Amma, Appa: Why did you teach me to be polite?

Amma, Appa, thank you for helping me develop my value system. What I am is because of Ammma and you.

I have just one question. Why did you teach me to be polite?

I learnt how much a human’s feelings and emotions matter. To tell someone that you appreciate their favours for you, even if you pay them (after all, it’s only an exchange of service). To tell people sorry when you affect them in anyway and didn’t mean to, even if it is blocking someone’s way on the road.

When I get in an auto-rickshaw or a bus, I thank them for dropping me safely, without considering the fact it is their job. When I have to walk on a place someone just wiped, I apologise that I could go no other way.

I put relationships before being right or wrong. I don’t know if that’s being polite. Even if I don’t think I am wrong at something, I try to reason with someone else’s thought of me being wrong and try to justify their thoughts and don’t mind saying genuinely that I am sorry.

I even thank you both and shiva – the closest people to me – for doing small things – like bringing food for me or putting the TV on pause when I leave the room for a minute. And you do the same.


You must be thinking that I am bragging here. May be you’re even proud of me.

But ma, pa, if I was so right, why is it that I get hurt every time?


When I look around me, I see people asking others for favours and I think that they are trying to maintain their self esteem in the same go – and hence they don’t say the two simple words: “thank you”. I may be wrong but in the chance that I am right, tell me how does asking for help make you small in any way?

When I chauffeur people around, I don’t hear them say thanks for driving them. And I am sure reading this, many people will try to tell me that I shouldn’t be expecting stuff from others. That it is my fault that I asking for something in return. But hey, I can tell you that I am not selfless. May be I don’t do tit-for-tat or “I do this for you and you will have to do something for me”. All I am asking is that the little things that I do for you or you do for me, get acknowledged. After all, as I see it, life is not only about a few big things, it is more about a lot of little things!

And you know what is the worst of all? When someone has a problem with some habit of mine, they don’t ask me nicely to not do it. They say it in such a commanding tone. All they had to do was to ask me nicely but instead them ordering me entices me to do it – not despite, but because of their discomfort. I am sorry for that but it ticks me off a few times. Why is it so hard for people to be nice?


Let me not even get started on apologies. People get annoyed when I apologise to them cause they think it is okay between us. While that makes me feel good right then, the problem is that it starts getting applied for big things – which is totally not right.

I think it’s so difficult for people to say that they were wrong. When misunderstandings happen, people just walk past it. The worst part? If they still want something from you at this time, they’ll ask through someone cause they’re too proud of asking on their own. I still give it, but this feeling stays in me during the whole time: if we have fought and you’re not ready to talk to me, why do you still wanna use my stuff? Tell me if I am wrong to think that sometimes people want my things and not me and it means that they use me!

I have taken the first steps many times and I am tired of putting off everything convincing myself that  I am the one who is thinking a lot. Even if I am, it doesn’t make any of it false.


Do you want to know how today’s generation (at least the 1990s born) treat each other? I can tell you that it is sad. Most “friendships” today are all about getting a license to make fun of someone. If people are my friends, they claim the right to make fun of me as much as they want and if I retort sometime, just sometime, telling that it hurts me, they in turn mock me for getting hurt. If I say that there is a limit and it has been crossed, all of a sudden, their advice is that we shouldn’t be friends anymore. I am not asking anyone to not make fun. I do that too. But when I hurt someone, I make sure I tell them how sorry I am – which may appease them a bit. I don’t understand how people want to be themselves when they are friends with me, and so make fun of me indefinitely but when I say that I am sensitive about it, I cannot be myself. How is this fair?


I think most of the people are not like me. They don’t waste time in saying trivial things such as sorry or thanks. They don’t speak extra words like “if you could please” or just “please”. But I am very sure there are a lot of them like me. Heck, I have also met a few.

Despite this, the one thing I am scared about is that I will become impolite in between all of them. I don’t ever want that to happen and hope it does not.


Amma, Appa, may be some people around me can relate to what I wrote above and it can only go one of the two ways – they understand me or they say I am talking gibberish. But I really wish that the world around me becomes a little more polite.

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