It is time one gets used to the crowds. As more work away from office thanks to mobiles, on the go laptops and Internet you will see more and more people everywhere and anywhere. India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo are some places where you can experience crowds.
A few days back a friend of mine was scheduled to travel to São Paulo. Indian rules required him to take a yellow-fever vaccine. Imagine his surprise when he landed at the center nearly 100 for the same purpose. Who would have thought such a crowd would be there and that too at 6.00 am in the morning?
Carnatic music singing competitions in South of India is a case in point. The categories of age for the competition would be 0-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13-15. In Chennai the chances are high that the turnout would be the highest for the first two categories. Complete with the child, parents, grandparents, teachers and perhaps the entire ensemble as well.
There was a time when it was considered inauspicious to buy jewelry, especially gold, on Tuesdays. Jewelry shops would open on those days as business would be dull. No longer so. In fact a visit to a popular shop in Thyagaraja Nagar in Chennai on a Tuesday – for that matter on any day, would surprise anyone. The place is would be stuffed with prospective buyers. They have perfected the art of making people buy.
The railway reservation system is something to proud of. Amazingly sophisticated, it is a software marvel. But try booking a tatkal ticket the day before and you would understand the crowds that I am talking about.
We Indians are used to queues & crowds. Be it waiting in queues for a movie show, or a college admission line, renewing the milk card, ration shops we are there early. This would also include seeking an audience with God, the Member of Parliament, the mayor and the Junior engineer at the electricity board.
It is therefore quite a nerve-racking experience when I plan to board flights out of India and budget an extra hour for delays, crowd on the road etc., and then I find I have to kill that time at the airport.
Throw in the element of lack of lane discipline, queue discipline in some places; innocent bystanders for anything on the street and the amazing liking for road side tamasha you have the recipe for a life time experience of understanding humanity. Have patience, stand and stare, wait… (or read this)