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Life at a crossroad takes on a new meaning if you have to suffer the agony of a long traffic signal.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2006 13:17 IST

Life at a crossroad takes on a new meaning if you have to suffer the agony of a long traffic signal. But often those never-ending seconds provide a ringside and sometimes amusing view of life in all its colourful hues.

Condemned to one of those long waits at KG Marg, precipitated by a traffic jam recently, I was waiting patiently when a swanky black Mercedes glided to halt alongside my car.

Three things caught my attention simultaneously: the car was being driven by a liveried chauffeur who, like most drivers, had violated the yellow line and was blocking the road for the incoming traffic. And the smartly dressed owner, who within the confines of his plush car was too engrossed in picking his nose to check the driver.

Pardon this scatological reference, but the sight was so gross and so out of sync with that opulence that I couldn’t help but grimace. The owner caught my eye and had the grace to look shamed.

The traffic lights turned green putting an end to his embarrassment and my horror! You may be tempted to dismiss this incidence with a “so, what’s the big deal. There is nothing at stake here?”
Inconsequential as it may seem, at stake here is a lot, starting with one’s upbringing. It’s all about good manners and good clean habits, so essential for not just one’s physical but also one’s social well–being.

For any person to resort to such an unhygienic practice the reasons could be many ranging from they’ve not been taught about good manners, they are not aware of the purpose tissues and hankies serve and last but not the least, they think they can get away without anybody noticing it.

People who pick their nose in public obviously pick their nose in private all the time. The important thing here is to be conscious of one’s bad habit and try and break it and these include not just picking your nose or teeth in public but also biting fingernails, chewing your lips, twisting hair, etc.

Some people apparently don’t care about these seemingly small matters but these are considered extremely poor manners.

Here’s a list of what to be careful about:
Avoid spraying spit while talking.
Do not stretch and yawn loudly in public.
Cover your mouth while yawning, sneezing and coughing.
Do not burp, pass wind or scratch yourself in public.
And last but not the least if you do happen to get into a socially embarrassing situation, remember always to say “excuse me”.

First Published: Sep 27, 2006 13:17 IST