Humour, Mine

Social Distancing

Respect other people’s personal space.

Do not breathe down their necks .

Keep safe distance and set your pace.

If there is an arm’s-length distance between A and B, then C cannot squeeze in to the elbow’s spot, this kind of social maths is incorrect in every which way.

Everybody likes their personal space.

Mom, he hissed and pulled me back.

What?, I asked as I tried to think of the reason for his embarrassed and whispered utterance.

Personal space, he smilingly replied.

I wasn’t within touching distance of him. What do you mean by personal space? I asked flabbergasted.

People keep a distance of about 6 feet between themselves and others in the queues here. My son explained patiently.I nodded self consciously and looked around. There were people standing in queues around me at the four odd counters in the supermarket.

It was only when the cashier raised her or his hand and called someone did they go to the counter. They all stood in the line fair bit away from the checkout counters.

My friend moved to Canada a few years back and settled there. She was in Mumbai recently to visit her mother. While she was standing in line at her local bank in Mumbai mindful of the social distancing norms post covid. Personal space concept was fresh in her mind so she left a gap of six feet between her and the person before her. Two men got into the vacant space and went on ahead of her.

She laughed when she narrated this incident but it is so sad that we don’t believe in according space to others. I had gone to pay my mobile phone bill at the nearby outlet, a man stood breathing down my neck. I paid by card and had to punch in my pin, he was staring at my card.I politely requested him to move a couple of steps back which he did but didn’t it occur to him to stand back on his own?

At the ticket counter of a local exhibition, I paid the money and was waiting for my change. A man literally pushed me out of his way to get to the window. I was horrified by his callous behaviour but he was non-apologetic.

At the subway stations when the train comes in people stand to the side and wait for those alighting to come out peacefully only then do they embark, barring a few impatient ones.

Personal space is precious and we all have a right to it. We are changing but have a long way to go. One step at a time with adequate distance between you and others.


Sulekha Rawat

8 thoughts on “Social Distancing

  1. So so agree with the concept of personal space and the constant dilemma of according space to people versus allowing others to jump the queue! Of course, in our country a lack of the concept is also due to the fact that there are so many of us, and so little space!

  2. I must agree that I’m surprised by the patience people show in queues here. Also, the space if you’re a new driver, people give them the time to recover on the road. We have a lot of learning to do, but above everything, at our place we must learn to start a little early. I’ve been there, but I’m learning a lot and unlearning the rest to maintain the social space. ☺️ A timely reminder Sulekha☺️

    1. My friend was amused at the cheekiness of the people who had cut in the line. I felt it required a mention in my post to maybe create awareness and remind ourselves of our impatience at times.

  3. Absolutely agree with you, Sulekha. In India, personal space has no regard. Even personal choices are not respected. There is a long way to go. Hopefully, we will get there eventually.
    Happy to read your post, Sulekha. Hoping to see more from you from now on. 🙂

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