Posted by Haris Gulzar on October 26, 2009
Since the start of this semester, I have had to travel through the public transport extensively. Four out of the six weekdays, I have a class at the other Campus of IBA for which I have to commute through the public buses. And then obviously I have to come back through the same mode of transport as well. This makes it eight trips a week, and at least six of these eight trips, I witness Impatience…
Our lives have become so busy and occupied that the tiniest of interruptions become so unbearable for us that we start using abusive words and even start folding our sleeves. Everyone seems so engaged with himself that he doesn’t even see if the other person that he’s talking to is an elderly person or a disabled person. Everyone is so confident to be right in whatever he is doing. Everyone is so assertive and convinced about his behavior and attitude that a small correction from someone pinches him hard. And above all, the social classes come in to action right when they shouldn’t. Money starts speaking right where it shouldn’t. Or is it me perceiving things this way?
I’d like to specifically point out to some of the incidents I witnessed myself. A student, seemed to be in his early twenties, climbed the bus and sat next to a very elderly person. While he was sitting, he mistakenly hit his elbow to the elderly who got irritated and asked him to be careful. The aged uncle definitely did not like it, although it wasn’t the fault of this young boy. But this young man, instead of apologizing because of being younger (that’s what I think he should have done), very rudely asked the elderly to mind his own business. The elderly complained of being hit by the elbow of this young man, and this student shouted back claiming to be innocent and asked the elderly to keep quiet, and started talking to himself (definitely negative about the aged uncle). Although he wasn’t at fault initially, but I’d say, he was not only at fault when he misbehaved later, but displayed ill manners and disrespect to the elderly.
Similarly, another student got himself scuffling with the conductor over student discount rates. The student probably didn’t show up the student card and when the conductor asked for the full conveyance charges, the student started using abusive words, something that have become an every day usage. To me it always seems that people are in search of a moment where they can get rid of their anger and throw it out on someone. Neither did the student that I just mentioned, nor did the conductor stop using abusive words, each of them feeling proud of hearing their families get ridiculed in public (sorry to have used these terms but that’s exactly what was happening out there :-(). Almost always there has to be a third party involvement to stop the fight. People seem so ready to fight with their hands if need be, although they are always equipped with all sorts of fighting words as well to give them a good start at the opponent :-(.
Buses usually stop at some main stops for more than 5 minutes to get some passengers and to fill up the vacant seats before they start again on their journey. This definitely irritates the passengers who’ve been sitting in for long. There is a whole collection of abusive words you get to hear if the bus keeps on standing at a stop for more than three or four minutes. This is almost an every day routine, and everyone knows that their efforts (if this really is an effort) wont bring any success, but still, probably just to satisfy the inner-selves and to have a feeling that they got themselves lighter by abusing someone (the bus driver this time), people do it. People bang in at the door and at the windows, hoping for the bus to start moving somehow.
More often than not, money gets to speak as well, and at times loudly too. You get to hear the statement “Do you even know who I am?”, or “Do you know who you’re talking to?” very often. These are attempts, although to no avail (almost always) to put the opponent on back foot, but doesn’t it really show where you’re coming from? Doesn’t it show your “real” background. And above all, saying this to a person who everyone knows is a bus conductor, who earns his bread working all day in this heat running from the ladies compartment to the gents compartment and vice versa, collecting travel fare tickets, doesn’t this statement just say everything about “who you are” and “who we’re talking to”.
What really has become of us? Why have we become so impatient. Or have we?