Thursday, November 02, 2006

Gallantry getting kicked in the guts...

Sad to say in this day and age of equal rights, women who want special treatment are becoming just as selfish as men sometimes worse. You hear a lot of cribbing about selfish guys but occasionally when a guy tries to be decent he is trodden down anyway. Today in the 140 bus about 3 rows ahead of me there was this school kid maybe about 16 yo who had his hand in a plaster. A heavily built young mother with a six yo kid came down the aisle and the boy gave up his seat for her and the kid, in spite of the fact that his hand was bandaged and he was obviously wincing holding his school bag no one offered him a seat (mostly women and school kids nearby) and the woman he gave the seat to ignored the fact that he had a massive school bag to hang on to, and took the set as if it was her God given right . I was 3 rows back squished into the corner of the bus so it would have been rather conspicuous me interfereing but when I nudged the person in front to take his heavy school bag, she actually took it off him and sent it back to where I was! Really thoughtful! Then the person sitting near the mother-and-kid stood up and left and instead of the mother giving the seat to the poor kid with the broken hand, she simply took her chubby little kid off her lap and placed it there. This mind you in a bus stuffed to choking with people and hardly breathing room.
And most of the time I think that I’m a gernally slow unobservant dufus, but the fact is that our average sri lankan woman on the road will quite easily only spot the things they WANT to see , for example illicit affairs 5 rows away , how many bed bugs live next door etc but not a person with a broken hand right near your seat: no one at all seemed to want to notice …kind of typical.


Sam said...

Hahaa.. Tell you a story. Once a pregnant mother with a little kid (may be two years or so) get in to the bus. I think it was a Colombo-Kandy midnight bus ~ Long journey. Naturally a gentlemen offer her his seat. But the lady offers that seat to her husband – and she move to another place. Naturally she got another seat too. Eventually whole family had seat. Two suckers lost their seats.

There are good people and there are mother fkers. But most people are wonderful.

Janus said...

I know what you mean.. I see alot of middle aged ladies shoving their weight around..

Voice_in_Colombo said...

Ok, it's "Bus experience" time.

I have this habbit of offering seats to ladies over 50 years of age, and in saree's, because they always remind me my mother. My heart naturally melt like butter when I see such ladies travelling standing on crowded buses; I feel like I'm sitting comfortably while my mother is standing uncomfortably. (Typical Sri Lankan guy, I am).

So, one day I did the same. Offered my seat to a lady in a Saree, (about 55, 60 yrs) with 2 kids and a big baggage. It was a 138 Maharagama bus, she got on at Thurstan. By the look she was from a very decent familly background, but she didn't even offered me a "thank you" smile and rushed into the seat I offered. (Very rude I thought)

Ok, let's say that's ok with me. But, i have this "bad habbit" of observing what other people do, and how they behave in busses. (Well I have lot of other stories on that line:-) )

I noticed this lady was not paying the conductor!! She took a 20 rupee note from her hand bag, and folded in her hand. When conductor shout for "Issarahin nagapu aya salli ganna", she looked at the conductor and quickly turned away. She's acting like she's deaf!!! Conductor shouted may be thousand times, but she didn't paid. Once the conductor moved away, she looked around a bit, and put that 20 rupee note back in her hand bag.

I know private bus conductors (and owners most!) are rude and they exploit us. But, paying the price of things (services) I consume is one of my rigid policies. It's nothing different from eating at a retaurant and run away without paying the bill.

That day I realized, all the 50 and above ladies in Saree's are not like my adorable old mother!