Why not complain?

I returned from San Francisco last night. Singapore Airlines flight arrived on time. Upon arrival, a clean and well-lit immigration hall greeted us. 15 minutes and all the passengers were in the luggage pick-up area.

Now, our luggage refused to arrive. 10 minutes, and dozen bags showed up. 10 more minutes of gap, and dozen bags again. What was going on?

It did take some time at SFO international airport too. But I was out of the airport in less than 30 minutes. At Bangalore, it took 65 minutes. Why should it take this much more time? I am not comparing airport size and number of airbridges at SFO and BLR. Its a simple move-the-bags-from-plane-to-the-belts. Just one international flight to handle at a time, and the plane stands hardly 100 meters from the luggage pick up area.

So there we were. A fifth of us international visitors, getting a first glimpse of things that welcomed them. And the rest – the citizens of Bangalore and India – waited patiently for the bags to arrive. All but one.

This passenger was furious at this inexplicable delay. "Why is it taking so much time"? "Who is the in-charge here"? While his anger grew louder, I looked around and noticed most of us looked embarrassed. Why is he fussing, that too so loudly? Perhaps many also thought, 'what would these whites think'? My friend who was traveling along expressed almost similar thoughts to me. This is not the way to complain, he said.

"Who is responsible for this, and where do I complain", this guy was really loud now. Late, yes, but his bags did arrive. And before leaving, he promised a story on this in "Times of India" within a week.

The event set me thinking. Here we are. The "have"s of India. And we opt to be patient and take things in stride. Just one of us choses to complain. And he gets no support.

What is easier than complaining? Can’t we even do that? And that too when we have the time to do that? Weren't we all jobless standing there for 45 minutes?

  • Nothing happens if you complain – How do you know that? Do you have first hand experience doing this?
  • It takes a lot of time – Not much. You are looking at 15 minutes of time writing in a government register.
  • Where to complain – All service providers must maintain a complaint book. Just ask for it. In this case, it will be the AAI. Same AAI whose employees went on strike  the moment they heard the talk of privatisation.

When the educated, aware and capable citizens don’t want things to improve, what do you expect? We deserve what we get. You may get it if you ask for it. But don’t ask for it, and you sure will never get it.


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