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Wrong cue

Wednesday, 1st February 2017

It was totally surprising. People were actually waiting patiently in a queue - that is the operative word - for their turn at the ATM. Never mind it was a meandering queue nevertheless you could tell it was a queue. Indians are queue-agnostic as can be seen at any place where there is a big congregation of people.

Especially in places of worship. The worst example of public order can be seen at temples. Do people believe that they will get better blessings if they rush to the front of the queue? It happened some time back at a Mylapore temple but the incident is still fresh in mind. Gone are the days when you can walk into a temple freely and have darshan.

Though it may not be to the extent of queues in Tirupati, almost all temples now have queues. We were waiting in the queue at the temple when a man tried to push past us. We politely told him to get back in the queue. But he continued to walk past us - more like squeeze past us - even though there were hardly a few people behind us.

He brushed aside even his wife's pleas not to break the queue. Not willing to give up 'our place', we had an argument with the man. He continued to worm past us and cooly entered the sanctum sanctorum. This left a bad taste in our mouth and ruined the evening at the temple. So, it was refreshing that after demonetisation, I saw people waiting patiently in queues at banks and ATMs.

Whatever else demonetisation has achieved or not, it has at last taught people to form and maintain queues. What a change, I thought. But, the other day, while waiting in the queue at the airport to have my hand luggage screened, a woman brushed past me and placed her bag ahead and pushed me out of the queue.

Did I say we had become disciplined?

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