Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Too F****d Up to Say Sorry?

Where are people’s manners? Yesterday I was standing in a train compartment on the way home and reading Suketu Mehta’s “Maximum City” (of which I am planning to write a review, so watch this, hm, hallowed space).

Usually the train is very crowded and I rarely get space enough to hold a book, let alone read it. If I read, I have to have my eyes close to it, as if I am myopic or something. But today it isn’t packed like sardine boxes, so I am a bit adventurous holding a book and reading as I am lurching along.

So, where was I?

Yes, I was reading “Maximum City” and this man knocks on me bodily and the book goes sprawling, pages fluttering. I look at him. He looks at me, spoiling for a fight; I can see the veins on his temples throb.

But he doesn’t apologize, which would have been the simplest, easiest, gracious, and decent thing to do.

I stare at him some more, hoping against hope that he would, at least, muster up some courage to say sorry.

No he doesn’t. He is preparing himself for battle, unsheathing his sword. I can imagine his lame excuses.

“I didn’t do anything, the train did it.”

“Why are you reading a book in this crowded compartment? You have no right to.”

“I am always right and you are wrong.”

“You think I will apologize to a you? Hah!”

God! What have we come to? Are we such a crude and bestial people that we can’t bring ourselves to do a common courtesy as saying sorry? A few nice words were all I wanted, to get over it, consign it to the past. When it didn’t come, I was simmering inside without knowing it.

Ah, well, thus marches the merry caravan of life!

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