On the ‘Q’ueue

On the ‘Q’ueue

On the ‘Q’ueue. The voting incident of Chiranjeevi and all newspapers carrying a caption Chiranjeevi falls in line left a thought, on “lines”. There...

The voting incident of Chiranjeevi and all newspapers carrying a caption Chiranjeevi falls in line left a thought, on “lines”. There is a line that unites Hyderabad and we love queues. Hyderabadis love queues. we love lines but we love breaking them as much.

We never grow out of it and spend approximately half of our lives waiting in a queue. The other half is spend waiting to join one. For a tatkal ticket in railways a line is formed at 2 in the night for a ticket to be issued at 10am the next morning. For a passport we stand up in line from a day before. Surprisingly when it comes to joining a queue we are always early. If a counter opens at ten in the morning, we Hyderabadis start queuing up at nine, the night before. In case we cannot participate in person, we appoint a representative: a friend, a relative, a stranger, one of our kids, a hand bag, a handkerchief, a shawl, a rock, a stick, a pen. Such is our commitment to queues.
There are two distinctive forms of queues, one to file and then it is pile. Any place with a counter in front to stand for will do: movie theater, post office, bus station, railway station, government office, a bank,a petrol pump a fast food place, e seva,mee seva and you name it. With the counter closed, it starts in the familiar file form: long and skinny, disciplined serpentine queue . As soon as the counter opens, there is a surge of energy and the file form transforms itself into a unique pile form: every Hyderabadi climbing in front is forming a giant human ball of confusion. There is no respect to an old man, an elderly lady, a teenage girl or a innocent school boy. It is a pile rush, jump, stamp, jostle, hurt and move.
Standing in a queue at the Quli Qutub Shahi tombs at the ticket checking counter one realises a few Hyderabadis have inherent urge to press against each other, and has the ability to get closer then Siamese twins. There can be half a mile of free space, but we would not sacrifice an inch while standing in a queue. For Hyderabadis to stand a few inches behind is a sure sign of weakness; to surrender an inch is a humiliating defeat, to leave a gap is pure guilt.
When in a train we form a queue in front of the lavatory and wait for our turn, least realizing the embarrassment and discomfort especially to lady coming out of the washroom. (Some privacy please)
As soon as the pilot readies the plane for landing and turns on the seatbelt sign, we stand up, pull out all our heavy luggage, and form a long line in the aisles to counter balance the angle of the descending plane ensuring a safe landing. Can one imagine the plight of the air hostess and the pilot?
There are serpentine queues to have a glance of the gods for a few seconds in temples and a VIP breaks the queue, has a long darshan, photo session and the devotees in queue are sometimes in the line even for 48 long hours. There is no “line “culture for the rich, affluent and the powerful.
We Hydearbadis instinctively form queues no matter what – even if there are chairs to sit, even if the counter is closed, even if they have a scheduled appointment. We are adept in any location: may it be a temple or a toilet; may it be a mosque or a doctor, may it be a pre-school or a post office; may it be a train or a plane .
Above this we have an expertise at breaking this “lines” using the “muscle power” or the “mobile power” while a poor, illiterate, less influential peace loving Hyderabadi gets to listen, AAP KATAR MEIN HAI KRUPAYA PRATIKSHA KIJIYE”.
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