Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Curt or self-respecting?

I was coming back by the bus as usual this evening. Usually if I am late beyond 6 PM, I don't get a seat and it takes 40 minutes to cover the usual 4 KM journey in traffic (vs 10 minutes in no traffic, sigh! I remember my I-880 days sometimes, I so loathed that freeway;) )

There was this lady, very obviously quite old, in a nice fit red shirt and blue jeans. She was quite well dressed, had the perfect mane of white hair and was overall looking extremely fit for her age and very well independent. I was looking at her and thinking, if I can be like her when I am 55 I'd think I kept myself fit. Just as I was admiring her thus, there was this girl, young (probably still in college) and maybe twenty something who suddenly patted this woman on her back and asked her if she wanted to sit down. And this woman replied very curtly with a quick and angry-looking "no".

I was surprised. Maybe the woman felt she was ok standing and didn't need any sympathy or pity from anyone because she was old. Fine, good thing to think. But why be curt? Why can't she just say, "no thank you, I am fine". Why did she have to be rude. Or was she really rude, maybe I imagined it, but then it was unmistakable, I clearly saw it in her face, that disgust.

I am pretty sure this poor girl only meant to be respectful and felt guilty for being seated while an old lady was standing beside her. I am sure she deliberated long and hard before she asked because she asked right out of the blue, it was just like the thing I would do when I think long and hard and am having a serious "dharma-sandeham" if I may call it so.

I am on the side of the girl, whose side are you on? :)


Kishan said...

Ofcourse on the side of the girl.

A similar incident happened to me recently. I with my friends were in a busy restaurant and were waiting for a seat. We were standing behind a few customers who were ready to leave. Just before they were leaving a woman came and tried to occupy the seat for which we were waiting. I told her that we were there before her and then one of the customer who was ready to leave told us that this woman was pregnant and we should leave that seat to her.

I swear that I did not observe that she was pregnant, otherwise I would have left that seat to her. After realizing she was pregnant, I insisted her to take that seat but she rudely refused and left me with a feeling of guilt. I know how that girl you met on the bus must have felt.

Anonymous said...

who knows what went wrong in her life that particular day/evening/night????I would give herthe benefit of doubt..
ofcourse I would also think that she's out of her mind, if I was in the gal's place:)

Abhinav said...

This is what happens on watching too much TV.


DivSu said...

@Kishan -- I can almost accurately imagine how guilty you might have felt :)

@Anonymous -- Agree with you. Benefit of doubt always has scope ;)

@Abhi - Gosh! I didn't know about this ad and all. Yeah, now I can rewind into all those other ads that we see for life insurance ;) Tsk..tsk..tsk..

Shilpa said...

The side of the girl I guess! I used to do this at my university in virginia and one of my friends asked me now to. Since then I am trying to be careful, and stand up only for very old people and pregnant women!

Rupa said...

Oh, I was in the girl's shoes once....and I felt terrible...this happened while I was studying in Europe and that too with a really old lady...say 75+ and she too was upset and angry.....and since then, I never did that unless anybody smiled at me...
It was just my personal check to go about offering a seat or not and it worked once...an old lady took the seat with a very warm smile...and felt really nice for a long time after that

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