelling from one place to another, very often we needed to ask for directions from people on the roads. Whether it be my dad who asked for directions or the taxi driver, there was usually no preamble and no acknowledgment. It was just direct questions and then a slight nod (if at all!) of the head before driving away.
One of the two friends travelling with me mentioned this when we reached our destination and I realized that I had been thinking the same thing. Have we as a nation forgotten our excuse me(s) and thank you(s)? Did we never really use them enough? Most foreigners, if not all, always thank the taxi drivers, rick drivers and other service people. Do we do that? Maybe sometimes we do, but surely not always. However, we must be doing it when we’re in other countries because it’s the norm! I can’t fathom why it isn’t the norm at home too.
I also think, what may be contrary to popular belief, that the younger generation does say a lot more please(s), thank you(s) and excuse me (s). Or does it have to do with the difference between mentalities in rural and urban areas?
The incident sure left me a little confused. I think most of us young Indians are cordial and polite enough when asking for directions, but maybe we should start acknowledging the people who drive us around too. We get angry when they refuse to take us someplace late in the evening; let’s also show our gratitude when they do take us!