It doesn’t take anyone long to realise that in India ‘rules’ are not really unbreakable ‘rules’ in the strictest sense.
They are often more like ‘wouldn’t it be nice if…’ sorta aspirational guidelines.
Or something put on paper so long ago no one actually has a clue why it is there.
Or it is a deliberately placed reason to extort… I mean monetarily punish hapless ‘rule’ breakers.
This evening I took a stroll along the Bandra Reclamation promenade. Hidden away behind aluminium fence was a sign with the ‘rules’.
I decided may as well test the theory to see how many of the ‘rules’ were broken wittingly or unwittingly during my walk.
Eatable and drinks / Alcohol and drugs – 0.5
- Remarkably little of this happening
- Naturally… there is evidence of food and other consumables…
Littering, spitting, smoking – 1
- Seriously? As if there was ANY hope of this being controlled…
- That said, there was significantly less smoking than anticipated
Loud music – 0
- Remarkably none!
- Naturally we were sonically assaulted by the nearby rush hour traffic honking, but blaring music? Nada!
Dogs – 1
- Clearly the municipal corporation did not consult its local canine residents before making this decree 🙂
- However pet owners parading their precious pound of puppy flesh? Yup. check. You bet they were there on the outskirts
Cycles and skates – 1
- Lost count of how many kids could be found on bikes
- Personally I applaud there being any kind of space where kids can be on cycles without being run over
- So as far as I’m concerned for the wee ones, this is a pretty rubbish rule in the 1st place!
Public meeting – 1
- Um… you mean people are not permitted to meet?
- Let’s just say this was flagrantly ignored…
Indecent / unsocial activities – 1
- Well, I wouldn’t call it indecent but the moral police would likely be offended by the canoodling couples
- I’m still enough of a polite Canadian to give them their privacy… so no photographic evidence for your perusal… simply imagine how the folds of a delicate dupatta or burka can deftly be used as an effective cover…
Card games – 0
- Gosh not one card game spotted!
- Unless on the mobile phone counts…
Hawkers / beggars – 0
- Let’s just say there was a wee bit of informal commerce but not the full on in your face hawkers and beggars
- If anything, parts of the promenade seem to be respite for where folks with limited means can enjoy a little sea breeze and company of friends
Plucking flowers – 0
- Well… to pluck flowers, you need to have flowers… aside from those next to the sign well before the promenade there wasn’t exactly any green stuff let alone pretty flowers begging to be plucked on one side…
- The closest to qualifying would be this… bet you can’t wait to get an armful of these beauties as contraband flowers, eh?
- However on the other side there was indeed some flowers to be found!
Damaging public property – 0
- No wonton destruction witnessed
Goodness! The rules were more or less mostly kinda in a very desi sorta way followed… pretty much… not bad Mumbai!
Out of 11 possible ‘infraction’ points, this little sample scored only 5.5 i.e. only 50% of the rules were broken / kept depending on whether you are a glass half full or glass half empty kinda person!
What’s the prevailing attitude to ‘rules’ in your parts?