picture this –
its an awfully hot afternoon, the sun beating down mercilessly. the humidity is on the high too, i notice, as i run my index finger across my brow to prevent the sweat from running into my eye. eyebrows are futile when you are pouring sweat. i notice 20 or more people crowded outside a shop that is apparently closed. it is not a sunday, neither is it lunch time.

a closer look reveals that the shop isn’t really closed, the shutters only half down. it is a shop selling helmets, the ones for motorcyclists. its a tiny shop, and is actually packed with customers today. in fact, the crowd has become unmanageable and so they’ve had to restrict more people from entering. for they know – never mind the lack of space, more people can actually still stuff themselves in. remember the ‘adjust kar lo’ ad for the underwear?

it is then that i recall the sight while i was riding to work earlier this morning. just about everybody riding a two-wheeler, pillion riders included, was sporting helmets, new ones in many cases. in fact, i even saw a couple of little kids – their tiny bodies adorning a helmet giving them that ET-like look. it is today that the mandate has been officially enforced, the PIL against the govt not withstanding.

i’ve always used one. for the kind of riding i do, it just makes me feel a whole lot safer. and dad has been particular about it, ever since the first day i ever got a motorcycle of my own. not to mention this once when i crashed and my helmet literally broke, saving my poor head. but it brings me to the question that i’ve been thinking about, and thought i might as well share it with all you folks –

why is every for of discipline mostly only enfored? is it not possible for human beings to be naturally self-disciplined? it is, as we see in many instances – yogis, people in the armed forces and so on, but this is still the minority. any thoughts?
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13 thoughts on “

  1. ooh i get to be first..=)i have often wondered the same thing.. but perhaps it is because people dont often have the same concept of what is required or what is safe.. hence we also need laws.. for why else would we need to enforce that murder, theft etc is BAD BAD THINGS something we should kinda figure on our own right?

  2. i think people like to get scalded and only then they learn. maybe the adventurous streak wins over. maybe they think it wont happen to me (accidents, mishaps, etc). and not necessarily physical mishaps, the same goes for emotional, mental, psychological mishaps brought upon by fate too!there is, as u say a very small number of people who heed caution and discipline without having been on the harmful side at least once before…heat. ur very first para. omg, i hate being in trains and buses in this weather especially during rush hour. i was swimming in sweat, mine and those of the adjacent bodies owing to rush!

  3. It always has worried me when I visit India, a whole family on a motorcycle. Little boy in front of his father, mother behind side-saddle, sari streaming and sandal hanging, with the baby on her lap.I can’t get the link to load but if it says that helmet wearing is now mandatory, it’s about time.I suppose no one ever really thinks it will happen to them. We can be self-disciplined, but we’re heedless of our own safety. I’ve not forgotten your meme, btw, now that summer weather has returned to England I can think about it!

  4. Maybe in this case, its not self-discipline that they lack, I think perhaps its the way they perceive safety is different. I didn’t wear a helmet for a full 3 months after I started riding a bike until a friend finally got it for me as a birthday present (he actually took me to the shop and got me one :D) Now, I cant even begin to imagine riding without it, even if I have to go to the near by grocery store.On the same lines, this morning a couple of my colleagues were discussing about seat-belts also being a mandate on cars (also effective y’day). I always wear one, but eventually the discussion trailed off to making t-shirts with a black print across it diagonally from right to left) to imitate a seat belt! Phew! The extent people go, to avoid following rules. Its sad that an law enforcement should bring about more crimes (crimes thought of in different angles) than already existing :-/PS: Cute pic there, very very appropriate 😀 and kinda shows the funnier side of you which usually doesn’t come up that often :)Oh and sorry abt that rant! 😐

  5. Good for you to be self-disciplined – over here people wear helmets while riding bicycles, so…I don’t believe in anarchy, but at the same time, I have a feeling that most people transgress the rules simply because there are rules and they need to be different.Other people are just plain ignorant and can’t understand what’s best for them, at least in terms of wearing/not wearing a helmet.

  6. I think its the lack of concept, sometimes people in our sub-continent do not want to pay attention until something happens and they learn. I think I mentioned earlier on one of your older posts, I have witnessed 2 really nasty accidents, one is Pakistan(without the helmet) died on the spot. The one over here not sure survived or no, but he was wearing a helmet though.I heard about the heat wave 😦 Just try to stay indoors as much as you can and drink lots of water and nimo pani :)Stay Beautiful…!

  7. I think sometimes we need laws to help guide us just as the laws set by a parent to a child. My son has to adhere to the guidelines set up in our home and even though he knows these things, I think it helps him follow it because it is what we expect from him.

  8. good question…!Maybe its becoz people think there’s more fun in being indisciplined! And when it comes to the question of being safe – get ready to hear that eternal answer – life’s fun when lived on the edge!what they don’t understand probably is – when you are not careful enough…you might actually end up slipping from the edge – onto the wrong side 🙂

  9. Discipline is always imposed – by self or by others. Self discipline comes from one’s own beliefs and/or habits. Then, is it not the same reason for a person to wear or not to wear a helmet? Those who believe should, do; those who believe shouldn’t, don’t. To me, the resistance to obey is a glimmer of hope, reassuring me that individualism is natural, though the reluctant-to-be-obedient not necessarily be a practising individualist. Personally, I don’t ride without a helmet, and ‘believe’ not liking to wear a helmet is nothing but plain stupidity. BTW, the idea of ‘seatbelt t-shirts’ was hilarious. What a great proof that it’s not the easiness or convenience that drives people to disobey!

  10. Apparently the rule on helmets has been lifted, according to the CM it is not compulsory to wear a helmet anymore…he makes everyone buy helmets and now he says its not required, dunno what he’s playing at

  11. ADITI,not sure if people don’t understand, or if they do, but are just way too complacent to comply.TRINNIE,yes, as they say, the fools learn from their own mistakes, and we have quite a lot of fools it seems 🙂 swimming in sweat huh? seems like fun, a tad too sticky though!Z,haha, yes, we have whole families travelling on two wheels here. yes, ppl r prone to thinking it just wudn’t happen to them. and when it does, its too late for they’re already dead.MISS I,good for u girl – keep it up! and the t-shirt thing, is undoubtedly the silliest thing i’ve heard in recent times.ANON,i am truly sorry u find it so. but then, it also gets me thinking – does a blogger imply, among other things, also entertainment for his/her readers? calls for a post, that thought! and will sincerely hope u don’t find that one as boring :)DEVIL,yes, it is true that rules tend to create a set of rebels at all times.SUGAR,nimboo pani sounds like a good idea. can i alternate it with som beer please? :PSTARRY,well said!SINDHU,yes, discipline is no fun. but there is a huge difference between being adventurous and being foolhardy.pity i can’t get to ur blog :(JUBIN,that is an interesting thought – of preserving individualism. there should be a limit though, and such limits are always thin red lins, no?NEON,post has followed!

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