Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q - Queue

Q - Queue

Mobile musings - the theme for this A to Z
challenge features a blog with pictures
clicked by me on my mobile phone

Indians and our Fetish for queues deserves to be blogged about.

We are a highly populated country. There is always a crowd for anything anywhere. From the ration shops, ticket counters, US consulate, bus and train stations and even wedding receptions. It is not like we are a very law abiding set of people with a sense of order in us. We jump queues, we jump traffic lights , we overlook rules ... more about that in the post for the alphabet U . 

For now it is about Q - Queue   

As a clan we believe that if we have’nt queued enough our prayers are not answered enough. The strength of your devotion is directly proportional to length of the queue.
Lord Venkateswara  at Tirupati gives Darshan to millions of his devotees everyday . Unless they are VIP or celebrities the minimum wait time is anywhere between 3 hours to 24 hours . There are even toilets and changing rooms in the cage like Q's where you may end up of many hours. Devotees who queue up to get the Lord’s Darshan, would not feel the same if they had to just walk into the temple and pay a visit to their God.  Talking of temples we have no dearth of them in India.  However it is the queueing up that makes the God more powerful.  The longer the queue the more powerful the God.

A cage of Queueing devotees at Tirupati
Picture courtesy : Google free images

An Indian wedding is never a private affair. Our wedding intiations are meant for the person’s family and friends and so we take it literally. Indian weddings are never complete without a thousand people wishing the couple at their wedding reception.  By the time the couple has met all the people and had their photograph taken, most would be contemplating a divorce.

If you have been invited for the wedding and are a smart cookie, you will know the art of beating the  queues.  Usually when the dinner is being served one should make a beeline for that queue before the guests who are queueing up to wish the already frustrated bride and groom might finish their job and join the next queue. No one is really going to know if you have already wished the couple and handed over your gift. 

Among the cities in India, if one were to research  the history of queueing I am sure Mumbai would find a prominent mention.  Mumbaikars form a queue anywhere and for anything. They (it pains me to call them they. For at heart i am a mumbaikar) queue up every where.

In early 1900s when the mills from Manchester closed down and shifted (yes earlier in that century the jobs were bombayed and towards the end of that century when the maximum city could not take it anymore the jobs were Bangalored.) to mumbai then called Bombay thousands of rural folks from the Konkan and further south came down to work in the mills. Simple village folks these were. They were used to relieving themselves out in the open in the vast paddy fields or by the bushes in the mountainside.

The one room tenements or chawls which the mills built to house them, had common toilets for the mill workers to use. When the fight for morning ablutions got a little out of hand, they must have decided to call it truce and the system was set right by stading in queues  holding up your bladder.

That left a legacy. Queueing and orderliness in chaos got embedded into the Mumbaikar’s DNA.If you did not have that in your DNA you  would never survive Mumbai .   

Mumbai Local
Picture courtesy : Google free images  
An outsider to the city would be dazed at the chaos when Mumbaikars board their local trains. But to a Mumbaikar this is the most orderly form of existence. If you are a regular, you always board the same compartment and occupy approximately the same set of seats. If you obeyed that rule then even if you did not get your seat, half way through your journey you offer your seat to that other person who has this un-stated understanding with you to block the seat if you were not able to get in. 

Ladies compartment
Picture courtesy : Google free images  
 Thus seats are shared by the same people and everybody gets to sit for at least half the journey.  If you were an outsider and did not know this system… god save  you . Never board a Mumbai local and assume the seat is yours. 

To an outsider it may not look like a queue , but queue it is. 
 Orderliness in all the seeming chaos.  

1 comment:

  1. OMG! I dislike a lot of crowds and waiting for a long time probably one reason is my joint pain but wow! I guess, to me, it is an organized mess...much like my craft room


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