Category Archives: November 2011

Man, some people are just RUDE!!

I sometimes bump into this woman on my way back from work. Whenever she sees me, she asks me one, and only one question. “You look tired, are you unwell?” For a long time I kept telling myself ‘aww, how sweet. She is so concerned for me.’ And even though I didn’t really feel tired or unwell, I would politely reply, ‘yeah, it’s been an awfully tiring day at work’.


But, to be honest, I don’t quite enjoy being told everyday that I don’t seem okay, and it is now bugging the hell out of me. Yesterday, she said, ‘You are getting dark circles under your eyes. Have you been partying too much or are you sick?’ I could have gone and fretted in front of the mirror for an hour, but this time I took my face closer to hers and asked, ‘are they as dark as yours or even worse?’ The last I know, she had booked a doctor’s appointment for a check-up.

See, I know you are still wondering what’s the big deal in what she said, and, in all probability think my reply was rude. Well, yes it was, but so was her question. We, in India, are taught a skewed and rather limited definition of the term ‘rude’, while we are growing up. We are told that if a person raises his voice or speaks in a harsh, unpleasant way, it is rude.

So we tend to focus only on the packaging of the words and how they are being delivered, more than what is being said! We don’t realise that it is totally unacceptable even when the ‘packaging’ is super sweet but the content smacks of nothing but ill-manners.

A colleague of mine was visiting his hometown recently when a woman relative asked him what he does, for a living. ‘I work in a newspaper,’ he replied. “Achha? Kitna daal lete ho?” she asked. Wondering whether she mistook him for the newspaper vendor (in his place, I would’ve wondered if she was fond of making obscene remarks!), he stood quiet. And then she elaborated. ‘Har mahiney kitna daal lete ho bank mein?’ (how much goes in your bank every month?). Ahh, so she was asking him about his salary. No big deal, you may again say. Damn rude, I think.

[stextbox id=”info”]Calmness Tips to Deal with Rude Questions of People[/stextbox]

Sadly, we see nothing wrong in crossing the boundary and asking fairly personal questions of people, sometimes even strangers. Well, I think it’s unfair to put up with them in the name of politeness. Here are some of the rude questions we Indians specialise in asking, as if it’s the compulsory thesis for a Phd in ill-manners. Since I don’t wish to be seen as advocating rudeness a la ‘an eye for an eye’,

I suggest two possible ways of coping up with the question — the polite answer (TPA), and the I-am-taking-you-on answer (TYOA). Choose yours, at your own risk.

1 What’s your salary?
TPA: (sheepish smile) “God’s been kind. Bas kaam chal jaata hai. It’s just the start of the career, but it will get better in a few years…etc etc” (ugh)
TYOA: I’m happy you asked. Do you want a loan? I charge really high interest but can afford to lend big amounts at a short notice. I didn’t know you were having trouble with finances. How much do you need? (disclaimer: don’t try with the tribe of chachis, maamis, mausis etc or your parents would kick you out)

2 When are you having kids?
(or in desi style: ‘good news’ kab de rahe ho?)
TPA: Smile. ‘When the right time comes. These things are in God’s hands.’ (go, cry in a corner)
TYOA: (Looking them in the eye): We are waiting to see how your kids turn out before we decide. And feeling very anxious at the way it’s going so far.

3 To the parents/siblings of a girl who got married recently – ‘She’s happy, no? (khush toh hai nah?)
TPA: Yeah, she calls me every evening and for two-and-a-half hours, tells me how happy she is.
TYOA: No, yaar. She tried to poison her mother-in-law yesterday but the neighbour’s stupid cat drank the milk. I’ve asked her to wait before the next attempt.
4 Have you noticed that you’re getting fat? How much do you weigh?
(look down embarrassingly): Yeah, don’t ask. I’ll start working out from this New Year.
TYOA: Shit, really? It totally skipped me because the mirror at home is broken. 450 kgs isn’t much. And the paunch is the latest style trend in the west. You should try it, though it’s not easy.

5 Why exactly did you break-up?
 We were just not compatible. It was not meant to be.
TYOA: (very seriously): She wanted to try her luck in Hollywood. And I was always in favour of our own cinema. You’ve got to be patriotic. No? By the way, the idiot-store called. They are running out of you. You better rush.

6 To a heavily pregnant woman: ‘Oh God, you look huge. Are you having twins?’
TPA: (sheepish): No, just one, a little healthy, I guess.
TYOA: No. Are you?

Okay, fine. My answers above are rude and perhaps you should not try them at all. But I hope you do get the point. Do not venture so much into peoples’ personal lives that you leave them awkward and embarrassed when it is you who is at fault here. If they feel like sharing personal stuff with you, they would do so on their own. Let’s try and not be experts in ill-manners. This is one Phd we should not mind dropping out of, mid-way. Whatsay?

Sonal Kalra is considering cosmetic surgery for non-existent under-eye circles. Maybe that woman indeed has the power to see things that others can’t. Will ask her about her family background in detail tomorrow.

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Excuse me, aisi bhi kya jaldi hai?

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This column has been published in HT City’s 13/11/11 edition. Here is an excerpt;

Haylo good people, I’m back. A lot of you cursed me for not writing last week. But what to do, the batteries of mind were totally discharged and I had to head elsewhere in the quest for eternal wisdom. It’s another thing that I’ve dutifully returned a failure, and shall continue to be an epitome of absurdity. Because I realised that all those stories about people leaving home in search for ‘answers’ are just those — stories. In reality, when you leave home, you usually come back with empty pockets, aching legs and constipation

Read Full Column

All Indians are born with special trait – Jaldi. We are always in hurry all the time and mostly for no good reasons as Sonal Kalra has very nicely described in this column. We have become so much used to doing everything in hurry that we can not imagine a life ever going at a normal slow pace. Crossing a road or queuing up at airport or even within aircraft are too good examples to show and prove the SQ we are born with. I am not denying that not  every one is same and this holds true in this case as well. But even then, we find a majority of people doing so. Mostly because even though they don’t have any intentions to do so but still do it subconsciously without even realizing that they are doing it. That’s the strongest reason we get to see sudden rush of people who start queuing up at all such places.


Well, only exception here could be the example of cinema goers who still have some what reason to be in hurry. It is a common scenario that these cinema halls owners do start the show even while people are still entering the hall and have not yet occupied their respective seats. Even the new-age multiplexes are no exception. These hall owners are always in time crunch and hence in hurry to start and finish their shows well in time. Obviously, a person who has spent  a substantial amount on buying the movie ticket would not like to lose on even a few seconds of movie. That reason drives them to hurriedly making queues to enter the auditorium.

But then on the more serious note, do we need to blame just ourselves for all that. Isn’t there much important underlying reason that has made most of Indians to be always in hurry. In fact, this starts right from the time we are born.  Ofcourse, blame it again on ‘population’ but isn’t it true that all of us have been since our birth. In fact, many of us even hurried while taking birth and must have arrived on this planet only by c-section. . When we became ill, there was a rush to the doctor and hospitals. Then, as we grew, there was a rush to get admitted in good school. In the school, we hurried up to keep our top positions. We passed out from school with even more mad rush because by then you already have loads of uncountable people around you with whom you have to compete with to get to a good college and a subject of your choice. This madness even continued to after college when most of us mistakenly thought  probably now with getting a job life will return to normal slow pace and there will be no hurry there after. But what we fail to realize actually is that at every stage the amount, intensity of this ‘jaldi’ madness only increases, as more and more number of people keep joining you at each new stage. So, getting into a good job and company, getting a promotion and/or increment, finding a suitable life partner, getting married .. so on and so forth. This is just an endless list of things which have programmed Indians to be always in hurry or ‘jaldi’. So, it hardly matters for them if that is required or not. In fact, where is the time to even think about it. We are always in hurry to just do it before any one else could do it.

The new age lifestyle and gadget-full life has only worsen the whole situation, Today, in general, mankind  is moving at fastest ever speed and the rate at which this speed is increasing is also quite alarming. Probably, that is the reason today most of us do talk and have started believing in the theory of this world coming to en end soon. Many of spiritual gurus have also their own theory to prove this also. – when you reach the highest point of anything, the only thing required to start afresh is to come down to the starting point. Hence, “coming down” is totally inevitable.

So, let us start moving a bit slow and rather enjoy the life in its normal pace unless and until we are in hurry and don’t want to miss out on the chance of witnessing the event of “kayamat” (world coming to en end) for ourselves.