I went to get some work done today, work of a mundane nature. I walked to the commercial centre nearby, substituting my daily walk with this one, deliberately taking the path that led through the mango garden so that I can catch some greenery. The mango garden had deteriorated over the years. The tiles are broken, the seats have been taken away, the pond where swans glide is dirty and green with algae. I don’t come here much these days, preferring a different route to the hills.
The following are the misdemeanor I saw in a matter of a single hour, which, somehow, points to how undisciplined we are. We break a law when we can, and we don’t care about others.
As I was crossing to the mango garden, careful about the oncoming traffic, two bikes carrying pillion riders come up from behind me without even honking. I raise my hands in protest, for they could have hit me. They merely smile.
Then at the commercial centre the owner of a rubber stamp making shop tells me that the said job would take Rs 300. When he writes the bill he makes it Rs 350. When I ask him he says he had said Rs 350. Saying three hundred and three fifty are phonetically far, far, apart. The experience mentioned above has upset me and I am all antsy with rage. I know he is lying, the bastard. So I argue with him and shout at him. But he seems unrelenting. Take it or leave it. Since the need is mine, I pay him.
When I am waiting in queue for an auto rickshaw several people come and stand in front of me on the road. They aren’t following the queue system, though there is a small kiosk where the queue is supposed to begin, where I am standing. As soon as a rickshaw comes they jump in, leaving me gaping after them. This went on for around half-an-hour before I decided that I would do the same thing. What could I do, except break the rules or stand there for a few hours?
This shows we will break a rule when we can. And, funny part is, we do this without knowing. What would become of a country that can’t obey the rules? I don’t know.