The moniker of "Crane Bedi" that I got during my stint with Delhi Traffic Police forms the essence of this blog. A crane removes obstacles-something I have tried to do all my life. Scores of people have urged me to share with them my experiences. Now, at the behest of my two daughters (yes, I have two, one is my godchild), I have decided to keep up with the times. This will serve as a platform to share, narrate and interact with you. "It's always possible"...even for a 57-year old to blog!
“Do you know how many seconds we get each day?” Just one hand went up to this question in an audience of more than 1,500 students at a business school where I was invited to speak on time management. The others did not have a clue. They were amazed to know they had 86,400 seconds in their account each day.
Every night, this account becomes empty as we go to sleep. We are left with no credit, as we cannot store these seconds. We also cannot even overdraw. Each day opens with a new account, this is the law of nature. How we invest these 86,400 seconds is in our hands. Our good health, happiness and success depend on it. Whether we fail or pass depends on variable factors.
Every one of us arrives with the gift of energy, visible from the moment we are born. We enhance this energy when we breathe well, sleep well, live well, think well, work well, plan well, and also maintain and cultivate our relationships well. We draw energy from all things we do, but doing it in the right way and right amount is important.
Listen to the body clock
Our body’s system has inbuilt clock. It gives us an alarm when we are fatigued, hungry, depressed, sleepless, stiff, ill, and ageing. It tells us to listen to the body and change our lifestyle when we must. Our body asks us to replenish, repair, restore, detoxify, relax, rest, recover, and treat it. It wants attention, care and right use. Not all of us are built to be marathon runners, weight lifters, boxer, or sprinters. Even champions are not for life. Every purple patch has a time span. Overstretching the body burns it out.
Three periods and their purpose
There are three time periods in our lives - the past, the present, and the future. The past is for learning from experience to live well in the present and prepare for the future. Those who learn from history do not fail. Hitler would not have lost the war had he learnt from Napolean’s experience that Russian winter is the invaders’ deadliest enemy.
We must know our high-output and low-output hours, so that we can complete the difficult tasks when we are most active and easy work when the energy is down.
All creative people and meritorious students know this. Socialising during peak hours and studying during weak hours is doing it the wrong may. It requires only normal intelligence to know that we need to complete the urgent and important tasks first, or everything else in life will become urgent.
To do more in less time
If we are to achieve more in less time, personal discipline is the key. Treasure your time; evaluate regularly how and where your seconds are going. Stick to first things first. Make a to-do list and budget your time. Remember that 80% of the success comes from 20% of your activities, so remain focussed.
Set clear objectives and deadlines. Know why you are doing whatever you are up to. If you want to have fun, you must enjoy. Flow with it. It will help you cut your losses in terms of precious time. Do not stress and overburden yourself. Set realistic goals, and as said earlier, finish the difficult tasks first.
What have you sown?
You reap what you sow in those 86,400 seconds. I asked the B-school students: “If you want trust, are you sowing honesty? If you want friends, are you sowing goodness? If you want greatness, are you sowing humility? If you want victory, are you sowing perseverance? If you want harmony, are you sowing consideration? If you want success, are you sowing hard work? If you want reconciliation, are you sowing forgiveness? If you want improvement, are you sowing patience? If you want a miracle, are you sowing faith?”
Be careful in what you sow in the 86,400 seconds you get each day, for it will determine what you will reap. Fruits of labour are based on the choices you make through the day, one day at a time. Time flies, change is the law, growth is optional, choose wisely.
With Haryana panchayat elections around the corner, I decided to reach out to a few women sarpanches to know their experiences. I was curious to know how much they got to contribute in their respective villages? What was their experience like? What kind of response did they get from men and women? Was there a difference? How cooperative were government officials? What about resources? Were they reasonable? How did they meet their day-to-day expenses? Were there budget provisions to do so? Did the new elected women get any training? How did they manage as families in rural areas are mostly male-driven? Who was the real sarpanch in such cases?
The interaction brought me a lot of insights into things. I was amazed to see women so perceptive. They knew what was needed and what was wrong. They were the perfect faculty for rural management institutes. But did any institute ever think of co-opting them as faculty to share what worked and what did not and how they dealt with others to get results? Unfortunately, no one as they are not formal MBAs.
I found them the real practical managers who knew life through the challenges they survive through. I am saying challenges, because without water and electricity and with minimum resources keeping the family going is not easy; on top of it, with husbands controlling them and government officials almost ignoring them. My heart cries out for them. They are the real teachers who know what needs to be learnt and changed in rural India, which comprises two thirds of the population.
Startling revelations Here are some of their statements which will stay with me. "Ensure we have a cocktail dinner," said a rural official to a woman sarpanch, who had invited him for dinner as she wanted a road in her village to be widened. When I asked her from where did she get the money to serve the cocktail dinner, she said she got it from her husband, that is why he dictated the terms.
Every time one of them called up the local MLA or the minister concerned for the development work in their village, he would say, "Route your request via the CM". "But why should I, you are our representative," she would respond, and he would disconnect the phone.
There is a short induction programme for them, they said, but nothing about the likely challenges at work and how to cope with them. Also, no introduction to the officials they would be working with and no sharing of experience with past sarpanches.
On dealing with men and women of the village, they said, they delivered to the extent possible. Men, of course, did not accept them, while many women were jealous and did not cooperate. Most women said they would not like to contest the elections again, terming it as a horrid experience.
When asked if they thought men and women differed in their work as sarpanches, they said, "Women unite the village whereas men divide it." On how they met their travel and other expenses, they replied that they did it from their own pockets, which meant they tokk the money from their husbands. There is hardly a provision that recognises this need. Men completely control women's mobility in rural areas. They decide for them and even perform the duties in their name most of the time.
What needs to be done Having heard them, I deduce this: Women sarpanches need to be better empowered by resources and training. They must be introduced to key officials in the induction stage itself so that they are in the know and the need for cocktail dinners is eliminated.
An environment of handover and takeover must be held between the new incumbent and the past sarpanch. Government officials should play the connecting role. Perhaps a practice should be started and experimented with.
Also, the first-rank local officials in rural areas need to be overseen better by the district administration and the head offices, which appear to be rather weak or distant. My enquiries revealed absence of field visits and any worthwhile interactions with locals through rural tours and community interactions and dialogues with panchayats.
Unless the senior officials regularly visit villages, the situation would not change. Corruption and delays and cocktail dinners would prevail and women would remain an undermined potential in rural development.
During my interaction, there were two very telling statements. "Are villagers so worthless that they do not need electricity during the day? and "who could be a better manager than a woman, who manages her large family despite different constraints, yet becomes a sarpanch and struggles her way through again?
My key learning from this interaction is: unless the male-dominating mindset changes, women would not be able to contribute their full potential to society. And unless senior officials regularly visit villagers and connect with their residents, rural India would not change. And unless both these changes happen, India's development will remain urban-centric and migration from rural areas will continue to the detriment of overcrowded cities.
Solutions lie in the hands of self-driven field-oriented civil servants, better-quality politicians and progressive teachers sending out educated boys with inclusive mindsets and confident and informed girls.
As students, you build your own future; and education is your duty to acquire
"Remember to comb beneath the hair if you want it to stay recharged and keep your mind virus-free," was one of the several nuggets I gave to college students in Mumbai on the subject of early leadership.
I began by asking them if they had planned for the next one, two, or 60 years? "If all goes well health-wise, you will live up to be 90-plus, so have you prepared for the decades to come in the demanding circumstances ahead? Would you be self-reliant, managing relationships well, and fulfilling responsibilities? Are you preparing your toolkit for the long haul?" I asked them. Laying the foundations of life skills was the focus of my address.
I told them leadership was an expression of responses to situations in life, responses drawn from the toolkit of our character that we build consciously or subconsciously. I reminded them that time flies. Their mentors, parents or providers will pass away some day, and in the end, they will be left on their own. Will they be in good company of their own self when they are by themselves?
I told them they were gifted thrice more than they thought, with a healthy body, a young mind, and the capability to grab the opportunities before them. They need to use all these gifts, none at the cost of the other. They must be conscious of their every thought, word and deed, which is called being your own witness. It's not early to know.
Time is now, before habits harden and we learn at a huge price.
Without mentioning names, I asked them if they had learned anything from a high-profile murder case where it is alleged that a rich mother killed her daughter in pursuit of greed. I reminded them that life would give them many instances to learn from. Wise will be those who pick up the right things to learn.
Why must anyone remind you of your own responsibility at different stages of life? As students, you build your own future; and education - which is a combination of life skills, including professional ability - is your duty to acquire. The more attention you pay it, the securer you will be for the next 60 years.
Since youth indulge too long in social networking, it was natural to talk about this. "Why can't you be researchers? A world of knowledge is available at the press of a button, with search engines as your librarians. How much time do you spend on this, compared with the time you spend with friends on social-networking websites?" I asked them.
Don't wait for jobs
Your life will be built on the company you keep, the material you read, the experience you gain, and how you apply this experience in your day-to-day life. I was told the college had a department of entrepreneurship. I thought of asking the students how many of them had used their summer vacations to earn some money. In the audience of more than 650, only 30-odd hands went up. "Learn by doing, don't wait for jobs, that might come or not. Your self-confidence will be built by doing. The younger the stronger," I said.
When you give the attention-starved generation too much to absorb, they will pick and choose, even when all you said is vital. During the question time, a student was keen to know how the Indian youth could create a revolution of any kind. I replied: "If you care for your country, spare time to teach the illiterates and give skills to the poor, rural communities in particular."
India needs a million more schools. Why? Because we add another UAE or Australia each year to our population. Where will more resources come from?
The youth of this country need to be aware of their responsibilities as citizens and add "kindness quotient" to their IQ, EQ, and spiritual quotient. They could invest their summer vacations in doing internships or helping India become literate, skilled, and cleaner in the next five years. Independent women with earning ability would want to produce fewer children.
I was happy these graduate students heard me with respect. It was at Guru Nanak College of Arts, Science and Commerce. Built as a school in 1947 by the refugee Punjabi community, it has grown into an institution with own management institute. India's present and future were right there. I was the past, striving to remain in present and contribute to the future.
While we celebrate 68 years of Independence, I recall days of my prison assignment when I saw many children with their mother in the jail. The Indian prison system allows women lodged in jails to keep their children with them up to the age of six.
The children were there as their mothers wanted to keep them safe. On one of my first visits in the jail, soon after taking over as the inspector general (IG prisons), I asked the superintendent why were these children were not in school? He said: "Madam, there is no school and there is no teacher. We don't even have the budget for education in the prison complex housing more than 9,700 inmates (at that time)."
These children, as I saw, knew the language of courts, lawyers, and crime. The games they played were how to track and crush insects and play knife-knife. They knew the art of pick-pocketing and they could demonstrate it without any hesitation. For them, it was a sport.
Nursery school in jail
One of immediate things which we did was to open a nursery school on the jail premises. We carved out a space from within the women's ward compound and separated the children from their mothers through the day. We connected with the community and asked for donations in kind for books, toys and stationery. It all arrived. And we started the school. Educated women inmates were asked to take charge along with Catholic nuns who came and volunteered to serve. The place was also visited by Mother Teresa. The children were given school uniforms and bags. This created a whole new atmosphere inside the women's prisons.
Women inmates were told to ready their children for school at 8am. Mothers loved the idea of their children getting education. We also took the children for outings to parks, doll museums and zoos. The whole idea was to educate the children in a free and fair environment.
But then came a challenge. What do we do with the children above the age of six? This is was the upper age limit of staying with mothers in the jail. These women did not want to send their children to shelter homes for various reasons. Primarily being the feeling of insecurity. Meanwhile, the children's school on the Tihar jail premises had been institutionalised and christened as India Vision School after I received the Ramon Magsaysay Award.
But when I was transferred from the Tihar jail, I started looking for a safe place where these children could continue learning. As nature conspires and gives you what you truly ask, one day Catholic nuns of Assisi Convent School approached me for providing education and hostel facility to girl children of prisoners. We only had to provide the hostel and school fee. This led to the start of the Children of Vulnerable Families Project in 1994. It still continues to serve, linking the prison nursery school with missionary schools outside. Today, the India Vision Foundation (IVF) reaches out to nearly 300 families with similar programmes running in four state prisons of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.
Last week, the programme came together for its first alumni meet. Over 70 children, now grown up, some in college and universities, some married and some employed attended it. It was a reward of over 20 years of work, which started in 1994. We decided to use the opportunity to ask them a few questions to help analyse and reflect. Here are a few of the answers being shared and also the essential learning for us as a community.
Question: If you get a chance to change something in your childhood, what is it that you will like to change and why?
Answers: (Indicative) They all longed for togetherness of their parents. They all wished to be with them. Homes which saw violence and disrespect of their mother were distressing to them. Father's drunkenness impacted them. Poverty agonised them. Disease impoverished them more. They all longed for love, care and opportunities like others. They wanted to share their feelings but some had none. They overcame these because of care we gave them.
Question: How did you deal with your parents' criminal background?
Answers: (Indicative) One said: "She saw the wrongs, but ignored them. I still loved them." Another one said: "It was embarrassing when some of my classmates came to know that my parents were in jail. After a certain period of time, I started to think that everything happens for a reason. If they had not gone to the jail, I would not have got a chance to go to a good school." (Sent by India Vision Foundation running the Children of Vulnerable Families Project). Another said: "I used to run away from my friends' remarks till a senior counsellor trained me how to respond to them."
Yearning for parents' love
The alumni meet revealed that children who suffer at a very early age never forget their lost opportunities. They yearn for their parents' love. They love proximity. Poverty hits them hard. They want both, mother and father. They all wanted to be educated from English medium schools. Hindi alone limits their opportunities. We found girls more expressive in sharing their feelings than boys. They were equally more sensitive.
Lessons learnt were that each child is a life whatever the circumstances might be. Children suffer when parents and teachers fail in their responsibilities. Some children manage to emerge, others take a long time. All need handholding in such circumstances. But all are not so fortunate.
By taking care of such children, the community has succeeded in saving girls from early or forced marriages (as they said in their responses). The foundation and the residential schooling protected them from being victimised or exploited. Boys too were saved from behavioural delinquency or repeating crimes as seen. Sincere collective community effort saves lives. It just needs love of heart and compassion. Children are our future. Parenting is a huge responsibility. Do not undermine it. Never take away your child's childhood.
India has death penalty on its statute book not because Indians are blood-thirsty and want an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth, but because India will not incentivise terrorism. Terrorists cannot kill, attack, destroy, injure and still live to attack again.
India is duty-bound to keep her people safe so that they can live in harmony and peace. India is a democratic country with a robust judiciary. It has due process of law and the right to fair trial applicable to everyone. Every citizen has certain fundamental rights. But they come with responsibilities.
While we have the right to life, we also have the responsibility not to take another's, and if someone commits the crime, he will be tried by law, sent to prison, face a trial, and if proven guilty, gets convicted and goes to prison for punishment as per the sentence awarded. The courts award death penalty depending on the irrefutable barbarity of the case. However, Indian courts have used it sparingly in rarest of the rare cases.
Crime of terror is barbaric. It's cold-blooded murder. It is equally an assault on the security and integrity of the state. It is also an attack on the nation of 1.2 billion people with a conscious attempt to cause mayhem by mass life destruction, bloodshed, pain, suffering, communal division, hostility, revenge within the communities by undermining trust and mutual respect.
The Indian democracy gives all, terrorists included, the due process of law. However barbaric the offence, the accused has the right to defend himself.
Victims' rights are the responsibility of the state delivered through the governments at the Centre and the state. In case of unsatisfactory protection of victims by the state, victims suffer, and lose faith in the system and the governance of the day. The political parties at the helm tend to lose support. Hence, to keep their respective constituencies intact, there is undoubtedly an element of competitive politics and political posturing is seen at play.
Threat of terror
India continues to be under serious threat of terror for decades. It has lost thousands of innocent ordinary citizens, policemen and women, and personnel in armed forces. The attacks have become almost a daily feature in different parts of the country.
As a cop I notice considerable outcry by the intelligentsia against death penalty to a terrorist, irrespective of his barbaric acts. Recently, the country lost the Gurdaspur SP with his 'thullas'. Their loss, comparatively, received little space and attention in visual, print and social media vis-a-vis the clamour of the vocal intelligentsia pleading for mercy to a terrorist. How justified was this? Is this not national blasphemy? And cruelty towards one's own, just because you yourselves have not been the victims, and have not experienced the pain and suffering?
Should our hearts not bleed for the loss of innocent lives and the hapless? Should we not support the rank and file in uniform, our real protectors? I asked a known opinion influencer advocating the abolition of death penalty, "If his heart bled for the slain Gurdaspur SSP and other 'thullas'?" I did not get a satisfactory reply.
Can our hearts instead not cry for a more effective, strong and resourced criminal justice system? Can we not ask for speedy trials, more courts, tougher and updated laws and processes, quality investigation teams, well-trained and equipped, strong intelligence systems, and certainly, exemplary punishment for terrorists?
What we see is energy being dissipated by pleading for mercy for killers or the ticking bombs who have just one single focus -- to tear apart our social fabric and create communal disharmony at any cost. If you get terrorists alive, they remain ticking time bombs in custody, in transit or even after being convicted while lodged in jails. In truth, terrorists are exceedingly indoctrinated with rare exceptions amenable to reforms. This comes out of my experience in prison management.
India today needs an uncompromising voice of unity against terror and terrorists. Challenges and threats of security are accelerating by the day, as is evident the world over, while synergy in political parties back home is diminishing. What all stakeholders need to remember is that if you play with fire, your hands too can get burnt.
It's a horror story a true story still unravelling as I write. It is about what could happen to our lost children.How vital it is to do all that must be done to save them from the clutches of necrophiliacs and others prowling the streets and bylanes to steal and whisk away vulnerable children.
Victims of the most gruesome crime are children of the poor, below 10 years of age, playing by themselves, not far away from their mothers or homes. Or falling prey to the lure of sweets or other attractions. Their parents are mostly labourers, daily-wagers, living on sites or sleeping off the roads.
I am provoked to write this piece after I read a news story of yet another child rapist. Not long ago, we had a similar horrific case in Noida, in a village called Nithari when several children had gone missing and bones were found thrown in a drain outside the culprits' house.
The rapist-murderer was a known cannibal and is in jail, awaiting execution. (Still) I decided to analyse it for our readers to enhance some understanding, which will hopefully prevent wherever possible.
But this story will have to be read out to vulnerable sections which may not be aware of such monsters walking our streets to steal our innocents to fulfil their sexual addiction with children.
Here is the case in reference: "At 17, his first crime was a rape & murder..." The accused, Ravinder Kumar, 24, just a 5-foot-5-inch man, said that after he got away the first time, probably when he was 17, it made him confident. He confessed to the police that he was always on the lookout for the next child-victim.
He has been raping children, dead or alive, over the past seven years. He disclosed that he would drink, take drugs with his friends, watch porn and go 'hunting' for a child to be sexually abused.
He did go to red-light areas to get sex, but he had no money, so he picked up children for free. Also, those in brothels were higher in age. He preferred younger.
He went around loitering in colonies looking for children outside their house or near latrines, luring them or even lifting them at midnight, asleep beside their mothers. He would just pick up those who refused to get tempted by sweets and simply gag and whisk them away. He would then take them to an isolated place, silence them by throttling them, and then rape their bodies. After fulfilling his lust, he dumped the bodies in a drain or a ditch and walk away, not to return to the same vicinity for some months to avoid getting caught.
He disclosed that he got this idea after seeing a Hindi film called 'Samne' where the actor did exactly this.
Currently, the accused is taking the police to all places he is recalling where he picked up children to satiate his lust. Till now, the figure is astounding, it's increasing by the day.
Tragically, in one case which he pointed out, the father of the deceased girl is in jail. He was considered the accused by the area police. Obviously, it's a false investigation as the real criminal is this rapist caught now, who has confessed to having raped the child and thrown her away.
Prey to necrophilia
Curious to get to the root cause and explore when and how this addiction began? Any person who seeks out children for sexual arousal by corpses is known to be suffering from necrophilia.
What had his parents to say? I tracked the case with cops. I learnt that the mother, as expected, is in denial, saying that he has been framed.
She does not disclose that she would have no clue as what her son was doing, and why would he be away for long periods. She also did not know that her son was sodomised as a child. Another son of hers too had run away from home on being beaten.
The father, a plumber from Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, left his village, Ganjduware, for Delhi, for want of work.
He, too, had no clue what the son was up to. He appears to be having no capability of handing his six children. (Not known yet what other five are contributing and whether they were aware of their brother. Interrogation so far revealed one among them knew).
This is the family profile: poor, unemployed, children living off the streets, growing up with bad friends who drink, watch porn, rape and rob.
There is a need to comment on the police and the courts too. Ravinder was arrested by the police last year, for a similar offence. His earlier crimes seem to have not surfaced. I say so because this offender was released on bail, because the boy he sodomised escaped death by a whisker. A case was registered. But during the investigations, because the rapist was not recognised, he was released on bail.
My anger is with police, prosecutor and the courts. Police seems to have not interrogated him enough. Had all this been unearthed, many more children's lives could have been saved as he continued to rape while on bail.
Armed with the past record, the prosecutor could have prevented grant of bail by placing solid evidence before the court to deny bail to this rapist. The court granted bail without taking serious sureties in such a heinous offence. In such a case, he could have been on conditional bail, like reporting to the nearest police station and an NGO, for a close watch.
All three apparently took this case as one of the many, not knowing that this criminal is an addict who is on a daily prowl for child victims.
So what do we learn from all this?
Becoming parents is nature's blessing. But nurturance is their essential responsibility. Parents may be poor but what their children are doing with their lives is their bounded duty to know. This applies to bringing up sons in particular.
Watch over your growing-up sons. The company they keep and habits being formed. They could one day drive parents into jail too.
Parents must look after their children. Do not let them alone in parks. Keep an eye on them. They must report crimes or suspects. In many cases, being migrants, children go missing, but also go unreported. To prevent crimes and get such criminals caught, registration of crime is essential.
Thorough investigations with comprehensive interrogations are critical to further crime prevention. It unearths past criminal acts and increases possibilities of bail refusal. Effective interrogation is crime prevention for present and future.
In such crimes, easy bail can prove disastrous, as it did in this case. Conditional bail, such as periodic visit to a police station or an NGO for attendance, and possible rehabilitation and watch can prevent repeat crime.
Without this, in totality, children, mostly girls, will continue to be lost to such necrophiliacs and research shows such cases are on the increase.
We are a different person in our country. But our behaviour undergoes a drastic change when we travel overseas, especially to the West.
During my recent trip to a western country, I decided to keep a mental note of all changes that happen to understand this natural transformation. Let me share my observations.
Beginning from the check-in
If you are in a rush you can push your way around. There would always be somebody available for help. And if you are a bit known face, assistance comes to you on its own. The 'help' will escort you to the waiting lounge carrying your handbags. Your 'assistant' will hang around till he sees you off at the boarding gate. Before leaving, the person would ensure a photograph (selfie these days) with you for his Facebook page.
Does this happen overseas? No way.
Aboard the flight…
If on a flight other than Air India or Jet, (meaning our desi flights) every time you ask for some help, you will say a thank you several times. This is the beginning of change. And if a flight attendant is a westerner, you will think twice before asking for anything extra - even a glass of water.
If you were dozing off at the time when the food was being served, you miss it. You will not get it. Time is up for serving. No point asking. You are late. You bear it...Simple! You don't complain, but accept it. (This is the second change). Had you been on a desi flight, you would have complained and created s scene.
After you get off the plane …
You meekly go and stand in the queue…whoever you may be, you hear a voice, follow the line, and you obey, holding your handbags. The queue is moving at snail's pace, but you don't complain. When you reach at the other end, a mechanical voice tells you to go to next counter. You follow instructions. (third change).
At the immigration counter…
You give your immigration form and the official finds some columns not properly filled. He tells you to go back and refill the form. You quietly go, complete the form and stand in the queue again. You dare not ask for an out-of--turn favour. This is the rule, and you follow it. (fourth change)
Now you pick up your heavy strolleys from the luggage belt. You want a baggage trolley. You pull it, but it's locked. You won't get it till you put in some dollars - cash or credit card. You learn to do it. (fifth change ). Remember your home airport, where it was all free. You curse them, but you need the trolleys. So you pay up grudgingly...
At the exit gate…
If you have to take a taxi, you move into the queue again and can't jump it. And if you are to be picked up by a relative, you call him up. As the person concerned can't be waiting at the airport due to no- parking, he is either in the parking lot or going around in circles waiting for your call. When you are being driven home, you put on your seat belt, realising that if you are caught, you won't be spared. The traffic ticket is steep and you are afraid of heavy fine. The fear of law grips you suddenly. (sixth change)
At your friend/relative's house
There is no house help for your luggage. You help yourself. There is no cook. The host serves you. And you say a thank you many times. The host cleans your cup. The next time you offer to clean it, but the host does/ or does not let you, will depend on him. Same goes for meals.
You either cook, or go and buy cooked food. Eat it outside or come home and eat it. If cooked at home, clean the kitchen and the utensils yourself. (seventh change) There is no house help, the kind we have in India, unless you are super rich... Meeting you contacts…
Now you wish to call up your contacts. But if it's a weekend, then it's s strict no. It's bad manners to intrude into people's lives on weekends. So, H you leave a message and wait. You learn to respect people's space. (eight change)
You go and meet people after taking a proper appointment. You don't just barge in. (I'm excluding close relatives).You don't take anyone or their time for granted. (ninth change)
You speak softly on your mobile phone. You also don't leave wrappers or garbage behind. (tenth change)
But the moment we step on out land, we are back to square one. We start complaining about others, but remain who we are. We don't have fear of law or its enforcement agencies. If we are caught, we arm-twist, pull strings and do whatever we can to get out of the sticky situation.