Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why is the Indian Citizen angry all the time?

Frustration !
The average Indian is frustrated. Very frustrated. All the time. Why? That's simple. Can you not see around?

S/he is angry (frustrated) because there are.....
Too many problems to face. Too many rivals to compete with. Too many schemers around to hijack his/her resources. Too many deterrents to discourage her/him. Too many opinion-givers. Too many advantage-seekers.  Too many people to please. Too much corruption. Too much inflation. Too many traffic jams. Too many disruptions in work (load-shedding/bandh). Too much paper-work. Too many suspicious minds around. Too many nay-sayers. Too many gossip-mongers. Too much external control over life. Too many wagging tongues. Too much exhaustion, in being too diplomatic with too many 'friends'. Too much information, bombarded too often, from too many sources. Too complex a life. Too overwhelming. Too much entropy!
The average Indian is always in a bad mood. Extremely defensive. S/he sighs in private, yet bursts out in public.

Let's see in detail, what makes us lose our cool, how we can reduce the temperatures. 
1) Address the other person. (99% of us miss out on this!)
Not using the vocative (8th) case, i.e. not addressing the person before speaking, esp. a stranger, is the first mistake in inter-personal interaction. In Sanskrit, it is called sambodhan (Grammar : Ashtami Kaarak), which percolates in all Indian languages.
This is very very important to first establish a ground for the conversation. At least say, "Sir/Ma'am/Bhaiya/Dada/Didi/Bhau/Behenji/Anna/Akka/Chiti/Uncleji/Auntiji/Paaji/Mausiji/Chachaji"; and then, speak. Including the name before the 'relational' address is even better. Don't talk out of the blue. The person addressed will be caught off guard and will be put off momentarily. S/he will be thinking, "Why should I be kind enough to listen to you?". Address and then speak. Make the other person feel important and valued, and then see the results! Being polite works : big-time. Krodh ka kavach Vinamrata ke vaanon ko nahin rok sakta. (The shield of rudeness/arrogance cannot resist the missiles of politeness). Include a shadow of a smile on your face. Make the other person happy. You will be ultimate gainer.
Most people treat others rudely, esp. those in a lower socio-economic class. "Oye, jaa chai le ke aa!". Replace it with : "Dada, mere liye chai le aana, please? ( + quick smile)". See the difference? You can hear and feel and see the difference; both when you say, and in that what follows.
Careful : the following are NOT addresses : "Oye", Abe", "Suniye", "Hey", "Excuse me","Hello".
2) Respect the other person on the road. (Most people get angry in traffic and spit expletives)
Don't intersect the other person's streakline except at a crossing. Do not overtake desperately. Why do we hate each other on the road, as if thinking, "Arrey hatto na, kahan se aaye beech mein?" Obey all rules, esp. go by the left side of the road! Yes, too many people forget the basic rule!
  • Do not cross the (imaginary) divider, please. Do not take shortcuts at intersections : it irritates the others no end. 
  • Use your share of the road and no more. It is not your private garden.
  • Slow down at the crossing : don't be a despo (desperate). If necessary, stop. You won't look chicken-hearted, I promise. 
  • Be a gentleman on the road. Be kind to others.  Don't block the other person's way (that's selfish). Do not go below a minimum speed: it irritates the one behind you.
  • On a two-wheeler, use your hand to signal.
  • Do NOT turn without signalling. Signal 5 seconds before you turn. And please follow your streamline in the turn. If you are turning left, you turn by the inner circle (streamline maintained). But when you turn right, you should take the outer circle and NOT the inner circle which is the streamline for the opposite traffic (Almost everyone violates this).  Don't change lanes 10m before the turn, it confuses/disturbs the traffic behind you. 
  • Be considerate. If someone is turning to take a turn, intersecting your streamline, after signalling, do NOT honk. It is really rude. Slow down instead.
  • Don't take shortcuts, esp. at the cost of someone else's streamline. You will hear a swear/curse.
  • Slow down. Be in your speed limit. Slow down further when pedestrians are nearby.
  • As a pedestrian, use the footpath/sidewalk. Don't stroll as if it is your private driveway.

3)  Leave sarcasm/advice/intrusion out of inter-personal interactions. Leave it for accusing the government policies. Being sarcastic puts off the other person, and s/he does sloppy work in the next few hours/days. The man-hour efficiency slides. And you know what happens next. Saying "I have been busy" sometimes becomes an indirect sarcasm, as if, the other person is not busy! Now, sarcasm has a snowballing effect. Little sarcasm from you brings a little more from the other. You react with a bigger sarcasm, and the other retaliates with an even bigger. So....NEVER be sarcastic. Don't even start. If you know someone is doing something wrong, say it directly and ASAP. Sarcasm is a 20th century norm : come off it.
Don't advice people. No one likes to be told what to do : everyone has a brain. Stop your running commentary (esp. true for moms). No wonder teenagers snap at their over-advising parents. It is also taken as an intrusion on privacy. When you advice, it shows you are underestimating the person's decision-making ability. No one wants to feel inferior. Advice can be only given from a boss to a subordinate, or a teacher to a student; in private, with appointment. When asked for advice, give it indirectly with all benevolence.
Do not ask too many questions : it is called nose-poking. When you ask too much, people are usually polite; but they are thinking "Why is this person asking so many questions?!", and then they ask "Tum itne sawaal kyun pooch rahe ho?". Asking beyond courtesy is often construed as intrusion rather than care/concern.
4) Do your share in team-work. Take a little more responsibility than required. Do not be a dormant team-member/partner. They other people will think , "Arrey woh to kaam kar hi raha na, main kyun zyada load loon?". Take initiatives (for God's sake!). Remember it is derogatory to be a sleeping partner (as opposed to the working partner). Doing less than your share gleans disrespect. Then you say "Koi mera respect nahin karta", increasing your own frustration. The less your contribution, the less is your visibility, and thus, less respect. The team may be as small as you family or as large as your city. Passivity is pronounced as 'parasite'.

My university had an Indian Students' Association. It gathered us during Holi, Diwali, movie trips, and organized freshers' accommodation and airport pick-ups. It needed volunteers every semester, esp. by the end of summer. It sadly got very few volunteers. There too many of us who did not volunteer, yet those who said "ISA is not running well". Hello! Why don't you contribute to it? There is something called "Be the change you want to see". If India is not running well, why don't you do your share, and also encourage others to do their share? (I had been a volunteer in ISA for one summer). Please get rid of sulking "Saara kaam main hi kyun karoon". And don't give others the opportunity to sulk : do you share. 

5) Respect the other person's privacy. Don't disturb people.
  • Remember to be quiet in residential areas after 9 pm, and before 7 am. 
  • Don't not drop in at others' place at any random time. Inform earlier, and be on time. And do not overstep the pre-decided duration : it upsets the other party's schedule. 
  • Do not walk into a room/office without knocking. 
  • Don't assume the other person has "free-time" by default (even if the person is a housewife). You cannot control their personal agenda. The laid-back days of the previous generation is over, and we  all are busy (we all have our running shoes are on). 
  • Stop chipko-fying in SMS/online. Repeated pinging shows joblessness.  

6) Trash it!
  • Delete unnecessary emails immediately, or prepare to sink in it.
  • Throw out daily and weekly trash, or stay in a "trash can".
  • Donate old clothes, utensils, hardware, no-more-in-use items : simplify your household and prevent stress. 
  • Trash negative memories : keep your blood pressure down. 

7) Behave yourself in the society.
  • Use public toilets with full hygiene. Don't leave the next user angry/disgusted. 
  • Don't spit openly. 
  • Never shout. You will get back counter-shouts. (Snowballing again)!
  • Never use your limbs. Leave that for animals and uncultured people to fight with their paws. 
  • Stop suspecting others too much. No one is your enemy, chill.
  • Be polite. Be kind. Say "Please", "Thank you". Smile. 
  • Speak without sounding 'demanding'. Sound like you are requesting instead of ordering. No hierarchical attitude, please!
  • Remember everybody deserves respect. 

8) Be professional. 
  • Return missed calls within 12-24 hours. 
  • Reply to emails within 24-48 hours.
  • Be punctual : waiting sucks!
Tango Face Plain Clip Art
"Yeh democracy hain, main kuch bhi kar sakta hoon. Tere baap ka kya jaata hain".
Don't take democracy so seriously. There ARE some rules. Kindly follow them. What else are "good manners"?

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