Apologies and gratitude


Thank you ……………. Sorry

Most readers of this blog have probably used these words countless number of times in their lives, at various occasions, to convey a plethora of emotions ranging from genuine gratitude to faked apologies. This post does not necessarily portend to relate to all these emotions, but rest assured a genuine attempt has been made to do so.

I am sure all of us have been taught as youngsters (by youngsters I am referring to the age when we actually learnt to speak to express our emotions a little better as small kids) to convey our gratitude to anybody who helps us out in any situation. Something as simple as somebody helping us lift a heavy bag, helping us get on a train, helping us out with directions, all of these people deserve our gratitude and we were taught to express the same by saying a simple ‘Thank you’.

On similar lines, we were also taught to apologize whenever we intentionally or inadvertently committed a mistake. We were taught to be sensitive to people around us, sensitive to their likes and dislikes, sensitive to the fact that our actions might cause them discomfort, cause them hurt. We were taught that saying a ‘Sorry’ might help them assuage their temporary inconvenience caused due to our actions.

For some of us this became second nature, but for a majority of us, these became forgotten expressions of gratitude and apology.

As we grew older and became more sophisticated and learnt the ways of the world, we started forming our own interpretations of people, the work they do, their duties and automatically our expectations from them increased manifold. Suddenly, the valet who opened the door for us everyday with a smile started being viewed critically. We started noticing whether his shirt was impeccably ironed, whether his body posture was that befitting a professional valet, whether the courtesy he showed us was adequate in comparison to our ‘standing in society’, and a myriad of other unnecessary things. And then we started judging his behavior on the job keeping in mind all these variables. Somewhere in this mix, we completely forgot the fact that hey, this was still a guy who was holding open the door for us whenever we walked in an out of the building, and that simple act still deserved our gratitude. Somewhere the simple ‘Thank you’ simply stopped being uttered.

Similarly, as we grew older, we once again started making ourselves the ‘center’ of our world. We started taking things and people for granted. At some levels we started behaving like what we think and what we do are the most important things in the world and nothing else mattered. Even if our actions caused people discomfort, we chose to ignore the same by telling ourselves that such minor indiscretions on our part did not matter much. Even when we were in elevators inconveniencing others by putting on our backpacks and continuously bumping into them, we didn’t care because we were lazy enough not to hold the backpacks in our hands. Even when we jumped queues in our hurry to get the best seats to the show, we didn’t care that the others in the queue had actually patiently waited their turn. Even when we jumped the lunch line to get that last piece of cheesecake, we didn’t care much for the others who might have wanted the same.

Age, money and a standing in society brought about an extremely callous and careless attitude in us. It taught us that saying a ‘Sorry’ or a ‘Thank You’ didn’t quite matter as much as it did when we were younger. It taught us that to apologize or to show gratitude was not quite necessary when you were ‘bigger’ and ‘better’ than others. It didn’t matter as these were unimportant traits which did not matter in the ‘bigger picture of life’.

Wonder when we will all come back to the ground and realize that each and every act that we do impacts others in more ways than one. Wonder when reality will bite us and we will realize that it is those random acts of kindness and gratitude that make us a more advanced and mature species than most others that exist in this world. Wonder when we will finally realize that simple expressions of apology and gratitude will go a long way in helping us get a little something extra from all the people we deal with on a daily basis.

Image courtesy: http://www.cartoonstock.com

This post was selected as one of Blogadda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks on August 13, 2013.


I saw, I learnt


Now this is not something that I am proud of, but yes, I am a smoker. And as all smokers in India go, we have this dirty habit of throwing smoking related garbage right next to the shop we buy our cigarettes from.

Step 1, buy the cigarette packet. Step 2, remove the plastic wrapping and throw it on the ground. Step 3, remove the crimp of the shiny paper inside and throw it on the ground. Step 4, start smoking. Step 5, stub small bits of ash wherever your wrist is at that point in time. Step 6, at the end of the cigarette, throw it on the ground, stamp it there itself.

The above paragraph is standard modus operandi for almost all the smokers I know of.

That being said, being married to somebody who is a little more socially conscious of her actions, and who takes care to ensure that she does not add to the already littered streets of Indian cities has changed me a lot.

Today, steps 2 and 3 involve looking for the closest trash can near the shop and throwing the paper there. Steps 4, 5 and 6 involve actually standing near the trash can and smoking so that I can dispose of the ash as close to the trash can as possible. Yes, most of the trash cans stink, but this again ensures that I don’t spend too much time smoking the cigarette. Benefits in more than one way, right 😀

The fact that I have a 2 yr old daughter as well makes me all the more aware of how I dispose of my garbage nowadays. Both my wife and me have taught her that all garbage needs to be thrown only in trash cans. Both of us believe that a cleaner and more aware child makes for a more cleaner India tomorrow.


I am sharing what ‘<strong>I Saw and I Learnt</strong>’ at <a title=”The Best Community of Indian Bloggers” href=”http://www.blogadda.com&#8221; target=”_blank”>BlogAdda.com</a> in association with <a title=”Do Right! ” href=”http://www.doright.in&#8221; target=”_blank”>DoRight.in</a>


This post won a INR 500 voucher as it was one of the first twenty posts for this particular competition.

Spend more to smile more!!!


As the title of the post suggests, all the money we spend on ourselves brings a huge smile to our faces. A new Galaxy Note 2, a pair of those lovely new ear-rings, those new fiction books that we had been dying to read for a while now, those yummy Krispy Kreme doughnuts from the Brigade Road outlet, those melt-in-the-mouth Sri Krishna Sweets Mysurpa, just thinking about these things bring a smile to our faces, then just imagine spending money  and actually laying our hands on these things. The breadth of our smiles can barely be measured.

But then, is this all that true happiness is about? Are these the only things that we can spend on which will truly make us happy? Are material possessions the only true givers of joy to us?

Apparently not. This HBR blog [Link to post] talks about ‘how money actually buys happiness?’. After conducting more than a decade of research on this particular topic, the authors have figured out that all the things that we intuitively think brings us happiness (new houses, new cars, etc) have almost no impact at all on our happiness. Where is it that we are going wrong then?

Turns out that individuals who actually spent money on somebody else were far more happier than individuals who spent money on themselves. And what’s more, companies such as Google and a few others have embraced this concept to increase their bottom lines as well.

Read the small post in its entirety to learn more about how spending money on others can immensely boost your happiness.

Image courtesy: Google image search for ‘spend money cartoon’