Skip to main content

Sorry-ing About

I thought I was having a bit of a problem deciphering women but I am actually having a problem trying to understand why I say “sorry” so much in Australia. Someone walks past me with a pram, I say sorry, someone bumps into me at a toilet I say sorry, someone sits next to me on a train accidentally touches my bag and I say sorry. Shit I am apologising way too much!

Living in this wonderful country of kangaroos, footy, seas and trees, I am also becoming an emotional wreck I think. Among friends, families, neighbours, strangers on the roads, parks, trains and the mall, sorry seems to be the easiest word that comes straight from my mouth. Life in a world of extreme civility is new to me but I have embraced it with gusto. Look at the way I am sorry-ing about.

I’ve often thought about this: the fabric of society that evaporates with ‘thank you, sorry, good day’ seems like a very fragile web. It is nice to be met with polite customer service at every place and one becomes so used to it that every once in a while non-smiling person becomes a suspect, someone who has clearly not read the memo. But we are all human beings and there could be days when we just don’t want to smile at a stranger because you’ve just had a very bad morning. 

I have had a good experience with friends and people in Australia. At times I begin to feel there can be no capricious malice in people who live such a systemised lifestyle coated by exterior niceties. And some other things are well defined too. You celebrate birthdays in a restaurant everybody pays for his/her meal; you go out for movies everyone pays for his own, you even go for a bloody 3 dollar coffee dates with friends and everyone pays for their own. It has taken a while to get used to this go dutch syndrome.

I admit I have to go through this ordeal of sorry(s) and thankyou(s) on a daily basis. But I think it’s far better than the idiotic nonsense of what I lived with earlier - being touched even when walking, stared at or mocked at for asking to stop staring! Yes sorry(ing) is not so bad after all, I have learnt to bring some sophistication in me and the way I conduct myself in public. For thrills, I can go to the ghettoes!


Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies.

The mad man said [sic] "You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the mad m…

The Churn

11 am: There I was bang on time at work, perhaps, in a long time. The occasion: a meeting called by the top boss and compulsory attendance required. I am, as always, out of the loop. Reason being there is always so much happening in my life that I am always behind everything. That does not mean I fail to deliver! And unlike some people who are truly into perception management (will delve on it later) and are such repository for all 'inside news', office gossip and politics least interest me. I mean, who cares if someone is quitting for some place else or is having an affair with so and so, or is being transferred unless that person happens to be someone I am generally fond of. Maybe then I would have been privy to some of the classified information ahem... So, was I in for shock today?

The meeting was sombre and had a full house attendance. And then our top boss spilled the beans. Three of the men at the helm were either quitting or were assuming other responsibilities and a ne…

Them Versus Us

Taking off from the Shilpa 'Shitty' issue (I love the surname and that comes from my ever so humorous and intellectual friend Latha or Lotty with love and Angel No. 1 to some :)), here are some reflections on being a north easterner in the capital of the world's largest democracy. Also, Lotty, on a serious note, says I should have a NE angle to what I write. She has a point. I have enough material there, enough to give vent to.

I begin with 'oye Chinky'. When I came to Delhi in the mid 1990s to do a professional course, I wasn't sure what the word meant. Maybe I was too busy paying heed to my new found independence and the certain sense of security -- the fact that I could go to the market even at 10 pm without the peering eyes of the army or the CRPF personnel patrolling the streets and stiffling our existence. It wasn't until my course was over and I got myself a break as a sub editor with the country's premier news agency, that I had my first hand exp…