Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Abhay's magic words!

It doesn’t take a trip abroad for one to realize that Indians by and large are a little (to be politically correct!) lacking in etiquette….we have in fact always prided ourselves over being impervious to the so- called western concept of manners! But at the risk of sounding like a US-returned nostalgic (which in some ways I still am, even after almost a year after return!), I wonder if it hurts to say “Thank-you” when someone holds out the door or to say “Sorry” when you accidentally stub a fellow passenger’s toe or to wave out in appreciation as a fellow driver yields to your vehicle or to simply wait your turn at a queue in the billing counter of a grocery store or a food joint or to say “Excuse me” as you elbow yourself out of the crowd! What's surprising is that it is most often the educated and enlighted who end being the most ill-mannered of the lot!  Unfortunately, Abhay too seems to have been “indianized” when it comes to his manners! “Amma…can I please watch my channel on TV” has made way to a rude and demanding “I want my channel now” or that he needs to be reminded every single time to say “thank you” or yells when someone blocks his view of the TV instead of saying "excuse me" and getting Abhay to say sorry will in turn have you feeling sorry for yourself!

So today in attempt to have him regain his well-mannered self, I read the book "Emily's Magic Words" by Cindy Post Senning and Peggy Post and illustrated by Leo Landry. This is a story of Emily who can do magic with words - her magic words being the very same words Abhay has forgotten  "hello, please, thank you, good bye, sorry and excuse me"! What makes these words magic words - well, they can open doors (both literally as illustrated and figuratively); they can turn a frown into a smile or fix a minute (when you say sorry and mean it); they can help you make new friends and so Emily goads all her readers to put their magic words into use and saves the best for the last - the most magical of all words "I love you"! So I asked Abhay what were his magical words to which my crafty son replied (unaware of its in-built irony) ..."Please be patient"!:-)


  1. I think its fashionable in India to be rude and also ppl with manners are considered to be timid.And the richer ppl get,the more aggressive they are.God help us.
    Anyway I love your stories.. You must be having a library of books or do you choose it online...Great ones!!! :)

  2. Thats very true Mangala-akka...people who take the trouble to be courteous are even made fun of! Being wealthy in India means you have to profess a "Dont-care" attitude!
    As for the books I read, though I do have some children's books at home, I mainly pick them up from the three libraries that I am a member of.