in the world, passengers of domestic and international airlines
board according to row numbers after the boarding of elderly
and infants. I do not know why our own carriers cannot follow
this sane practice. When the flight departure is announced,
passengers scramble to the gate. Even the attendant who is
checking refrains from telling them to stand in a line. On
one such chaotic occasion I chided the ticket checker for
not calling the passengers by row numbers. "Sir"
he said, "you should speak to my supervisor". The
supervisor mumbled an incoherent response.
where we do stand in line it is rarely a straight line, or
worse, we have queues of the wrong kind. A friend in Delhi
was recently telling me that at the booth where she picks
up milk, there are two queues - not for men and women. But
for 'servants' and 'masters'. And we drove out the British
for treating us badly!! Did you know many of our elite do
not vote because they will have to rub shoulders with the
Britain during the war, there was need for able-bodied men
on the war front. All of a sudden the importance of the working
class men on the battlefield and women on the home front keeping
factories and hospitals going was recognized. Britain was
never the same again after that.
all can narrate numerous experiences - of being jostled at
cash counters, wedding buffets and bus stops and of being
pushed while waiting to bless the newlyweds or by passed at
airport counters. An orderly queue is not only a sign of good
manners but makes practical good sense. If each person tries
to break the queue, everyone suffers. Surprisingly we have
orderly lines in movie theatres.
to any Western country, and the orderly queues are amazing.
In Disneyland, hundreds wait patiently for their turn. Only
the disabled in wheelchairs are given precedence. This is
one area we do not have to wait for some authorities to regulate
us. It is very simple, just requires a little discipline and
shedding of pomposity and narcissism. Let not people think
they are unimportant or less influential if they stand in
line. Remember JRD Tata.