Today morning, Amma and I went for a walk while Krishnan went for his swim. We got back after a couple of rounds and since one elevator is being replaced, we have just one functional elevator. We got in and another couple who are also long timers at our condo complex also got in. This couple is rather unsocial and they wouldn’t even smile when they see you nearly everyday. The fan inside the elevator was running and it was needed since it was a bit stuffy inside. The lady leaned over and switched the fan off, bam !! Didn’t care to check with the other passengers in the elevator whether they wanted the fan or not…. yeah, I know Shalini is rolling on the floor thinking of what I would have done, but surprisingly I was well behaved and as soon as they got off, I switched the fan on as they were exiting and said loudly to mom in Tamil as the doors were closing that some people don’t bother about others :):). These are 40+ year olds …. so not your young brash kids. Guess both the husband and the wife missed the etiquette class or just bunked it altogether.
Two days back, Krishnan and I had contrasting experiences in the same elevator in the morning and in the evening. In the morning as we walked out to the elevator, we heard our neighbour shutting his door and coming towards the elevator. Since it was office-going time, we held the elevator for him. He silently walked in and walked out at the ground floor and didn’t utter a word of thanks and didn’t even smile …. He is a young man, so hopefully he will grow up and learn some basic manners or maybe not. He is old enough to have a child and vote so if he didn’t get the basic courtesies already, he probably ain’t getting it ever.
Then in the evening we were getting in to the elevator at the ground floor and two older ladies (maybe in their 60’s) waved to ask us to hold the elevator and we did. One was using a walking stick and took a while to reach, but that was absolutely fine – after all, she needed the elevator more than all of us. Both the ladies apologised profusely for holding us up and one of them said, if there were railings on the staircase they could walk up the couple of floors, but without the railings it was difficult to do so. They thanked us profusely as they got off even after we said, its no big deal. Again, they needn’t have done it but it felt so nice !! Small courtesies, basic manners are much needed.
Are our schools teaching this to our children ? Are we teaching our children ? Its not enough to get 99% marks, study in the US, and earn a lot of money – its equally important to be courteous along the way…