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We Are Waiters For Ever

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by jayasala42, Nov 17, 2021.

  1. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    It was aug 2017.We were happy beyond measure not because it was Avani Avittam day, but because we received 6000 litres of water through tanker after anxiously waiting for a long period of 25 days.Remember it was just 18 months after Chennai Floods in 2015.
    Yes, it is Madras.Jan -Oct we have water scarcity and in
    Nov -Dec,water scares the city.
    Wait,Wait, Wait!
    Come April, almost all the streets in the water starved areas of Chennai will have a long row of muticoloured plastic waterpots labelled with names and addresses waiting for 20 litres of drinking water supplied by Metro water authorities.There will be stone substitutes also.

    In Jan/Feb you can see serpentine queue waiting from the previous night for Pre Kindergarten Admissions in Front of famous schools.

    In June there is a beeline for arts/ professional colleges.
    If you dial any enquiry number in Airlines or railways you may be listening'You are in queue, please wait.Sometimes we can even finish off making rice or sambar before you
    get the contact.
    There is no dearth of queues in railway stations, airports, post offices, ATMs.- and Income Tax offices. Even in weddings you have to stand in long queue to wish the couple and give the gift, not to talk of waiting behind the dining table eagerly counting mts if the previous occupant has come to curd rice ( last item). I doubt whether it is a marriage hall or flood relief camp.

    Not only waiting in mother's womb for nine long months, there is waiting at crematoria for the final journey too.
    Not to talk of civil cases which endlessly get extended to decades involving third generations.

    You can't have Darsan in important temples without taxing your knees for two to three hrs.
    Whether we wait for God or He waits for us, is not known.

    There is as much disregard to the queue also. There are more breakers than liners.Q crashing is almost a custom in India.

    We see people deftly entering doctor's room saying that the patient is really sick, as if others come to hospital to play or chit chat.

    In many ATMs there is more often an excuse to break the queue that the person was taking out money for funeral expenses.

    In many malls persons buying small quantities take automatic rights while the person behind is waiting with a trolley load.
    Queue kyon? seems to be the average person's attitude!
    Even among elites the queue crashing attitude is there
    As soon as the announcer calls for the boarding of business class passengers or families with kids, there will be a dash by all passengers towards the gate or counter.

    For a flight, when boarding passes with seat numbers are issued, where is the need to rush as soon as the announcement beeper goes off ? Are people scared that someone might "put a towel "and snatch their seat ?
    Normally in US and other Western countries they respect the queue, sometimes go out of the way to help senior citizens and women with babies in arms. Really commendable. But there are exceptions too. During our first visit to US, in John Kennedy Airport in New York, I saw many people bypassing the line, joining the previous line by entering through the dividing ropes, while people with heavy luggage had to stand in the queue.
    The only occasion in the history of mankind when the queue was extremely orderly with no case of any queue breakers was when Noah completed the construction of The Arc and invited all the creatures of the world to come inside in pairs. Since every creature was with its better half, the level of decorum was reasonably high.

    The other queue that I can never forget is the queue for the 'Swarga Vaasal' on Vaikunta Ekadasi night at Srirangam or at Parthasarathy Swamy Temple.,Triplicane. As it was the belief of the staunch Hindus that stepping through this door ensured a place in Vaikuntam for us, there would be mad rush and it was always the question of the survival of the fittest! It made me believe that only the individuals who were expert queue crashers were assured of a place in Heaven! Darwin's theory of 'Survival of the Fittest'applied not only to the Earth but to the Heavens as well!

    It was possibly a habitual queue victim like me that sang 'Que sera sera' ---'whatever will be, will be'!
    Very recently I received a mail from a friend,a student of English literature.He said he was waiting in the airport in the long queue. Since there was system failure, they could not issue boarding passes. There was a delay of about 4 hrs.He was so depressed that he gave a long mail about waiting in the queue.
    I learnt that not only the 'queue' but also the letter 'Q' itself is very queer.
    While writing this, I am reminded of the word 'quaquaversal' which I learnt some 10 years back.You cannot find this word in Chamber's Dictionary. But it is listed in Geographical glossary and that it means 'from the centre focussing towards all directions.'
    When I knew the word 10 years back, I thought I would never use this word in my life time and it is a loss of precious memory space in my brain.I never thought that I would get an opportunity to dequeue the word from my memory in this connection.A simple 'Q' is spread over in so many directions- a classic example of'quaquaversal'..
    The lesson I learnt is as clear as a Quartz.
    We are always advised by psychologists and philosophers
    to live in the present.But we are always in short or long waiting.

    With every 'small scale'waiting or'large scale waiting'we
    unconsciously create an inner conflict between our 'here'
    and 'now',that is the 'Q' where we never want to remain
    and the projected future, admission or travel or promotion,
    where we want to be.
    Doesn't this waiting in 'Q' reduce the quality of life by making
    us lose the present, which is nothing but 'to wait for the future'?

    Jayasala 42
    umaakumar likes this.

  2. vidukarth

    vidukarth Platinum IL'ite

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    Great writing mam, i always admire your posts and the sense of humor
  3. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    I am not sure if it will be workable in Chennai, but there is a solution. Hand over the job to some private sector guy. I understand it is working fine in Bangaluru. The company will guarantee 24/7 pure water but at a cost. Those needing more than a certain KLs will be charged according to their usage. Those who use below the minimum will pay little or nothing.
    In Delhi water below 20 KL per month is free and above that is charged in step-wise usage. Those who do not have a meter installed are charged fully. Everyone has installed meters. No one washes cars with this water.
    The private sector company will make all the money to be invested, import water, and whatever to ensure supply.
    I know people will cry saying water is nature's gift who are you to ask for money. But this is the only answer.

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