As a growing metro city, Bangalore has been the central hub for numerous foreign investors not only in IT infrastructure sector but also in real estate, retail and other sectors. Consequent developments have enormously increased the crowds coming from different parts of the country to this city to find a career that can escalate their living standards. Besides climate being one of the primary reasons to migrate, the umpteen number of choices of foreign companies for career prospects are another major reason. The high rise glass façade fancy buildings, neatly trimmed landscapes, widened roads, international retails, A/C buses, branded cars, etc; is the outside picture of a so called corporate business parks and areas. And the areas housing these multi-national corporate companies are usually filled by the well-educated techie youth (80% of them) groomed and clad in swanky formals with geeky gadgets, identity tags (which have almost become part of the apparel), and puffed up rucksacks (for women it would be another added load of a vanity bag).
With so many educated and corporate cultured people around, things should really be organized and easy. Because, we have been said and taught that education is primary requirement to season and civilize any individual. But the scenario here seems absolutely otherwise. No matter how much educated people are and what sort of eminent positions they hold, they still prove that they are part of a chaotic Indian metro culture. In the assumption of living in Indo western fusion culture, most of them seem to live in a confused state with lost sense of morality and basic manners. But this inside chaos is hardly noticed.
The pandemonium begins right from using the public transport for commuting. For those who travel through public transport, my story wouldn't seem amusing at all. The crazy mobbing crowds at the door step when the bus halts isn't very new to us, and if the bus driver stops at 10 or 20 feet away from the designated bus stop, it’s even worse…the crowds get berserk in chasing the bus. This practice is still followed ritually. Real muscle strengths are at combat at the door step because, the one who is best at muscling away can get into the bus a few seconds earlier and can manage to grab a seat, this process may break glasses, and leave some bruises, unless you are lucky or too lethargic to rush or a bit dignified to snarl in. Then starts the cat fighting for seats, if one of them misses the close corner of the seat while adjusting to sit, he/she will be displaced in seconds. Meddling and careless hauling of the heavy bags (as I mentioned that 90% of them carry rucksacks) is very obvious of course. I always wonder what those heavy rucksacks would include apart from the slim laptops. Not sure if it is a crazy trend to carry two bags or a matter of convenience. I find it funny when people don’t take out their identity tags even after getting out of the office…as if their tags would give some concession in ticket or if that is considered as a matter of pride. Actual bustle starts when the conductors forces in to punch tickets. While most of the passengers plug in earphones and don’t care to take them out even when they have to ask for a ticket, the conductors seem to have mastered the sign language and lip reading to manage them. Sometimes, I find it so silly when some ladies show off their urban dictionary communication that are usually not understood by the conductors. Finally, the drill to get out of the bus isn't an easy one again… one has to know how to thrust upon the inward forcing crowds to get out at right stop and should get prepared to be sandwiched in the process.
This uncourteous madness doesn't end there but continues almost everywhere including the insane washroom usage. Of course we Indians are known for unhygienic sanitation practices such as public urination and defecation, littering, spitting and what not. Sanitation experts believe that most uneducated masses are into unhygienic practices. Little do they know that these corporate citizens are no less. Just because they have learned to use the washrooms instead going public (there are shameless men who still spoil public places), it doesn't mean they are hygienic (including women). The habit of washing hands is still not there amongst many even after so many hand sanitizer adverts preaching its importance. The habit of appropriately disposing sanitary stuff is definitely not common. And ask a janitor about the laborious efforts she has to go through in sanitizing the washrooms especially with a bunch of careless females’ ignorant or arrogant washroom usages….one can’t help but feel sorry for the janitor.
Keeping the stinky affair aside, holding doors for the next person to come is mere common sense, which is too uncommon. The simple courtesies like ‘good morning’, ‘hi’,’ thanks’, ‘excuse me’, ‘sorry’ or a warm smile are most of the time ignored. It is often assumed that those words/acts are part of the receptionists/front office executive’s duty. Some corporate offices serve lunch wherein the first goers tend to grab most of the food leaving scraps to the rest…these anxious eaters seem to be totally unbothered about others. This is not taught or said but to be understood. And last but not the least the queue system is almost nonexistent in any case. Queue system seems to be too organized to be followed for our mad mobs.
For an outsider like me, yes I still feel am an outsider although it’s been more than a year that we moved to Bangalore. Right from my journey to workplace to residing in a gated community…most of the time I feel aloof. I intentionally stay away sometimes. I take pride to say, I am much better in sticking to my dignity in most cases. Thanks to the missionary schools that I studied who have inculcated manners more than rewarding scores. And many thanks to the organized system abroad that bettered what I learnt. These issues may be minute, may be minuscule, may be micro but definitely can’t be overlooked. A crowd that calls themselves as corporate citizens cannot afford to be so unorganized, ill-mannered and lacking in common sense. Not sure how other metro cities are coping. Just wishing the corporate start training manners and morals alongside the induction program.