1. Here’s a puzzle with straightforward answer but many come up with incorrect solutions in real life: Imagine yourself seating on a chair (not extremely comfortable but decently so) in a closed air-conditioned room for an hour doing almost nothing. There are around a hundred more normal looking human beings in a similar situation in the same room and the room doesn’t have enough space for all of you to stand and roam around in it. Also, let’s say there are about a hundred bags (corresponding to each human) stacked up in the racks above. Now there’s an announcement that the doors of the room shall be opened in five minutes from now. What would you do? :
A. Remain seated for the doors to open.
B. Stand up, squeeze yourself into the little standing-space with others, pick up your heavy bag, and keep hitting yourself and others with elbows and bags.
Most of those who travel by plane between Bangalore and Mumbai choose option B immediately after the plane lands. Those who sit at the window-seats, stand with bent backs and hit their heads against the rack above. Sad part is that they don’t reach the airport any sooner than those who choose option “A”. The bus that takes the passengers to airport doesn’t differentiate based on caste/gender/common-sense-level.
Don’t let the opportunity slip by, to make eye-contact with those who stand, next time you are on board. They would be embarassed at their troublesome situation, but their ego won’t allow them to sit back.
2. If you have a friend who constantly complains of honking on road while he drives, before you sympathize, please check which lane is his favorite. Driving safely is a virtue. But driving at 40km/hr in the rightmost lane is a crime in a country like India where the square-feet road per head is agonizingly low. Sit with your friend while he drives and if he is of the safe-but-drives-in-right-lane kind, point out the five-cricket-pitches of distance between his and the next car ahead. That is the amount of national real estate he wastes every times he takes his vehicle on the road. And if a white Santro takes over from the left side, honking incessantly as if to punish your friend, say “Hi” to the driver and I shall wave my hands too.
Take your friend to a park where an entire bench is rendered useless because a couple is sitting at its corner, indulging in activities that better be carried out somewhere else. Such abuse of public property should not be tolerated and hence your friend should drive in the left lane.
3. This third point is probably taking intolerance too far. I am a sucker for Andhra-food and eat a lot of rice despite not being from east or south India. However, most of my last ten years have been spent in these very parts of India. This means I have spent a lot of time looking at people eating rice, mostly with hands. Here’s a tip for them to increase their efficiency.
Do not try to wipe your plate clean to the last grain of rice if you are going to take the next helping in the same plate. Do it only in your last serving. Once you notice that the rice in your plate needs replenishment, go and help yourself with more before your run your hands to every corner of the dish. If you are hell-bent on not letting a single grain go waste, let me assure you that the amount of rice you eat remains the same even if you clear the last grain of rice only in your last serving. So no food gets wasted and you do the hard work only once and not thrice (if you took 3 servings).
Another related observation, applicable to whole of India and the world population in general, is the way non-vegetarian food with bones is consumed. Contrary to the economic principle of diminishing marginal returns, the last bits of flesh stuck to the bones are pursued with extreme effort and greed. One sees a lot of teeth and forks involved once the piece of chicken is 99% consumed. To the naked eye, the difference would have gone unnoticed, had someone removed the two grams of crumbs before serving the piece.
But I guess eating up the last bits has its joys. The “diminishing marginal returns” principle doesn’t apply in this case, much like the way one values the last days of a long holiday much more than the initial ones.