A MMTS train station, Hyderabad.
A MMTS train station, Hyderabad.

“We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone.” ~ Robert M. Pirsig

2 weeks ago, I saw a woman with a goat on the MMTS train in Hyderabad.

No, this post is not about whether a goat should be allowed on a train. (Or whether the woman should have bought a ticket for the goat. :))

This post is about why I got agitated on that trip, which was delayed for 30 minutes.

Can’t believe that some years ago, I peacefully sat in a waiting room for 16 hours for a 24-hour journey. Another time, my train stopped 25 kms from my destination. And stayed there for 4 hours. I could have walked home!

I have prided myself in thinking that delays usually don’t make me hyper. Actions like these are not my responses:

  • Immediately whipping out cellphones and tinkering with them.
  • Getting irritated and behaving rudely with others.
  • Moving around as if the movement itself will quicken things around.
  • Staring at random people as if the delay is their fault. (OK, OK, this one is a joke, I have never seen it happen.)

And here, stuck in this train, I was feeling agitated, standing for just half hour!

Seems like I have finally succumbed to the disease of hurry-sickness. I want everything quickly – hurry hurry hurry!

Root cause?

Technology has greatly reduced turnaround times. I get immediate gratification – in form of instant chats, SMS, likes and comments. For a certification exam I wrote recently, the results came out 2 minutes after submission. (Remember the days when they used to be announced 3 months later, that too after the summer vacations?)

Which is leading to an increase in expectations. Not just on the same mediums. I have started expecting the same behaviour of quick responses from everything. Irrespective of whether it is really urgent or not. Or whether it is even possible or not.

Like me, have you started feeling the constant urge to hurry where it doesn’t make sense in retrospect?

If yes, I guess it is time to re-look at some things; unless we start heading, as Pirsig says, into a shallow life…

6 thoughts on “Hurry!

  1. Very good and timely blog,narrating the needless-hurry phenomenon induced by technological developments, in the context of individuals. Same thing is true with respect to organizations. Some business houses realizing the perils of hurry in communications are trying to minimize the damages (employee burnout, loss of productivity) by imposing restrictions on communications beyond business hours. See the link below:

    – Rama Rao


  2. True, most of your aunts suffer from the same syndrome. I seem to be half way, occasional bouts  of hurry hurry ,wanting not tobe late for an appointment, but otherwise keep cool.   Thanks for choosing this  subject which is apt and timely warning. priti 


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