The seventeenth alphabet in English language is quite funny to look at it in an artist’s point of view. He changes it into a cat or mouse or monkey or pig with his deft touch and scroll of his pencil. Anybody can make the tiny tots laugh with that sketch.

That letter Q gives a whole world of difference when it comes as a word. Again the word is spelt as the letter itself. Is it transcendental letter like the Greek alphabet   π as a number to be multiplied to measure the perimeter of circle or the area or the volume of circular objects? Again this comes as a measure to calculate the value of g, the great gravitational value discovered by Newton by a mere fall of an apple on his head. See that the world will come to a standstill if that Greek alphabet is not used!  Q is also a word like that, without which the world would turn chaotic.

Coming back to Q this is one thing I cannot forget when I was in Bombay, the present Mumbai. Standing in line to board the BEST bus at Esplanade or for that anywhere in the city where there is a bus shelter. It is a must and I used to follow this as an unwritten law. I was talking the era 1960’s and 70’s. Afterwards I left that city and came to the chaotic Bangalore where everything to board and alight was a ‘might is right’ attitude.  I was forced to buy a motor cycle due to that. The vehicles were maintaining discipline at the cross roads and the life during that period up to 80’s was peaceful. Now I am in Chennai. The situation is ‘Hara Haro hara’. Or should I say Chance’ illa?

I felt happy when a mumbaiker landed at my house today and told that the same discipline is maintained in BEST services. Kudos to the conductors of BEST for their nasal accent in telling ‘no seat’. They were stopping the overcrowding. Nowhere in India could I see the Q except Mumbai.

The Q instills discipline in us whether we like it or not. It teaches some sort of patience in us if at all we want to learn to be patient. Standing upright is a form of Yoga. During this time of waiting, we can take deep breath. Even reading a book or news paper or chanting slokas by whisper or in mind rather than rolling someone’s head will be an added purification to our body, mind and soul. Why standing?  We have even slept side by side before the ticket counters for two days during the summer holiday rush time during our no computer era. The NCC in school days had taught us to sleep in barracks and on the road side and river side during the route march practices. Very good lessons that has carried us disciplined this far.

Jumping queues has become a fashion or to show the might. Today there is enough media to write and show these ‘malpractices’. This I had seen recently during the election. Very big shots, the ministers have done this. None in their family is ready to come out and say what they had done is wrong. If they cannot eschew out the wrong in them in following a discipline, what can our leaders do in Parliament in setting right all the wrong doings in the state and country as a whole?

Keeping an arm’s distance between persons while standing in Q is a good gesture of course for all matters when the Q is a mixed gender pattern. This will help persons to escape from scandals and harassments. In defense it is followed in the March pasts and parades. But inside a cramped room?

To get my aadhaar card registration formalities I had a heavy blow in standing at arm’s length. The lady in front of me was talking over her mobile all the gossiping and as soon as she reached the desk, she phoned up and like a swarm of bees about 15 of her family and friends barged into that room and filled the gap in between and I was really and not virtually pushed out of the room. I had to return home as I was sure that I will not get registered on that day. My wife came to my succor with a hot cup of coffee to regain my strength to stand again the next day or another day. When I left the battlefield, I heard the song “Intrupoy naaLai vaaraai”, the pathos filled voice of C S Jayaraman and when my wife consoled me I could hear “Samsaaram samsaaram sakala jeev ‘aadhaar’ am, the old Ghantasala song.

The e -commerce and e- billing and e- banking has helped us to a certain extent to get rid of the Q.But think of ration shops. Can e-ration possible so I can keep a bag under the computer and with a click of the mouse get my quota of rice and sugar? The ration shop will always be a dingy cramped up place and one has to sneak and crawl through the barrels and bags heaped up.  Whenever the ration shop is not opened, we keep the bags, buckets and kerosene tins in “Q” and wait under the shadow of a tree (which is very rare) and watch from a distance whether someone intrudes and squeezes his bag in between.

An out of the Q thinking:   We can think of a machine like ATM for ration articles as well. Just like the bank pass book, insert the ration card book into a slot, it will read all details, press your requirements as per the allotted quota, the machine will correct that also, then it will tell the amount, put it in the appropriate slots, then the bill of materials will get printed and the materials will come out through the respective slots as packs of 1 Kg or 1 lit and finally the ration card book and the bill with a sweet voice ” Vaazhga VaLamudan” from the vocal chords of a celebrity. Let some genius brain from India think and get a patent before China, Korea, Taiwan or Japan take over. Perfect Q will be maintained and few security personals will get job.

Most of the cinema houses are crowded, but not much of crowd at the counters, thanks again to the internet and e-booking.

In front of ATMs, there is a heavy rush of Q. To have our own money we have to be beggars in front of the ‘active’ machines.

See the position of Q in the order in which it is placed in the English alphabet. Just analyse the three letters before it and three after.

N  O   P      Q        R    S    T

N    Nonsensical thinking                                R     resets   your mind

O    Objectionable attitudes          Q                 S     Steadies your mind

P     Perturbed mind                                             T     Teaches tour mind

The first three happens when there is no discipline

The Q disciplines everything. (At least as long as one is in the Q)

Again Q ‘quatermaster’ is a charecter in Bond Films.He is a man who creates special gadgets for Bond.

By Sundareswaran            Date:  26th September 2014


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