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June 23, 2007

Posted by K in Abstract Ramblings, Uncategorized.

I don’t like listening to music in public. I had my ears plugged today ( after quite long) while I was waiting to know the fate of one of my teeth, and it was…strange. One has to maintain an impassive face even though Rocka Rolla is playing in one’s ears. One has to look calm and serene even when Tears of the Dragon is begging to be sung to.

Ofcourse one can damn the public and headbang away, or even contort one’s face into strange mukhbhangees, but I regret to say I have not the inclination to do so in public.It’s a different matter when one is with friends, but in a roomful of strangers who are tired of waiting and would gladly find something to stare at…actually,no, I don’t think it is about the roomful of strangers. It has more to do with the fact that the Mask must not come off in public.

This got me thinking about how artificial a lot of things are. And how I never want to live in the west, where masks come in strange shapes and sizes. There it is okay for you to give dirty looks to a woman who is desperately trying to quieten a wailing baby (because, d’uh, wailing babies disturbbbb your meallll) and perfectly alright for you to refuse food to a little child simply because he has been wailing because his ears are hurting him, BUT you will not bat an eyelid when a man walks into an interview in his underwear and splashed with paint. I refer, ofcourse, to that particular scene from The Pursuit of Happyness. Good movie, that. I’d recommend it.

That particular scene was very unsettling. You knew the woman was wondering why the hell someone would turn up like that for a prestigious interview, but a certain set of social rules forbade her from asking why.

This also brought up the article by Barkha Dutt on the edit page of HT some days back, where she mentioned how closest of close friends never drop in un-announced for a visit, how your best friend will split the bill down to the last penny, etc etc.

I’m not sure I understand such a culture. Ofcourse Seema Goswami, the erstwhile columnist of Brunch, has indicated (many,many times) how she prefers that to nosy Indians asking about family etc on the very first meeting, but that seems to vindicate my feelings on the subject :D.

Once upon a time I wanted to go abroad to study. Not any more.

I still want to travel everywhere, but I know in my guts I will be a misfit in most places outside Home.

Home, however, is an ambiguous concept, and is in the process of being pinned down : ).



1. anonymouse - June 23, 2007

Giving dirty looks to the parents of wailing babies is something I indulge in too. Especially when I am flying or travelling long distances on trains.

It’s the same thing if my neighbours are playing loud music, but I can at least tell them to cut it out. The dirty look is merely one of frustration at the loud noise which I can’t stop. (In other words, it’s your baby. You chose to have it and live with the noise. Please show some courtesy and spare those of us who don’t want to hear it by not travelling in closed vehicles where the rest of the passengers can’t choose to leave).

And I do the same for idiotic drivers who honk while driving when it isn’t absolutely necessary.

I honestly wouldn’t pay attention to anyone headbanging if they had earphones.

And wrt the not dropping in for an unannounced visit, people are busy enough that anyone walking ni can become a nuisance. Much better to call and avoid the inconvenience.

2. sporadicblogger - June 24, 2007

I disagree with you on that ๐Ÿ™‚
Wailing babies can be annoying, but there isn’t much a parent can do about it. They can’t imprison themselves until the baby is of a wail-free age, and lets face it…babies are needed for the population to grow etc etc. There is a difference between an upset baby and a spoilt baby…and I will never give dirty looks to the former : )

Busy…can one ever be too busy for friends?

3. anonymouse - June 25, 2007

Oh, I know the parents can’t do much about it, which is precisely why it pisses me off. It’s not like economy class is particularly restful, and given the sheer associated stress of travelling, it is simply rude of the parents to bring infants on board.

Wailing infants, drunk co-passengers, …

As for being too busy for friends, you don’t know my schedule. I may have other important work (like visiting someone else, other social commitments, …). Or I may simply want to rest for once. If you interrupt me in the middle of spring cleaning my books, I will expect you to pitch in and clean up the mess before you get offered tea or even water.

4. sporadicblogger - June 25, 2007

Lol, rude of parents to bring infants aboard? Where do they leave them?? ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, I didn’t mean the kind of friends you have to entertain with tea or water…those kind should indeed call before arriving. I meant the kinds that will get spring cleaning right with you : )

5. anonymouse - June 25, 2007

Don’t leave the infants anywhere. Don’t travel. It isn’t always necessary to travel.

And even those should call. It’s slightly different when you are in college and really don’t have much to do at home (for some value of much), but when you are working for five days a week (or six), free time is too rare to not ration.

6. sporadicblogger - June 25, 2007

Maybe I shall feel differently later : )

7. Aishwarya - June 26, 2007

Well I’m IN college (well. sort of. till results come.), and honestly, however much I may love my friends, my time alone means a lot to me. And I like people who respect that – I don’t think it’d be possible for me to be really close friends with anyone who didn’t. ๐Ÿ™‚

8. sporadicblogger - June 27, 2007

My time alone means a lot to me too : ) get physically ill if I don’t get my daily dose. What I was referring to, however, is friends dropping in without calling in advance. Ocassionally. Not regularly, not everyday, and most definitely not every hour!!:) I think I didn’t phrase what I was trying to say well enough ๐Ÿ™‚

9. Aishwarya - June 27, 2007

See, that’s the thing, though. I see ANY intrusion into my alone time as an intrusion, no matter who’s doing the intruding, or if it’s only for an hour and on occasion. If it’s an emergency, fine. If not, I’d prefer it if people would call in advance.

10. sporadicblogger - June 27, 2007

Sigh. You umrican :p

11. anonymouse - June 27, 2007

*Randomly drops in to see Aishwarya*

12. anonymouse - June 27, 2007
13. Aishwarya - June 28, 2007

Koyel – Oi! What does my love of privacy have to do with race?
(These bloody indians I tell you no conception of personal space)

anonymouse – go away. ๐Ÿ˜‰

14. sporadicblogger - June 28, 2007

*cries* I was NOT talking about bratty four year olds! I was talking in terms of tiny tots and-oh,never mind. I’m on my own here ๐Ÿ™‚

Aishwarya-It is very racial. Cultural,actually.

15. anonymouse - June 29, 2007

Tiny tots are WORSE. You can’t even spank them.

16. sporadicblogger - June 30, 2007

๐Ÿ˜ฎ OfCOURSE you cant spank them!!! Why would you want to spank a baby???!!!!

17. anonymouse - July 2, 2007

Spanking a baby wouldn’t be useful, so I would rather not waste the energy. Spanking the parent(s), OTOH, would be so appreciated.

18. sporadicblogger - July 3, 2007

lolol ๐Ÿ˜€

19. anonymouse - July 13, 2007


(The flight attendant was stupid, the comments are more interesting)

20. sporadicblogger - July 13, 2007

I liked this comment. I agree with hm/her.

“Two points to ponder…#1: They are traveling the same places you travel. They are as human as you are. If you would discriminate on sex, religion or race you would be lynched, but it’s okay to bash the future of our species???#2: Never never never is it appropriate for a stranger to encourage pharmaceutical intervention for a child. That is as apalling as molestation. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU WHO THINK THIS WAS RIGHT. I hope that someday when you grow up, you will find the maturity to overlook such petty things.”

And this one ๐Ÿ˜€

“And for those who ” travel for Business” you picked your job. Stop whining and understand that you cant blame someone else because you are stuck in an airport for long periods of time. If you dont like it get a different job. AND GROW UP!!!!!!!!!!”

This is a good suggestion too-

“I have a suggestion. Us old folks remember when there used to be a smoking section on commercial aircraft. How about a seating area, where practical, for families traveling with children? A progressive airline could use this to attract customers. Place toys and books in the children’s seating area. Maybe special games and videos. Ok before I go to far I know that no US airline will spend an extra dime on cusotmer comfort. Just a thought.”

21. anonymouse - July 15, 2007

Yeah. Or a child/noise free section for those of us who want guarantees of quiet travel.

I don’t disagree that the flight attendant’s action was wrong, and stupid.

The trouble is that air travel is stressful, in ways that land/rail travel is not. Misplaced baggage worries, baggage being opened, extra “security” checks, lack of space to be comfortable, engine noise …

Loud, wailing infants are disturbances which cannot be ignored. And they are loud enough that you cannot do anything which requires concentration of any sort.. This includes sleeping, reading, working, conversing with your neighbour or almost anything except looking at the infant.

Would it be right if I was to play really loud music at 2 am, right outside your house? Burst crackers through the night? Right before your exams, or any time when yuo are tense? Just blow car horns (there are actually rules/laws on when you can blow a vehicle horn, it’s just that Indian drivers seem to ignore them)?

As for the idiot saying that people should choose different jobs, it’s a very rare well-paying job nowadays which does not involve some sort of travel by air. Flying is a right you have paid for, being obnoxious to your fellow passengers is not. This includes crying infants, drunk fellow passengers, passengers who insist on talking with neighbours when they don’t know each other …

You are in my personal space, just like in a lift. Strangers being so close to me triggers a fight/flight reaction (have you ever seen how people behave in lifts?). And on top of that, you have the irritating sound of a child crying?

22. anonymouse - July 15, 2007

Oh hell, I know I would pay a premium for a “no kids” flight. I wonder how many others there are in the same category?

23. sporadicblogger - July 15, 2007

Lol, I agree with most of what you say, except for the crying infants…there I just do not agree with you ๐Ÿ™‚ Expanding on that would be repeating myself, so I shall desist…

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