Society

Manners, please?

Etiquettes
Written by Parnal Vats

Before I begin writing, I should make it amply clear that I am a lovely person with an open heart, and this is not one of those attempts to go all nuts on any community or a group. I am a concerned citizen which is why I really want to get this out of my chest.
Alright, act 1 Scene 1- An Ice cream seller who hails from Begusarai, Bihar has been working right in front of my apartment for years- sweet guy. But all these years, he still hands over the wrapped ice candies and cornettos with great care. He has been really constant with one thing- colouring our streets. No, I am not cuckoo as yet. He literally does paint so many walls and streets with his red tobacco laden paan. He takes great pride in making a moronic big O- face, and gurgling it out, anywhere he wants.
Act 1 Scene 2- I am in the metro. Sitting a few seats away from me is a stout lady with a harmless baby face. She is travelling with her 13 year old son, shouting at him every now and then in Maithili, probably a way of showing her affection because she is totally gaga for her Prince- his name is Prince. He is the pineapple of her eye. I will stop. So suddenly Prince starts scratching his butt in a confused fashion, pulling one end of his knickers’ waist up to his chest. The lady whispers something in his ear- he does the same. She does the same again. I think they are playing Chinese whispers- only two people- great swag yo. Suddenly Prince seems so confident; he struts towards the shut doors of the metro in motion. He stands and pulls down his denim knickers. No. No. People start talking. Everyone has this figured by now that the boy is going to pee there. They try to say a word or two to the lady, where she rattles on- “array bahccha pisaab hi toh kar raha hai kaunsa yahan tumhaaye pass ayega”. Meanwhile, that corner was already cursed with Prince’s glorious piss. Yes, he actually did pee there. People looked surprised for about two stations after which the mother- son got off. (I might sound all cracked up about it, but I had never been more disappointed.)
Act 1 Scene 3- Metro again. I am facing one array of seats at the beginning of the women’s coach; standing quietly trying to soak in every word of this book I just started reading. Suddenly I hear a distinct coarse yell, she is unstoppable. This middle aged woman with Bihari diction is cursing a girl. It is nasty. So I ask a woman standing right next to me, “What just happened?” The young girl almost tripped because the aunty was pushing her, with her hands dug in the girl’s back, the girl politely told aunty that she was hurting and she stepped away. Aunty could not take it so she started shouting like an uncivil maniac at the top of her voice, cursed her in Hindi and was just a step short of hitting her. In fact the entire gang bashed up the poor girl. The girl was quiet all this while, listening with embarrassment. Another lady told them to take light and stop shouting. The aunty from Bihar started cursing her, too. Well, the uncouth woman only stopped when the girl got down at a station. I am sure that is not where she initially wanted to get down in fact.
If it still looks unobvious enough, I am talking about people from Bihar being devoid of polite consideration and courteousness. This does not mean all of them but most of them. Of course there are educated Biharis- probably so refined, they would make me or you sound like crass. But the point is that Biharis in general are inconsiderate in public spaces. Nobody’s asking these people to move back or get locked in their “own state” Bihar or even offending them. There is maybe a behavioural crisis here and instead of shunning it as a non fact or going in the defensive, they should probably have the courage to face the problem square and work on it. Deal with it. Again, not saying all the people who are uncouth are Biharis. As a fourth generation Delhi-ite, I love my city and my heart cries tears in anguish when I see people crushing it, and this goes to all the people who make a mess. It is your country after all, respect it a little please?

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About the author

Parnal Vats

Besides having a unique name that made her spend most of her life carving out repetitive explainations for the same, Parnal has a deep inclination towards writing. She loves reading books, writing poems and studying International Diplomacy and Indian politics. Being a law student, she is annoyingly opinionated most of the times- but this is a sincere effort to excercise her freedom of speech and she hopes her words reach out and make many hearts reflect!

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