I got down from the bus at Majestic. The cool breeze made the overcrowded platform much tolerable. I was thinking about something else, when I heard somebody yell at me - "Surpass"! What? What did he just say? Was he really talking to me? What does 'surpass' actually mean? May be I am dreaming, I said to myself. No, I heard 4 more people tell the same thing to me within 20 seconds. 5 more persons and 30 more seconds later, I realized what they were asking, when a man in faded jeans and a fake Nike cap asked me again. Now, it was clear. It meant "Sir, pass?". Within a minute, 10 people had asked me if I had a daily bus pass, so that they can get it from me and save some cost!
I think it was not too long ago BTS came up with daily passes. It was very useful for people who would take 3-4 buses in a day. And just a couple of weeks back, I had seen a slogan inside a BTS bus that said something like this "Dont share your passes with others. Its a crime. It amounts to cheating with the BTS". And now I realized how rampant this 'crime' was! Which made me think about what makes people corrupt - and corrupt to this level. I can understand two kinds of corruption. First is extreme need, when you need something very badly and you cannot afford it. Second is extreme greed, people tend to become corrupt when the returns are very high and they can make tons of money. But, the kind of corruption I witnessed belonged to neither of these categories. None of those ten people who asked me for a pass looked like very poor who could not afford a bus ticket (anybody who can afford a fake Nike cap can surely afford a bus ticket!) and a ticket would cost less than 10 rupees, and a desperate attempt to save that money, standing there and confronting lots of people like me was miserable.
The same I have seen with auto drivers. I am okay with auto drivers who look at you with pity and shake their heads, when you ask them if they can come to Jayanagar. I am even okay with auto drivers who demand double the fare upfront. They may be dishonest and irritating, but they are at least honest about their dishonesty. But, if someone deliberately miscalculates the amount multiplied by 1.5, I get irritated. He is trying to be dishonest very subtly (he is not even being honest about his dishonesty ;)) and he is insulting my basic arithmetic skills. Its unacceptable!
And the bus conductors! If the ticket costs 8 rupees, I feel like hitting them when they tear out the ticket, turn it, take out the pen from their pocket (or worse, on top of their ear!) and scribble some illegible numeric notation to represent the change to be given (There is no other rationale for not giving the change instantly. It takes very less time to just give the change than this complicated procedure) And I love to see the disappointed look on their faces when they realize that I have not forgotten to get my change. Some are dishonest to such an extent, that they give 1 rupee change and act as if they thought they had given 2 rupees change. Disgusting!
In all these cases, its not the money that makes me very sick. Its the attitude that I hate so much. Excluding the extreme-need and extreme-greed corruption, is there any other country other than ours that has this levels of 'cheap corruption'? Does this 'cheap corruption' irritate you as much?