Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
‘One person at a time’ is written outside most ATMs in big letters. ‘Please carry mobiles in silent mode’ is written outside banks. ‘No mobiles please’ is written at all petrol pumps. ‘No mobiles while driving’ is a rule told to all. ‘Please don’t spit here’ is written on many walls…
According to Merriam Webster, ‘Rule’ is defined as ‘a prescribed guide for conduct or action; a statement that tells you what is allowed or what will happen within a particular system; an accepted procedure, custom, or habit.’
If you are one of the lucky ones to visit an ATM, the typical scene is very interesting. The queue at the ATM starts from the ATM machine inside the ATM booth. In fact, the person standing behind you is trying to push you inside the machine itself! The person is leaning over you and prompting you to push the right buttons. So much for confidentiality of ATM codes!
At traffic crossings, red, amber and green lights are fitted to regulate traffic to avoid accidents which may result in loss of precious lives. Some of us, however, feel that these lights are meant for others – therefore we jump the red/amber lights. We may get away once in a while, but the clock is ticking towards a waiting collision and an accident.
Mobiles are not meant to be used at petrol pumps due to the danger of creating an explosion by the electric charge in mobiles. This is for our own safety. However, we regularly witness people speaking on mobiles at petrol pumps.
Using the mobile while driving is an offence. Many accidents have been caused by drivers whose attention has been diverted due to mobile usage while driving. However, we regularly see drivers talking or texting on the mobile while driving. In fact, many times we see people speaking on their mobiles while driving two wheelers! Many lives have been lost due to mobile usage while driving.
We all have gone through the frustration of waiting for persons to arrive for a meeting or an appointment. We don’t like waiting and curse people who make us wait. Do you also arrive late for a meeting or an appointment, or to the office, and make other people wait? Being on time is not only for others, it applies to us also.
How many times have you seen VIPs and high-ranking officials parking their vehicle exactly where a ‘No parking’ board stands? Have you ever entered a ‘No entry’ road? Have you seen people spitting inside ATMs, offices, shops, etc?
In most advanced societies or countries, people obey rules without questioning them. They are groomed from childhood by parents, teachers, and leaders through personal examples. This is because they realize that rules are put in place for the good of the society. They realize that rules are applicable to everyone, including oneself, however senior one might be.
Do you still consider yourself outside rules? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)