In India, Kindly Adjust
If ever there were a well adjusted country, it has got to be India. We define adjustment. It’s all over the place.
Ever been on a train? You stand in line to get a ticket, breathing a heavy sigh of relief on getting that prized confirmation. (Well, these days you wait with bated breath on-line to book tickets as soon as they are available, but that’s beside the point.)
On the appointed date you board the train, happy in the knowledge of having secured that train berth and looking forward to a peaceful trip. Ten minutes into the trip a happy family appears. Uncle Ji, Aunty Ji and two sweet little kids.
One girl. One boy. The perfect little Indian family. Hum Do Humare Do.
Uncleji promptly asks the kids to share your seat.
Arre bachchon uncle ke paas baith jao.
Bhai Saab, please adjust. Little children.
(Image courtesy: smh.com.au)
College going kids know what it feels like to be called uncle in front of a bogey full of passengers. Ah, the humiliation! And can you ever say no to little children? People who do that go to hell. They say Televisions there alternate between Rakhi Sawant and Arnab Goswami. On loop.
Going by the current aviation trends, we are probably just a couple of years away from airlines offering 2-for-1 seats, which will be just that – two people sitting on a single seat. Kindly adjust.
You reach your destination, and next day you are out on the road hoping to take your kids to the zoo. Not the Parliament, but the one with animals. The wild animals. Oh well, the place where they keep animals in cages, and there are no gun toting commandoes to intimidate you away.
Coming back to the point.
So you are out on the road driving happily. The road is two lanes each side, but today seems to be a particularly busy morning. There’s people all over the place.
How do we resolve this? Simple, we adjust. A two lane road is actually a misnomer. The road is capable of supporting five lanes, with additional space for the bikes, which can go pretty much anywhere, including the footpaths (and pedestrians). Sometimes if there isn’t too much traffic on the other side we can take that as well, which potentially means an additional eight lanes on the two lane road. Awesomeness.
We’ll even share our roads with the occasional herd of buffaloes out on a leisure trip.
Live and let live. Share the space. Kindly adjust.
You reach the zoo to find some happy Zebras, ten sharing the space meant for two. Even they get it.
Health-care? Split no hair.
We all know how India is a very populous country. The government can obviously not create enough hospitals (and beds therein) for the billions of people who live here (and continue to procreate and produce new ones faster than nature can get rid of them). We are a third world country. Adequate healthcare is not for us. But we adjust.
People might remember the recent outbreak of Dengue fever in Delhi. True to form, its citizens braved it out. Four people to a bed in government hospitals. We are already ill; how much worse can it get? Share the joy. Kindly adjust.
Of course, there’s no adjustment in death. If you die, you get the whole bed to yourself. Come on now.
Which reminds us of the famous Blue line buses plying on Delhi roads. Well, these are a joy to behold, and a prime example of adjustment. A thousand people in the space meant for 50 odd. The kind people from the Guinness book once came over to ratify a world record for bus occupancy. They just kept counting, but got tired and had to leave midway.
The only downside is that this does end up making the job very easy for terrorists in terms of the potential for damage by a single jihadi. Luckily no Americans ever travel in Blue lines. Indians. Well, they are dispensable.
You see, everything is adjustable in India. The price of Tomatoes to Toyotas. Government policies. Company accounts. Ticket sales figures for the Commonwealth games. All it takes is an open heart.
Loved this post? Didn’t? Kindly adjust!