At one time, like decades ago, people seriously followed rules. Now the rules are flouted, sometimes by those involved in making them, and as it happened recently with a lady traffic warden in Bandra (who insisted on the rule being followed, and got hauled up by the cops because the rule breakers had more muscle power....).
These days some four letter words actually start behaving like their idiomatic alter ego.
Like "Rule" . As a noun.
As a verb, there is nothing much happening , unless you are the "ruler".
And so I only worry about the noun.
I worry, because I don't think it is doing me any good to understand the "rule".
Innovative interpretation rules. Sometimes innovation includes strong disobedience.
Rules. They sent out a rule about not keeping plants in your balcony, because when you watered them, the stuff kind of dripped outside disfiguring the outside color. In a matter of 20 minutes, rule abiding family entities emptied my balcony of a bamboo plant, bougainvillea, ajwain bush, hibiscus tree, several tusli plants and a neem plant, not to mention several tomato plants and a watermelon plant which suddenly appeared from thrown peels. Stuff was carted to the compound, and I never saw it again. I look up, and I still see various disobedient plants daringly enjoying the breeze in various balconies. It's the sign of the times. Rule followers are stupid.
Rules. Rickshaws think they are on a well deserved picnic in our area. With kilometres of straight undulating roads, they unfailingly park on a corner of two roads, so the person taking a left turn cannot see traffic coming from the left. Honking, gesticulating and finally rolling down the window, has the fellow menacingly getting out from his seat, questioning if I owned the road, and daring me to do whatever I wish. He will not move. He is waiting for someone, the vehicle is already hired. I stay put. Traffic piles up behind me. Honks. He curses with the confidence of someone who has all eventualities covered , gets out and pushes his rickshaw around the left turn by two feet. I wonder why. And continue wondering. I leave.
Rules. We are a nation that drives on the left . Some folks think they are in the US when they drive. As per "rules" , you overtake from the right, and slow movers keep to the left most , usually imaginary lane (never thought there would be cheating in quality of white paint). However, bikers, whose heads probably spin at additional rpm's when they wear a helmet, consider it their duty to always overtake from the left, even though you've been showing a left turning signal for a kilometre. So blatant is the driving, that they even drive between a bus queue and the stopped bus, and a friend of mine was injured because a biker crashed into her. Gestures to slow down or stop, from passengers disembarking from a bus, are rewarded with impatient looks , and an outrage at being made to decelerate. A fellow I questioned even angrily told me he paid taxes, and I told him that I paid taxes too, (that too, without banging my vehicle into folks), and owned as much of the road as he did.
Rules. Why just bikers and public transport, rules are broken again and again at the top. We have a serious issue about womens' security, a law and order and policing problem, there is sniping and shooting on the western border with an enemy country, a committee urgently deliberates on the improvement to laws and asks for suggestions, and the premier law and order entity of the country whizzes off to BanglaDesh to announce some new improved visa regimes with that country. Despite the fact that the steady influx from BanglaDesh to India across porous borders doesn't happen with visas. When the ability to prioritize is missing, chaos results.
Rules. The new rule about gas cylinders, said we could have 6 cylinders a year at subsidized rates, and the remaining at enhanced rates. As a rule, it isn't clear, when they start counting. I recently ordered a refill, and paid the unsubsidized rate of nine hundred something. When I mentioned not having utilized my six cylinders at subsidized rates, I was told that it is 3 cylinders for every six month period. I was on my fourth cylinder , hence full price. You go and try visiting the dealer, and his office is packed with people and you are unable to enter. Everyone interpreting the rule their own way, the government even deciding how I should consume my quota, regardless of whether I live in a cold climate, whether I have many family members, and other factors that affect gas consumption rates, that might actually vary during a year. Vote bank politics has now decreed the new subsidized cylinder limit as 9. I just wonder , if these rules are simply going to give rise to a new surreptitious business of counting cylinders in a "different" way.
Folks still go the wrong way on one-way streets, I see so many folks driving and talking with one hand stuck to their ear, nicely observable through the not so tinted glass; massive cars blatantly park at an angle, using up two parking spaces, people inside treat you like dirt when you ask them to straighten up.
At a six lane intersection, with only one lane at right angles, and all lanes with two way traffic, a speeding rickshaw cuts finely a cm away from my toe , the driver glares and whizzes away, even though the light indicates that pedestrians may walk then; and a police chowky bang in the intersection is locked from outside, no one policing the intersection, because so many are busy catching drivers, cars , bikes and tempos, down the road.
It is normally traditional to breathe a sigh of relief when someone introduces rules .
You think life is simplified.
No. At least not here.
We have come to a point, that everytime there is a rule specified, an alternative system gears up to counter it, for a price. Those that can pay, pay. At some point soneone up there, notices, and initiates one more rule to counter this.
And this continues ad nauseum, in what people call a loop.
In my younger IT working days, something getting stuck in a loop was bad news.
I guess times have changed.