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Annoying habits that deserve a whack! Which ones are you guilty of?

This week’s A Calmer You by Sonal Kalra is all about the annoying things that most people around us continue to do. Find out if her pet peeves are common to yours.

columns Updated: Apr 09, 2017 10:32 IST
Sonal Kalra
Sonal Kalra
Hindustan Times
A Calmer You,Sonal Kalra,Annoying habits
Did you know that there’s no punishment if you kill etiquette criminals? I’m going to try.

Yaar, it’s getting hotter by the day. Yeah, I wish it was my life that I was referring to, but it’s the good ’ol weather. Don’t know which part of the world are you sitting and reading this in, but unless it’s North Pole, you have my sympathy. And what is more torturous than hot weather? Stinking people coming too close to you. I’m sure it’s not just me who feels dizzy and claustrophobic when some people come just too close to say something. What is with the annoying habit that makes some people forget that they have a voice, which shall duly convey their message through sound waves, even from a bearable distance. It’s specially bad when you are standing in a queue at the supermarket or something.

The next time I feel someone breathing down my neck, I’ll ask them to share the bill with me. You know, even Chaddha ji has more manners. The only problem is that he miscalculates the distance and stands so far while talking that I’m reminded of the news bulletin for deaf and mute that comes on Doordarshan. Anyway, ab jab annoying habits ki baat ho hi rahi hai, why not discuss some more? I’m sure you all have your pet peeves but I really want to know, through feedback on this column, if mine are common to yours. Here are some annoying-habits-that-deserve-a-whack aka AHDAW.

1. Shaking the leg while sitting

Haha…you do it, right? Trust me, it’s worse if your boyfriend or girlfriend does it. Also called the restless leg syndrome, it is a recognised medical disorder and hence we shall behave sensibly and not going to poke fun at it.

But please yaar, give me a string and I want to tie some peoples’ feet to the chair. With all due respect. Shake it if you can’t help it but not so much that you become a human trigger for an earthquake. There’s a guy in my office who moves his legs with so much speed and force during official meetings that people are actually ready to sacrifice tea and sandwiches and attend it over video conferencing. Now Indians sacrificing free food is not minor, my friend. So you can imagine the discomfort that Mr Ready-to-shake-a-leg-anytime brings to those around him. Vaise jokes apart, it is indeed a medical condition and there are several lifestyle changes that can help prevent it. They include giving up alcohol, so I refuse to read about them, but you can find them all over the net.

2. Cracking the knuckles

Wah kya muskurahat aayi hai aapke chehre pe! Popping your finger knuckles one by one to make that ‘tuck’ sound is so satisfying, right? And it’s also such a nice time pass. You can do it in various permutation combinations. Like alternate fingers. Or both index fingers together. How does it matter that it is bugging the hell out of those looking at you playing with your limbs with so much passion? But just to enhance your knowledge and take revenge on behalf of all those who can’t stand it, let me inform you that even though it doesn’t harm you in anyway, the pop sound comes from your finger knuckles because of the release of gas from the joints. Achha laga nah sun kar? You have more gas emanating from your body that you’d care to admit. Ha.

3. Licking fingers while eating

Mummy ke haath ka khana hai? Too tasty nah? Kisi aur tarah se dikha lo khushi, why do you insist of dipping your fingers into the food, and licking it, especially when you are sharing the tiffin with someone. I’ve seen this happen in schools, colleges, offices…friends share frood from each others’ plates. Which is great, by the way. Mujhe toh jhoothe vagarah ka bhi koi veham nahi hai, so even that bit is fine and fun. What’s not is when someone digs into the food, licks the fingers and digs in it again. Now that exchange of bodily fluid via edible stuff is not exactly my favourite. Is there anyone who feels the same way? Please don’t blame me for questioning your love and friendship. I’m just questioning etiquettes. Pretty, please.

4. Breaking wind in the lift

You know, even the World War II torture chambers had more compassion. Seriously, what? Yes I know that 94% of living human beings fart that it is a natural bodily function. But, Oh My God. Can you not wait for a few seconds or not take a lift when you know your rectum is going to explode into a ball of gases that are not particularly …ummm..BREATHABLE? Smelly farts are a reality of life, but if I was interested in knowing what you ate last night, I’d much rather have your mouth tell me, than your precious behind. Please look for a private place or restroom to make these announcements. And dare you be the nasty one to look grossly at someone else so that people think it’s that person who just took them to smelly heaven? Your ‘wasn’t me’ trick won’t work here. No it won’t.

5. Retrieving treasure from nostrils

This is my favourite. Do you have any idea how much khazaana do we preserve in our nostrils at any given point. I can’t compare it with the GDP, but must be pretty significant, going by the intensity with which some people dig it out and look at it. Before flicking it from their fingertips in full public view. I’m sorry you threw up the parantha you just ate. I’ll get you a new one but this point needs discussion. We’ve buried it – not just the nostril treasure, but the discussion around it – for the longest time. Now that the focus on freedom of expression is back in our country, we must discuss nostril affairs freely and clearly. This can not go on. No, no, no. no. no. Get a mining agency to go inside your nose and do the digging professionally, or do it in the confinement of your bathroom. But not in public. Hum le ke rahenge azaadi. Bad manners se azaadi!

Sonal Kalra has found something in her nose which can make her a billionaire. Does someone know a patent registration consultant? Mail at or Follow on Twitter @sonalkalra

First Published: Apr 01, 2017 19:52 IST