Saturday, August 11, 2007

Culture relativity

When you are living in a foreign Country, your mind is always in a "Relativity" mode-meaning you are always comparing the culture, the people, the food, the social life etc.

Basically comparing anything and everything.

The "standards" that we set are from what we have seen back home. Yesterday while returning back from work, i witnessed a small incident which made yet another dent to those "standards".
On my rather longish walk back home, there is this narrow stretch of road which is a one-way only for vehicles excluding cycles. Usually unlike India, drivers here are more law abiding.
But yesterday i saw a car approaching from the wrong side. He probably did not notice the one-way sign.

But thats not the point. What happened next completely flummoxed me!

All of a sudden a cyclist dude coming in the opposite direction, stopped mid road facing the car speeding from the opposite direction.The car braked hard and screeched to a stop, literally centimeters away from the cyclist.

Now i thought this cyclist dude has had it. My mind started churning out pictures of a street fight and volleys of curses. I was ready to shoot the scene for a icaught moment.

But hang on, this is not the streets of Bangalore or hyderabad or Delhi.

The cyclist dude in a very polite manner informed the guy in the car that this is a one way and he is driving in the wrong direction. The driver apologized profusely and thanked the cyclist and turned the car back.

eh! Thats it? No "tera baap ka road hain kya"(Is this your father's road?) or "tu saale, kya commisioner hain kya" (are you the commisioner here?) dialogues??

But Having seen hundreds of duels on the roads of Bangalore just coz people don't want to let go of their ego, this small incident was a welcome change. And sure did make a deep dent to my "standards".


Vik said...

Mate know something, anything and everything that you compare with people in India is going to be different. We are one loathsome ones here who just take things for granted and care little for others.

I am not one bit surprised when I read your post.

Even if another 50 years come and go, we would still be the same, the same incorrigible and unbelievable ones still thumping our hearts hard claiming we have a "superior" culture. This can happen ONLY in India !

Karthik Krishnan said...

True. But usually the negatives in the culture are under the carpet or never explicit. But when something like this happens, it truly hits on your face.

Vik said...


Mate, it is the guilt. It is the agony why the same sort of people that live abroad inculcate it within the country. They will not. Mabe with the influencing culture shock that people get by traveling more often to other countries will let the future generations to atleast know how to respect people. Bottom line we are weak at that point itself.

BTW, happi ind day :-)