August 7, 2009

The art of "giving"

For as long as I've known, my dad's been great at the art of "bribing". Well, that's a misnomer in this case. Appa has a great knack in making people feel it's their duty to accept the money from him for whatever work that they've done for him. And he is very neutral in the way he distributes money for no reason among watchmen, housemaids, doormen and the likes of the working class. And that makes him an instant favourite with them for obvious reasons. Naturally our mail gets delivered first in the building... and our car is washed first and the gates are opened for us and well, you get the picture... Being his daughter, I have reaped the benefits over the years of getting heavy stuff carried upstairs for me and blah-blue.. But I have never adopted Appa's skill in being able to give money to all these people and not feel like I am doing something wrong. I always feel stupid mainly because I think being with Appa makes me feel younger than I am. And that makes it look like a kid is trying to give someone (who is much older than her by the way) money which she didn't necessarily earn. Appa tries to hand me some money and ask me to hand it over to them every once in a while and I am always uncomfortable and end up declining. I've figured there's more to just the knack in giving the money. The thin line between the obvious bribe and the obnoxious over-patronizing attitude. And while people like my father are born experts and can come across with the perfect attitude, my discomfort alone rules me out other than perhaps being a woman which isn't so appealing when giving someone money randomly for some good deed of the past or the ones to follow. You've got to be supremely confident of your abilities, of not being misunderstood, of being superior-yet-approachable at the same time, of being normal and of not being patronizingly pushy. My dad is the perfect eclectic mix and I haven't seen anyone be as at ease with the task at hand. I guess some things you learn and practice makes perfect... and some others, you just have to be born with it or it's never there. I know where I belong on this one.


Ram said...

Good topic to touch on ;) It is an indelible part of our story. Sometimes I have genuinely appreciated it, when it is smart to do so, the knack is just masterly. There are several examples, take for instance your marriage registration case with Tamizhkumari, just class!

However, on most mundane occasions, while I appreciate the legitimacy in concern to improve people's lives, it has also made those very people lazy bums, expecting money for nothing and always looking at our faces expecting something and if they don't get it, frowning down upon us as if it is their birthright to receive money from us. These very people do help us out on day to day lives, but not fairly so.

So, on those counts, it appears detrimental to people's genuineness and buying partiality for ourselves, the very partiality that we absolutely get disgusted with at school or work or anywhere it can't be bought. We applaud Hermoine when she scolds Draco saying atleast no one in Gryffindor bought their place into the side. Others around us could feel just like that ;)

Like everything in life, every coin has a Head and a Tail.

Jaya said...

Bala- Good thoughts n reflections and I am with you on this one. I guess when the watchmen and other such people start getting money for nothing they start expecting it also for nothing and we get irritated by people who are seemingly demanding for no good reason. In Appa's case though sicne he is so accustomed to giving away the money, he doesn't recognize the greed/demand in them. On the other hand, I am happy to note that he has tightened his purse strings in this regard and now only rewards a good duty (though finally it is only a "duty" for which they are paid also). But the other surprising thing in Chennai is the increase in the honest public.. a large number of people si;ply refuse to take money anymore, leaving us to feel pompous or embarrassed as you please. Lol. Good times are at the horizon. :) And good quote about the head-tail thing.

Parasuraman said...

ceratain of the people love to give and the happiness in giving can never be experienced except by the4 giver and after all we are not giving a fortune way when we were kids did we not teat the persons entering the house with a biscuit paket differantly than the pthers coming empty yhanded its indeed like that
give and give u will feel differant

Jaya said...

Appa->Thanks for the input of the person-in-spotlight.. :D. And you are right too... I saw the joy of giving ad. and it moved me as well. We all agree there's something super special about it.

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