Thursday, December 2, 2010

Anjali, And the art of showing gratitude

We were in the kitchen, Anjali and I, getting the used dishes to the sink or doing some similar chore. Something fell off to the floor which I did not notice as I was busy with the main job. Anjali called me and pointed out the trash on the floor. 'Nanna,' she said, in the disapproving voice she reserves for me when I muck up (or when she thinks that I muck up), 'you dropped something there.'

Anjali lining up her alphabets

I instantly bent to pick it up because I know she goes on and on these days, about why I should not have dropped it, and what I should do etc etc incessantly. She did, but took a different tack. 'Nanna, if you drop it Bujji (our maid and Anjali's close confidant) will have to pick it up and clean it tomorrow. No nanna?' I nodded. 'Bujji will have to sweep it, clean it and put it in the trash basket,' she continued, making me feel like I am adding a lot of work for Bujji. And then, the conversation changed tack.

'Bujji is so nice na nanna,' she said. 'She cleans our house everyday, sweeps  the floor, washes the dishes, cleans clothes, cooks, makes tea (by now it looked like she was making a case for a pay hike for her close friend, as she really put in an effort to remember all that Bujji does, stopping and thinking as she said it). She does so many things no nanna. I really love Bujji nanna, I love her so much (these days she loves everyone so much!). Because Bujji comes every day our house is so clean....' And things to that effect.

We (adults) see the things Bujji does 'not do' at home. Those few things irritate us no end and we are perpetually waiting for her 'not do' those things, so we can catch her. You know how lives can be when they get into the mode - the adult mode - when all you are doing is waiting for the other to muck up so you can twist the knife. Anjali, as with all kids surely, only sees the things that Bujji does. And she is so grateful for that, for the comfort that the maid gives with whatever she does. And for them it is a world full of gratitude, surprised at so many things coming their way. A world full of surprises, of gifts, of nice gestures, of nice people. Naturally, life is so exciting and giving to them, full of things coming their way, full of things for them to go 'thank you so much' about. Gratitude they say is the key to all that one wants. The more you are grateful for what you have, the more things you create, to be grateful for.

It is a matter of shifting one's perspective I guess.


Prasanna Kumar said...

Very true.

And I don't understand why they say., "be good" + "do good" + "kids are watching you and if u do bad they learn bad things too...."

Here I think we should learn good things from kids and not the other way.

On the lighter side., is Bujji getting a hike in salary? :) or may be a surprise Christmas gift??? just kidding.


Harimohan said...

I completely agree with you. Kids have a way of saying and behaving in such surprisingly simple and seemingly naive ways - which actually show us how far away we are from the correct path. A surprise gift for Bujji - hmmm, that does sound like it will put a big smile on her face. Not a bad idea I think. Thanks Prasanna.

Prasanna Kumar said...

... A surprise gift for Bujji., will actually put a big smile on Anjali's face :)