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     Volume 11 |Issue 42| October 26, 2012 |


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Who not to Pick on –
Unless You Have a Death Wish

Aasha Mehreen Amin

Losing one's temper is a part of what it means to be human. With the stresses and strains of everyday life it is not unusual for people to fly off the handle at apparently trivial things. But no matter how privileged or pampered you are there are certain people you know you shouldn't pick fights with – for your own wellbeing. The obvious ones are those who have the upper hand in terms of power in the relationship. These include your boss, your mother, your father, the local thug in the neighbourhood, the head of state, certain countries with World Power status – you get the gist. But in this list of 'Who not to pick on, unless you have a death wish' there are some individuals that need to be mentioned just in case.

The person behind the steering wheel
This applies to chauffeurs of cars, CNGs, microbuses and buses, pilots of small chartered planes or helicopters as well as the rickshawpuller who has enough resentment against the likes of you to last him a lifetime. Some passengers have a tendency to figuratively take over the steering wheel and will give instructions for every little detail – when to switch on the left indicator, when to bark at the errant vehicle trying to tackle from the side, when to wipe off sweat pouring down the driver's face because of all the stress. While this maybe helpful to a certain extent, it can also be a little nerve-wracking, causing the driver to actually forget to use his/her own reflexes and hence make disastrous mistakes. The same applies to employers who tend decide to berate their drivers about certain misdemeanours just when the car has landed in the busiest, most difficult roads. Needless to say this is not conducive to keeping the drivers' nerves calm. In the case of rickshaw pullers, however, sometimes it is necessary to give instructions like: don't try to overtake that Pajero or it's better not to go along the wrong side of the road, or let's not take the footpath today. This is because he really doesn't care anymore as nothing will ever change in his life – hence the absence of brakes in some of these quaint three-wheeled contraptions. In the case of the bus/minibus/tempo driver, unless all the passengers work together, telling him to slow down or not speed race with the other killer buses, may egg him on more, just for the perverse pleasure of seeing those petrified faces.

Your Barber/Beautician
It is highly risky for you to tell the barber that you think he should maintain better hygiene standards, just as he is about to give you a close shave with that deadly razor – you never know he may just blow a fuse and things could get pretty ugly.

Similarly those women who go to the parlour and start complaining about everything the minute they are seated at the beautician's chair may experience unnecessary misery from a haircut and eye make up that will make them look like a startled skunk and no amount of screaming and threatening will make the beautician budge from the position that 'this is what you asked for'.

Your Surgeon
It's always good to ask your doctor questions regarding the procedure, possible risks and post operative care but just before you are konked out at the operation theatre it is not a good idea to ask if everyone has scrubbed in properly and if there is a possibility of a discount. The risks of bad consequences go even higher in the case of a plastic surgeon – if you keep insisting just before surgery that you have to have Ash's (Aishwarya's) cheekbones and lips: you may end up looking more like Abhishekh in a bad mood and that will not go well at the next kitty party.


Your Waiter/Waitress
Everyone knows that waiters and waitresses will spit in your food and fresh lime soda if you tick them off during the ordering – “Don't you have anything else besides this menu?” or if you criticize the way they thumped the drinks on your table because they were having a bad day and you should be grateful that you are being served at all. If you have already decided you will never come to this joint again, crib to your heart's content, call the manager, write bad things in the comments form – but only after the meal has been served. Then walk out and never come back again.




All places, characters, institutions and events described in this article are fictitious. Any resemblance to any person or institution living or dead is purely coincidental.

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