As the year comes to a close, it’s time to say goodbye to a few annoying habits

We take pride at the mention of the famed Hyderabadi tehzeeb (culture), but there are many niggling things that come in the way of making this city truly cultured.

Hyderabad Standard Time: When an event is scheduled for, say, 7 p.m., it means 7 and not 7.30 or 8. Turning up late and stating with glee, ‘everything happens late in this city anyway’ isn’t something to be proud of. Of late, a few organisers have made it a point to begin a concert/play on time, unmindful of those trooping in fashionably late. In most other cases it remains a syndrome of who blinks first, where both organisers and the audience know the time mentioned on the invite isn’t even remotely true.

Spitting on roads: We’ve all been privy to this at some point. We admire a sedan before us at a traffic signal and within moments, feel repulsed when a door opens and someone riding on the luxury wheels spits paan on the road. Paan-stained walls and staircases are commonplace in Hyderabad.

Spare the pavements: Footpaths are meant for walking, not to manoeuvre two wheelers and in some cases auto-rickshaws to cut through traffic. Similarly, pavements are not meant to be open urinals. Use public urinals constructed by the municipal corporation.

Horn not ok, please: There’s only so much one can move when caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Honking incessantly will not help.

Slow down: When a vehicle shows an indicator to turn left or right, it’s a sign for other motorist to slow down and give way, not to race ahead and see if we can mar their chance of taking the turn.

Follow the lane: Driving into the opposite lane is hazardous to you and other commuters/walkers. Doing this on the Outer Ring Road can be fatal.

Look ahead: Look in front and drive. There is really no need to turn back, bend and peer into an autorickshaw or a car and gape at women.

Read the signs: If APSRTC buses have seats earmarked for women, physically handicapped and the elderly, honour it. Don’t occupy those seats and make the elderly and physically challenged stand and struggle to balance.

Every name is good: A simple ‘what’s your name?’ or ‘I didn’t get your name’ would suffice. Can we do away with ‘your good name?’ Also ‘Where are you from?’ is a better way of asking ‘Mee proper ekkada? (Where are you properly from?)

Conversation starters: ‘Mee caste enti? (What’s your caste?)’ and ‘Mee jeetham entha? (What’s your salary?)’ is no way to start a conversation with someone you’re meeting for the first time.

The queue: It is absolutely normal to stand in a queue and leave at least a few inches of breathing space between you and the person in front of you. You don’t have to inch closer and stick like an adhesive to those in front of you or worse still, break the queue and walk right up to the counter.

Move away and eat: While at a buffet, don’t be in a hurry to sample the dishes as soon as you serve them on to your plate. Step aside and enjoy your food, and give room for others to serve themselves. The dishes aren’t going to run anywhere.

Silence please: There are enough dialogues on screen to keep the audience engaged. Don’t add to it by talking loudly on the mobile phone at a cinema hall and while watching a play. Step out if the call cannot wait.