Friday, August 17, 2012


Discourtesy is basically exhibiting bad manners. Discourteous people may be rude unknowingly or knowingly.This is especially true in accepting gifts & presents,even favours.

Some time back ,I was planning a Chennai  visit.My relative specifically asked me to buy a  Kanjeevaram silk  saree for her.I was   quite reluctant  & have come to a conclusion, that clothes are a difficult choice to make.This is because ,I am very particular about the colour,texture,type of clothes I wear.I believe this holds true for others as well.As the aforesaid person described in detail, the type of saree she wanted me to buy,I was glad .She specified a deep green colour .She also stated that the pattern must be non -traditional -it must be contemprory.I agreed & on my visit ,I got a saree which she had specified or so I thought.It was deep green in colour with red polka dots unlike traditional Kanjeevaram sarees.And how wrong it all turned out !

When she saw the saree ,she was not pleased at all.She took it very reluctantly.She liked another saree that I had been gifted & which I had already started using,I told her that the saree I had got as per her choice , is a gift from me to her, as her birthday was just around the corner.I thought that my gift would be appreciated- so much so that till now she has not worn that saree- it is for keeps !

Some time after that ,she called me up with a  request about  a vintage Chinese vase .She wanted it to adorn a corner in her new house which she had purchased.She requested me to ask my globe trotting hubby to get it for her.I was not very pleased.She offered to give me back the saree as I had liked it very much.She wanted the vase in exchange for the saree.I was shocked that she was returning the saree as she stated that  I had liked it .I used to think that unless I liked something ,I cannot gift it or pick it for others as requested .now after this episode,I stand corrected.I must pick up things for others which I dislike !

I told my hubby to pick up a Chinese vase even after her rude remarks of returning the saree.This was going to be an even   bigger error of judgement on my part , so far.I gave my hubby, all specifications as she had described.Very soon, hubby called me up to inform that he had picked up a vintage Chinese vase - he said that he had told the shopkeeper all detailed specifications & that was that.I was happy.Then my hubby stated that it had cost a bomb - half a lac ! I was flabbergasted.Since my relative had specifically demanded an item which we ( I and  hubby ) could get for her,I kept mum.My hubby suggested that we  gift the vase to her for her new home.Moreover,she & her family had obliged us on many occasions in the past.Hence, we felt ,it can make up for some of that though hardly match the favours we had enjoyed !

My teenage daughter learnt of the price & passed on the information to my relative.My relative has refused to accept the vase saying that she had stated very clearly that it need not be procured if it was EXORBITANT.She  forgot to state what is exorbitant , expensive ,as per her ideas .We knew nothing about vases- Chinese or non -Chinese,vintage or modern.Moreover ,she could have purchased one in her city itself though choice could be limited.My hubby argued that vintage items don't come cheap.He refused to return it.He has shipped it now for delivery adding some more value to the vase.She is adamant that she does not want it -as a gift or even  paying for it ! We are awaiting its arrival - if all goes well ,it may have cracked on its journey ! Then we all can breathe freely.

When someone asks another to get something ,is it not the persons duty to accept graciously ? It is downright rude to refuse & utterly disgusting to ask for exchange of another item in its place.And then to refuse to accept that as well.This episode or rather episodes have made it very clear to me that I must refuse or decline to get anything for anyone no matter how much near or dear ones tell me to .Because as the aforesaid incidents unfolded it is clear that  no one is dear or near any more or was never near & dear !

I think in such cases ,there is an unasked question .It is "How dare you equal me in obliging ?I will always indulge you -you must feel overwhelmed & be under the pressure of my  favours & gifts .Even if you try to give me any presents and or favours,it will never be accepted.I will always see that it is refused."

Please do not conclude that such events happen rarely.My NRI friend has brought time & again gold chains & biscuits for her near & dear ones as requested.The near & dear ones hold money very dearly.They pay her only when she is returning back - on the last day of her trip ! That way they make sure ,she also holds Indian currency dearly as at the last moment ,she is loaded with cash which she has no reason to spend.She has already done her shopping ,etc.Moreover ,the people who ask her to get gold tell her to get it at the lowest possible rates- this means she must keep checking if gold is cheaper today or the next day & buy it accordingly ! Also ,the buyer has got the chain tested for genuineness,weight ,carrotage ,hallmarking et al before my friend gets paid !

Some people will downright refuse to accept any dish which another lovingly wants to share with friends,neighbours,relatives telling that nobody eats sweets in their home ,nobody likes greasy stuff etal.Can it not be made little pleasant by accepting it partly.Such refusals  are because the decliners believe that   in turn,they may  have to share if they accepted the dish.So they say no , in the most cruel fashion.

At work ,sometimes one offers his or her service ,it is refused because it becomes an obligation.Nobody understands that good team work is its own reward & boosts productivity.Team work amongst Indians is a big No as all are interested in pulling others down.

I am sure,you all are as flummoxed as I am - what is more crude - out of the  many examples ? Maybe you have a more ugly incident /s  to relate.....? !

I feel that the only lesson we can take from all such episodes is to be as pleasant as possible in such instances & never refuse any offer of help or assistance when offered .


SG said...

Many people do not know how to accept a gift graciously. Also, talk about people taking advantage of you. Once we were leaving California for a vacation to Chennai. A friend asked us if we can take a gift for one of the relatives in India. We agreed. The day of travel, this friend brought a fully loaded suitcase. In total we are allowed only 4 suitcsses (2 for each passenger). Now we are reduced to having only 3 because of this "gift" we had to carry. From that day, we never tell anyone when we are leaving for vacation to India.

medha said...

True ! Most of us have gone through such experiences,however we must remember to accept and also give gifts graciously.
But surely it really hurts when we buy expensive gifts for others which are then not accepted well and if we give gifts of lesser value then that is also not appreciated ......akhir karen to kya karen?

vasu said...

SG ,
I know many such instances of NRI friends.We give them our hands & they would like to snatch our arms -with shoulders !

Accepting graciously is an art -which many of us have to learn.

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