Once again we wake up to bad news. Another attack in North London. It seems like bad luck has descended upon Londoners and I wonder when the run of misfortunes will end. Soon I am on my way to Heathrow to catch my flight to Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram, the proper Indian name. According to the car satnav I should get to the airport in plenty of time, but as we hit the motorway the traffic builds up and time gets added on to the arrival time. I have already checked in, but still need to get there at least 90 minutes before boarding according to the airline rules. I don’t know how much my life expectancy gets shortened every time I make these journeys. Anyway I make it just in time. It’s not a busy day and the counter is practically empty.
At the counter I overhear one of the ladies telling the other that the guy she just served was the first person to greet her today with a nice warm smile and what it had meant to her. There is an article in today’s newspaper about rudeness and how it affects those on the receiving end. It spreads like a cold and spirals out of control, affecting the mental wellbeing of the recipient leading to unnecessary adverse effects, some even fatal. In this busy rushed world where efficiency is the mantra and time is money, no one has time for such niceties. Anyway I can breath easy now, and slow down for the next few days.
The flight is not full and there is no one in the seats next to me that I stretch out and enjoy the luxury. At the gates in Dubai a man jumps the queue in front of me and I try to tell him to mind his manners. It’s of no use, he doesn’t understand what I am trying to tell him. Queuing up is a concept that my fellowmen from Kerala doesn’t understand or the fact that giving way to let a woman go past or even the elderly is too much to ask. They only have one aim when they are on their way home, and that is to reach there as fast as they can without realising that we are all making the same trip and it’s the plane taking us there and not them jumping the queue to get in front of us.
I reach Trivandrum in the early hours of the morning. The only glitch in my travel is the wait for my luggage. It takes more than an hours wait. The guy I spoke to at the airport is most apologetic. It is nice to know that manners do matter after all and all is not lost.