Courtesy

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I believe the words "curtsy" and "courtesy" convey almost the same meaning. Which I find funny since "curt" and "curtsy" does not go well together. But that is entirely beside the point. So is the fact that once I posted a picture of me sporting very impolite gestures as my profile picture in Orkut and changed my profile name to "Get curter". Let not the reference die on you because the Michael Caine version is quite a good film. But let us untangle ourselves from paltry wordplays and concentrate on more serious matters. Which obviously has something to do with courtesy or the lack of it. Or even worse, the excess of it.
Ever since we started going to school(read found us all by ourselves in treacherous social circles), the word "courtesy" have been hanging just in front of our noses. Quite like the carrot that a famous poet hung in front of his pet donkey. Let me make myself very clear at this juncture that I do not by any means intend to call anyone a donkey. Not even a donkey. That again is courtesy according to Mr.Vidyasagar. And also, nowadays people sue others at the blink of an eye. Which is absolutely true cause I heard of this woman who sued a man who blinked at the woman's child. She thought the man was making sexual advances. Anyway, as I was telling, "courtesy" is something we have been taught from a very early age. Even in India. But a walk around any Indian city doesn't suggest so. You can see the autowallahs happily cursing the passengers, the passengers shouting at bus conductors, the conductors swearing at cows. Its quite a circle. And for those who wonder, yes the cows in India are not very courteous too. Even they shout. Or occasionally run at unsuspecting pedestrians. But one gets used to such atrocities quite fast. I think growing up in it helps. It doesn't take one much effort to sneeze loudly in a public bus and not apologize at all.
But its different here in the US. I don't know about Europe. But US, yes its very different. Here people actually remember the courtesy tips they teach at school. Though they don't much care about the geography of the world or basic algebra, courtesy they know very well. Everyone is going to hold a door open for you, everyone is going to smile at you and ask how you were doing. They would all stare if you belch, farting is almost sin and blurting out "Thanks" is a protocol. And somehow, I find this more disconcerting than ever. In India, not everyone you meet in the streets smile and ask how are you. But the ones that do, mean it. They actually stop, ask about your well being and make some conversation. But here, everyone goes by the rulebook. They open the door because it says so in the books, they ask "how do you do?" and walk away without even waiting for the answer. A smile never gets you a smile back. Rather it may get you a lawsuit. Its a strange sense of courtesy they have here. And if you are staying here, they make you do it too. They mould you in such a way that even when you are alone in a bathroom and sneeze, you will say "Excuse me". Quite frightening, I must say.
And that sneezing and saying "excuse me" in a deserted bathroom happened to me. That is actually what I wanted to write about. All the introduction, observations and everything is, you know, just courtesy.

3 blabberings:

紅包 said...

blog is great~~祝你人氣高高~........................................

idle-labour said...

Anekdin pore besh bhalo lekha :)
Hnachle jokhon lokey sorry bole, gas chharleo bola uchit, kintu karor bibek atota porishkar noy je dosh swikar korbe. Especially apor pokhhe'r "bless you" bolbar chance jokhon khubi kom.

btw, oi "how are you" niye ami prothom prothom besh serious hoye thaktam. Lokjon proshnota jigyes korle gorgoriye sotyi koto kharap achhi bole feltam. Jigyasokari ektu boro boro chokh kore shunto.

Eta bodhoy toke aageo bolechhi? ...mone hochhe jyano....courtesy boshoto arekbar shune ne nahoy :P

Hatturi Hanzo said...

hehe. amio prothom du ekdin uttor deoar cheshTa korechhi. tarpor I got the drift :D aar paad khub bhalo jinis. sokale uThe ekTa jore paad hole monTa bhalo hoye jaay :D