A little order would help. Photo: M. Govarthan

A little order would help. Photo: M. Govarthan

The other day, I was standing in one of the two queues outside the ration shop waiting for my turn.

As it was the day before Pongal, both the queues were long and they snaked down the road. The people, instead of standing to the side of the road, were blocking a portion of the busy road.

I noticed this and tried to ignore it at first but I just couldn't. I signalled to the people to step to the side of the road and then asked them politely to step aside because they were causing inconvenience to the motorists. Here, I must mention that a majority of them were the so-called “mature and reasonable” middle-aged people.

Attitude problem

The first reaction was, “Let them be inconvenienced. I don't care”, while another man said, “Go mind your own business”. That's when I lost my temper and retorted, “How can you talk about anti-corruption with this kind of attitude?”. In response to which he asked me not to “show my attitude” and asked me whether I thought myself to be a social worker.

I was mortified when he said that to me in front of a large crowd. Nobody stepped up in defence. They were just watching a spectacle. Even an old man who seemed to sympathise, blamed the ration shop and the government for this apathetic attitude.

I'm sure everyone, including my parents, would have told me I was stepping out of my bounds. Watching the reception I got, even I questioned my action. Was I just acting too smart and throwing attitude? Was I wrong? Finally, I answered my own question with a firm “I don't think so.”

SUPRAJA DAMOTHARAN, University of Madras

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 6:09:17 am | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/Unreasonable/article13370822.ece