Home sweet home pours love but just drizzles appreciation!
Saro is my friend since school days. One evening, when I ran into her at Mount Road in Chennai, deciding to prolong our happy reunion, we proceeded to the Spencer Plaza to catch up. There, we met my boss, an American.
He noticed me and said ‘Hi’. I responded in kind, and introduced my friend.
Immediately, he complimented Saro, saying, “Your dress is lovely.” She was wearing a magenta-coloured silk sari with a black border. The sole reason for this incident was that the sari was really beautiful, and Americans are usually generous with their compliments.
Even though quite some time had passed since we had met my boss, Saro was visibly uncomfortable. She was not her usual bubbly self, either. Only after my continuous, repeated insistence and queries of “What happened, Saro?” did she reply.
“When your boss complimented me, I could not even say a simple thanks!”
“Yes. I noticed. You could have thanked him”
“The thing is, I have never been praised so I did not know how to respond…”
That night, it was a long time before I could fall asleep. Is there only ‘one’ Saro who has ‘never been praised?’ There are a thousand Saros, Kamalas , Fatimas, and Stellas amongst us, who yearn for appreciation.
Apparently, research shows that women’s chromosomal and genetic makeup craves appreciation and acknowledgment, more than men’s genetics do. Must probably be true.
“Darling… How does my new saree look?”
“Is it new… Superb!”
Did the husband even spare a glance at the saree, or did he say so as there was no other quicker way to end the conversation… God only knows!
“There is a difference in the rasam I made today… Did you not notice?”
“Really? For me it tastes the same, as usual.”
Following a new recipe suggested by a friend, boiling tomato and garlic along with lentils, mashing them all together, mixing with the tamarind extract, boiling it evenly before adding freshly crushed cumin and black pepper, and finally tempering with mustard seeds spluttered in ghee… all this effort only to hear ‘it tastes same as usual!’
A new hairstyle from a rare visit to a beauty parlour, a tastefully drawn peacock kolam, a special adai-avial tiffin made after poring over a different recipe from a book, a newly purchased green silk-cotton saree that had attracted at first sight, a reward gotten at the office… would any of this give us complete happiness, if not layered with praise from close family members?
Could the researchers who proved that ‘women’s chromosomes expect praise and appreciation’, not have also proven that ‘men’s chromosomes limit their ability to give out praise and compliments’?