Aakhir Q?Indians cannot queue. Fundamentally. A line is a mere collection of points for us, and something whose ultimate appearance is so nebulous as to be a wriggly shape unconquerable by mathematical definitions. Somewhere along the way, in evolving our survival skills at the village market, the neighbourhood grocer and even upmarket coffee counters, we've dropped the gene for the orderly queue.
This is irrespective of class hierarchies. I wonder how Indian comp. sci. students pick up the concept of the queue in their Data Structures class (except for the priority version) and imbibe sub-optimal FCFS algorithms. Salim-Javed only articulated a cultural trait when they got their man to equate the beginning of the line with the self.
This has been a simmering peeve of mine which first vocalised itself loudly at COEPian fee counters and now recurs at petrol pumps and cinema theatres. Most intensely at last year's PIFF given the mad rush for free seats leading to commotion and even accidents. Miraculously for the last show, some of us managed to whip a serpentine mass into some shape. The immediate provocation for this post was when a smart middle-aged lady cut in at the coffee counter where I stood patiently after yesterday's cinema show. That emboldened another chap to try and attempt the same, puncturing my dam of sabr. When cautioned, he drew back sheepishly. Chuffed at this minor victory, I grew courageous enough to tell the lady off too - she apologised profusely. While this was happening, yet another lady tried to sneak through!
I have a feeling that we Indians think queuing is something to do only while vacationing in Doha.