Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Mind your own business

In Europe, people normally tend not to interfere with other people's affairs.  So on a train, one hardly notices the other person sitting beside - leave alone enter into a conversation or exchange pleasantries. In fact, even attempting to do the latter is considered impolite and rude! The rule of manners is summed up in 'mind your own business'.  The first time I heard this phrase during a lecture on manners, I felt a bit odd.  A bit offended, actually.  But I've now come to realize that the English really mean it. It really means a lot to them!

Back in India, if I were not to introduce myself to my new neighbours or greet them politely, I would be considered a prude or a sinister person with some secrets agenda.  If I were to do the same here, I would be intruding their private sphere!  So much so, even to reverse (even halfway) into someone's drive for some urgent reasons would be considered very bad manners, even lead to trespassing!

Perhaps this is also one of the reasons the library is so silent and everyone is lost in their own work.  Looking at the brighter side, I don't think this scenario will ever be possible in an Indian library!  (At least it never was during all my years of 'regimental' rule at Karunapuram or Kondadaba!)

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