pmsuga, Jan 19, 2015 : Indians have some of the brightest minds in the world. But unfortunately, Indians are also victims of the sheep syndrome. They generally follow trends and do what everyone is doing without even understanding why they're doing it. While things are slowly changing in the country, and more and more Indians are aware of things, there's still a herd mentality that persists. 1. Doing engineering, following up with an MBA and then pursuing a totally random career. Like an ice-cream flavour taster. Because, in all the years it took them to finish these degrees, they had no thinking ability to decide what they actually wanted to do in life. Those hours of practicals and assignments gave them not the tiniest hint. We're glad wisdom eventually dawned though. It's okay to have found your passion a little later in life. But if you are just following the crowd and taking up engineering, medicine or any other stream because you do not know what else to do or because your parents told you to or because your friends are doing it, it is time for you to perhaps take a career assessment test. Go visit a career counselor. Don't waste college seats and precious years of your life. 2. Throwing garbage on top of a large garbage pile. It's already dirty. Adding one little plastic bag or paper scrap won't make it dirtier. In fact, your little scrap of garbage won't even be noticeable in that big pile, right? Unfortunately, it was because of people like you that a pile was formed in the first place. Liking the Swacch Bharat page on Facebook and tweeting about piles of dirt at every street corner will do nothing but create more junk, but of the virtual kind. Take a small step instead and start carrying paper bags around to dispose your trash. 3. Getting married at the "right" age. Which, if you ask any Indian aunty or uncle, is around 25-26 for boys and 22-24 for girls. Because if you don't get married by then, wrinkles will form around your eyes, you'll suddenly look hideous and no one will want to marry you. Or perhaps, they're afraid that you'll just develop your own voice. We aren't advising people to get married late here. If you're ready for responsibility and marriage at a young age, go right ahead and tie the knot. All we are saying is, there's nothing like the right age. It could be 22 for you and 52 for your neighbour. There's only a right time. And that is when you're mentally prepared. 4. Pressing both buttons for the elevator. We've seriously seen some ridiculous things people do while waiting for an elevator. Post smartphone etiquette awareness, there needs to be an elevator awareness drive. The most common habit is repeatedly pressing the elevator button. Pressing a button that has already been pressed will not make the lift move any faster. Many times, people are so impatient that they end up pressing both buttons! If you want to go up, press the up button. If you want to go down, press the down button. Beware! If you press both buttons together, your lift will get confused and might just stop working! 5. Doing just what the neighbour does. This is probably one of the stupidest Indian habits. The neighbour purchased a new car? I need to buy a bigger and better car. He got a new AC installed? I will get a new fridge plus AC! There's no end to the neighbourly competition. In fact, Indians do this everywhere. At work, with their children, in schools, everywhere. It was okay to demand a new pencil from your parents when your partner got one in school. But making your child join dance class, abacus class, calligraphy class, handwriting class and elocution class just because other parents are doing the same is pointless. Before following everyone, just take a breather and understand if it is really good for you or not. 6. Talking with a fake accent in front of foreigners. This one's a classic. Every time an Indian wants to appear better and more sophisticated than he is, he'll simply revert to English. Doesn't matter if the English is horrendous and pathetic. Because talking in our mother-tongue just makes us so uncouth, doesn't it? And the icing on the cake? Encountering a foreigner on the streets and putting on a specially created fake English accent that sounds like a horrible cross between American English, British English and Yiddish. For all you know, the foreigner is from Germany and can get on without your English very well, thank you. 7. Shopping from only international brands because they're 'cool'. Seriously, if you buy something labelled 'Imported Saree', you should ideally get your head checked. Indians have developed an affair with almost each and every foreign brand. Little do they realise that these brands (like Zara, M&S and even Walmart), which they look up to as 'high-class' and fashionable are the poor man's bread in other nations. Many times, a lot of quality goods are available from our local stores at less than half the price but we are least bothered. Just because it is imported does not mean it is better. 8. Following internet trends without knowing what they are for. A lot of Indians participated in the ALS challenge. And more recently, the November 'No Shave Month' challenge. But we wonder if even half the participants had bothered researching the reasons these trends became so popular and why they were started. What is ALS? And why the ban only on shaving? Indians tend to jump on and participate in any online trend just because it is popular and will get them a few more likes on Facebook. The next time you're thinking of participating in something like that, know and understand the cause behind it. 9. Avoiding non-veg on particular days. A lot of Indians who are non-vegetarians do not eat meat on particular days like Tuesdays or Saturdays as they are considered to be "holy" days. They blindly follow the trend without realising why it came into existence in the first place. Not eating meat on Tuesday to appease Lord Ganesha or Shiv or whichever God the day belongs to will not earn you brownie points. You are still happily butchering and eating his creations the rest of the time. The only reason this tradition evolved was to prevent an over-eating of non-vegetarian food and to promote a healthy diet with a mix of meat and vegetarian food. The next time, try understanding why exactly you're doing a particular thing before doing it. 10. Changing Facebook DPs and Whatsapp statuses. A relatively new but extremely irritating trend Indians have adopted. They change their Facebook display pictures to support whatever cause they believe in. Like changing the Facebook display picture to 'Je Suis Charlie Hebdo' after the Paris massacre. Do people even know the meaning of the phrase? The literal translation we mean, not the symbolic. And what about the reason why the line was trending? It is not cool to change your DP to a black picture and invite your friends to do t too. If you really want to make a difference, log off Fb, get off your chair and do something. 11. Breaking the signal just because one driver/biker did it. You will see cars waiting at a traffic signal and some extremely adventurous and impatient ones honking to glory in the hope of turning that signal green. But the one biker/driver right in front of the queue will quickly look around to see if he can spot any traffic police. If not, that's his cue to zoom past the signal. And as soon as one does it, the rest just follow. No wonder over half of Indians are always stuck in traffic jams. And just in case there is an honest soul who stops and waits for the lights to turn green, he is honked at and even abused!