For the many thoughts that come and go unannounced and the ones which refuse to budge out of my head…

Posts tagged ‘stereotype’

Auto Diaries (Part II)-Don’t judge a book by its cover.


This one’s not about travelling in the auto. Not even about the auto itself. But just about the universal fact, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ reinforced.

My friend V and I were travelling in my car to The American Centre near CP. As, we both are condemned to be forever ‘directionally-challenged’ we had no clue where to go when we were half way through, floating around the road to Janpath (Geography may not have been one of our best for the both of us in school). A lost and confused bunch that we were (Me, V and the driver), we were asking for directions helter-skelter. None of which, really helped as such.

It finally took us ten minutes to find a helpful auto-driver by the road, who looked like he could make sense of our whereabouts to us. At once I made the driver stop, and rolled down my window. I made a gesture as if I were calling out to him, and said, “Bhaia, American centre kaise jaana hai?” (How do we get to American Centre?). The auto driver stepped out of the auto, and came up to our car.

After he reached the co-driver seat window, he said, “Would you like to go in my Rickshaw, or do you need directions?” (mind you, he said all this in pure, grammatically correct English with perfect diction!!). This was one of those times me and V felt our  jaw drop spontaneously. There was a pause for a few seconds before I mentally shook myself after what I had just heard. And finally when I did get out of the miniature trance, I meekly said, “Can we please have just the directions?”

At once he promptly replied, “Now see, you have to go straight till you spot the first signal, and then from there…” when I interrupted (still in the lingering state of miniature trance), and pointing towards my driver, I said, “Umm.. Can you please explain it to him in Hindi?”.

It took me some time to carry out that interruption as well. Me and V were still giving each other the dumbfounded looks, with the embarrassed smile.

He finished explaining to my driver and I finally, truly and wholeheartedly, said thank you and smiled till it reached my ear. To which, I received a spontaneous, “My pleasure!” from him.

As we drove passed, V and I couldn’t avoid thinking about it. We still couldn’t believe what had just hit us. It’s amazing how we’re so quick to judge and place people in these little brackets known as ‘stereotypes’. Thinking about it further, if it weren’t for that little monster known as stereotype, the auto driver talking in English would have just been, though uncommon, but such a normal thing, and instead of getting temporary mental paralysis, we would’ve acted like civilized human beings and been normal. Because of the mental picture we had in mind about them, we could never imagine it even being an actuality.

This day today taught me, (and very well at that) that under absolutely no circumstances, should we ever judge a book by its covers. And we, as petty human beings have no right whatsoever to put others into brackets that ‘society’ apparently laid out for them.

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There’s a place in ‘Stereotype-hell’ reserved for me.


I saw this awesome post by IHM, titled Sinners against gender stereotyping.
And here are my set of sins. Some day I shall go to stereotype hell for them. 😛
My sins against gender stereotyping:
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1. I am a foodie and love being called one. And I even love talking about food and trying out new cuisines (exotic meat included).
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2. I am NOT scared of cockroaches and lizards! They’re as harmless as can be.
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3. I love rock music (excluding heavy metal).
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4. I have a thing for technology and gadgets. And I know how to operate them.
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5. I can screw a light-bulb and hammer a nail!
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6. I adore dogs. To an extent that I consider them more human.
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7. I can drive, replenish the battery-fluid, and even change a flat tyre.
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8. I prefer shorts to skirts. ANYDAY.
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9. I don’t like lipsticks. Any cosmetic would do. But lipsticks repel me!
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10. I can even open up electronics, fix them and put them back together. (And I’m not doing engineering).
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11. I am not scared of the dark (though I possess the humanly trait of getting freaked by horror movies).
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12. I can play cards and I sometimes even gamble with family during Diwali.
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13. I can whistle!
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14. I laugh like a monster when I find something really funny and often come up with my own jokes.
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15. I love bikes (though I can’t ride them- I still love them).
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16. I am aware of and can discuss about politics.
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17. I can’t cook to save my life (or probably just enough to save my life).
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18. I love dinosaurs. They fascinate me.
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19. I don’t cry in front of people unless it’s a HUGE deal.
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20.I dislike gossip and eves-dropping.
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21. I detest soap-operas.
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22. I can read maps!
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23. I love playing video games. Especially ones which involve cars and guns.
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24. Mess is my soulmate. I need my workspace to get messy for me to function. And i hate it when people tell me that my messy room is so ‘un-lady-like’ of me.
And though I’m a proud sinner against gender stereotyping, I also love teddy bears, romantic movies, the rain, love songs, shopping, shoes, kajal, babies, the colour pink, chocolates, jewellery and I love to bake.
I am proud to be who I am.

Auto Diaries


I’ve heard many stories from numerous people about how the auto-wala tricked them, charged them extra, took them by a longer route or was simply plain rude.

The impression kind of stayed in my head. And I did get wary of the auto drivers.

But some events which occurred recently, made me change my outlook.

Just a few days back, an auto driver explained the entire tariff system to me and advised me to buy a tariff card so that I don’t get cheated.

Another time, an auto driver charged me less than the regular amount (this I know because, it’s the route to my college, and I pay a particular amount everyday). And when I tried to be nice by giving him the usual amount, he refused and said, since he agreed on that amount he won’t take a penny extra.

Then a day or two after that, when I reached my destination (college), the auto driver gave back to me the EXACT amount of change, which was 6 rupees and 50 paise.

When I told my dad about this, he laughed really hard and said, “child, it looks like you’re in the wrong country!”

I’m not saying that all the auto drivers have hearts of gold. But the world isn’t as bad as we portray it to be.

You just have to look around you. There is more goodness around than you think.