Niceness, nearly lost out in the four years that the White House was occupied by a boorish, loud, arrogant president, and though many reasons have been attributed to his downfall, despite fulfilling many of his promises, most voters, at least a little over half of America, wanted someone nice back in the saddle!

Over three decades ago when I used to visit my parents in Brooklyn, I loved the way I could walk through the streets and find everybody responding to my ‘good mornings’ or many greeting you even before you did them. Years later while in Kentucky I found the people as polite, and in the last few visits paid to my daughter in busy Manhattan, found that people had time to smile, and quite often as you waited for a bus, even the goodness to ask questions about India.

I still remember sitting in a park in New York, and having a long conversation on astrophysics with a professor from a neighboring university sitting on the same bench, or an old couple who even exchanged their email addresses with me in Central Park, as soon as they found out I was a writer.

People were nice! Though I do remember, an incident, while traveling by Greyhound from New York to Lexington, in Kentucky where I had to change buses midway, and found that I had got a bit mixed up, as the driver reeled off the stops through the bus loudspeaker.

“Excuse me!” I politely asked the bus driver, a white, at the next stop, “Could you please tell me where I should get off, to get on the bus to Lexington?”

“Didn’t you listen to me?” he asked brusquely, “I don’t have time to waste!”

I nodded walked off visited the toilet, and came back to him to try out an experiment, “Hey buddy!” I said in a loud arrogant voice, “Tell me where I’ve got to get off for Lexington?” He looked at me, gave me a glance of surprise, then quietly reeled off the names!

That’s what the voters did to Trump. They heard his conceited, insolent bluster for four long years, in his tweets, in his racial comments, all stemming from a ‘white bus driver, small man insecure attitude,’ and with the mighty roar of the ballot, threw him out.         

We have the same loud behavior in our country too. Gone is the gentleness and gentlemanliness of politicians like Nehru and Gandhi, replaced today by arrogant tone, insolent and egoistic voice!

Yes, this tone and attitude was used by the British on us their subjects, before 1947, by the Maharajas to their vassals. But today, we are no more subjects or vassals, but citizens with equal rights.

As Trump gazes at the ceiling of a jeering White House he’s clinging on to, he realizes, I’m sure, that ‘niceness’ threw him out, ever so nicely..!

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