Why Are Indian Passengers In Such A Hurry To Exit The Plane ?

A recent article asked – Why are  Indian passengers in such a hurry to exit the plane ?

Where are they even going ?

Yes many of us have wondered about this too. 

Perhaps it’s to do with our history of shortages & being very aware that we are simply too many.

Our grandparents, parents & some of us too have stood in queues for sugar, kerosene, milk & other basic commodities. 

We know the value of getting there before the shutter is pulled down on our face. ~Sorry! Finished !~

We have rushed to railway stations & pushed our way to ticket booths only to learn that all seats to our destination were booked. 

Or sometimes found that there is a chance, a minuscule chance on boarding that train because we were just in time to get on the waiting list.

We have stood at unearthly hours of the morning in queues snaking down a street for a child’s school admission form. 

We learnt the value of getting there first & we never forgot to remind our child repeatedly, thus reinforcing the ‘tradition’.

To reach banks, government offices we’ve honked madly, perhaps overlooked a traffic light or two, pushed our way into bursting, creaky elevators to find the most powerful person of the moment, opaque & unyielding. ~Lunch! 3 baje aana.~

Come on, we are people who even when standing in line to pay our obeisance in temples think nothing wrong of tapping the person ahead & requesting if we can please move up the queue. ~Thodi jaldi hai~

Yes, God might too have quota of whom He can bless today.

So by rushing to take our bags before the seat belt signs are off, we are only ensuring that we reach Immigration first. 

Who wants to be at the end of a serpentine queue when there’s duty free to buy & worse, the trolleys at the baggage carousel may all get taken, then the cabs…then the traffic ….?

Three generations post Independence have honed this skill. 

It’s in our DNA & it will take some time for us to realise (with some enforcing of strict rules) that pushing, shoving, impatience & getting there first only exposes our insecurity & fear of paucity & insufficiency in goods & services that we were so accustomed to.  

So stop. Pause. 

Don’t worry. 

That immigration counter will still be open for you. 


  1. Nandini : This is truly universal. This is One thing that I can say without hesitation . I have never ever understood this. I can imagine for passengers for connecting flights. I often ask flight attendants , the percentage is over 90% always. Some are humble and say “ may be I am not attractive enough for you ”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On a similar thread on Twitter most people said the same thing as you till I asked AFTER seat belt signs are switched off or BEFORE ….then the response changed 🙂


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