Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Manner(les)s!

Sometime back there was a huge outcry when Mumbai was judged the rudest city by a Reader's Digest survey. But I realised it long back that politeness as per the western standards was/is not our cup of Tea. I have never thanked my bus conductor/driver or the fruit/flower seller or sincerely said sorry to a co-passenger on stamping her feet or excused myself on getting a phone call or asked my mom, 'can I have some more sambar, please?' or ... I can go on and on. On top of that came 'Maine pyar kiya' where the hero and heroine's 'No sorry, no thank you among friends' got etched in my mind!! Apparam enna, when there is no necessity for sorry and thank you among friends, why waste it on strangers!!


With all this background, you can understand the struggle I must've gone(still going!) thro' landing in the western hemisphere! Atleast with outsiders I can show a 'don't care if they think me as rude or mannerless' attitude but when kids start to learn manners from school, there is no escape. My daughter wouldn't leave me in peace unless I 'welcomed' her 'thank you' or 'ok-ed' her sorry! But hubby dear hasn't been so lucky yet! On situations even when a sorry from my side is absolutely due, my mouth won't utter them(first of all, owning up my fault-ey nadakkadhey!). Whenever there is a chance to thank him, the words would come till my throat but then 'maine pyar kiya'!!! So, this post is to let him know that atleast those words float in my RAM!

P.S. - 'Please' is getting to be the most abused word in our household. During her toddler days, as part of teaching manners, we taught our daughter to say 'please' when she needs something. Also, to show difference, whenever she used 'please' we tried to attend to it immediately. Now, it has turned the table on us. What do you do when they go 'Amma, more cookies, please please!' or '100 more minutes in the park, please please!'!! :(

17 comments:

MLC said...

so true abt the 'please' and 'thank u' thingy! but i personally think, the not being able to say 'sorry' is an ego issue. unga hubby kittey neenga panna thappu-ku 'sorry' sollamudiyaadha kaaranam might nt b the 'maine pyar kiya' reason. don't u thnk it might b more of an ego issue?

Munimma said...

ego is partly to blame, but most of us grew up that way. What to do, we are like that vonly!

At home, we do try to be polite, but it is tough when the parents are rude to each other, not intentionally; we are just a couple of crusty ole crabs.

As to the pleases, return them with interest. ;-)

Me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Me said...

thappu pannalum..thappu pannalanaalum...ella fightku approm husband dhan sorry kekanam...idhu allavo thamizh panbaadu...

MLC:..summa ego geego nu lam nenachikaama...poi ozhunga unga purushana train pannugo....

MLC said...

ME TOO: what's w/ this "crusty ol crabs" thingy? neenga ippo dhaaney oru kutti ku amma? so late 20's nu guess panraen. yaen indha young age-a poyi kezha bolt age ku compare panreenga??

ME: yengalukulla irukura compatablity is more than the luv we hv, which is nt what u see normally. so adhanaalayo yennavo yengalukulla ego issue illai. (touchwood/gold/platinum .. whatevr!)

Me said...

aiyoyo MLC ...adhu metoo pota comment illa...munimma pota comment...jet lag..thooka kalakam??

Me too said...

mlc, neenga ippa thaan love birds, 2 yrs-kku apparam kekkaren!! Just kidding! I have other issues with 'sorry' too. Like I hate when hubby apologises for being late. The more explanations, the more my anger will grow!! I know, paavam my hubby!! BTW, naan vayasellaam maraikkaradhu ille!

munimma, thanks! I know you would understand!!

me, not just thamizh panpaadu, worlwide appadi thaan!!
Orre 'm' bloggers-aa irukku, adhaan mlc konjam kozhambittanga!

I said...

we shd coauthor a post together, enna solrel?

The Talkative Man said...

I'd not cared much the Ps and (thank)Qs, till I called up a friend on his extension while in India few years back. The office phone was shared by a bunch of people with one of them doing the davali job of calling out the recipient's name. One smart-alec davali curtly told me, "I don't know if you can speak but you may!!!" Since then I made it a point to use 'May I please...' without sounding/appearing too paavam, and all the educated middle-class were comfy with it. It's not a matter of what we say but how we say and we Indians are experts at uttering positive words like 'good','beautiful','great','thanks' with a very soombi-pona face.

It was a different story when I worked in the univ tech support lab in US: ONLY the Indians will sit in front of you and tell what's wrong wiht their computer with no greeting, no smile, no please/thanks....A friend of mine who asked an SBI teller for 5 DDs was given the response: 'Naan yenna manushana maada?' and I would remember that everytime I was servicing an Indian guy.

MLC said...

ME: yep! jetlag dhaan!
ME TOO: konjam confusion w/ names, sorry! and naanga ippo dhaan luv birds nu yaar sonnaa? our purushan/pondaatti status dhaan is abt a yr old but the luv is a good 12 yrs old!!!

Munimma said...

mlc: crusty ole crabs is not related to physical age ;-) but marital age.

Deepa said...

Now if I say thanks (by mistake) when my Mother makes my fav. dish. she smacks my head and asks me to stop acting very Americanized... ennattha solla!!

MLC said...

munimma: but appadi paathaa kooda they're no where near crusty ol'crabs, rite??

Me too said...

i, o s!!

ttm, "we Indians are experts at uttering positive words like 'good','beautiful','great','thanks' with a very soombi-pona face" - LOL and so true!! I had called a couple of neighbours to enquire about the area schools. One took a long time to respond and the other never called. I blame myself cos' I didn't use 'appreciate', 'please' etc. in my msg!

mlc, oops! onga 'istry' theriyaamey pesitten!

deepa, I know! Getting down from an auto, if I utter 'thanks', the folks accompanying me used to give me a 'look'!

The Talkative Man said...

Few years in this country and I'm still apprehensive whether or not to greet/thank the Gujju/Marwadi aunty/uncle at the Indian grocery counter :-)

schools...just chat with the perisus/maamis at Riverdale temple, you will get very good tips. If not them, the volunteers who teach tamil/dance will surely know.

Raju said...

Hmm.. once one starts wishing everyone he/she sees on the road, albeit with a plastic smile in the beginning, slowly things would start falling in place..

Me too said...

ttm & raju, I've tuned my system to 'hi/hello and bye/thank you' to anyone at the billing counter/road!