MIDWAY : Thanklessness

Binita Joshi Shrestha

There are two types of people: thankful ones and thankless ones. The thankful ones appreciate others and the thankless ones rather chew the words “thank you”. In my opinion, thank you and sorry are the most refined and the best words in anyone’s vocabulary. They are short but convey million messages and win equal number of hearts. But in today’s world humane considerations scarcely find place. The life in the fast lane is leaving less space for people to admire the genre, orienting them towards savagery. These days’ people are hardly heard saying sorry for a wrongdoing and thank you for receiving a favour. In a public vehicle, a friend of mine found a stuffed wallet and she hastily handed it to the person it belonged to. She was expecting a word of gratitude from the owner until she was embarrassed to find that the possessor feel for his wallet in front of everybody as though to mean that my friend had taken it. Worse, he wasn’t even thankful to her.

After being inspired by the public’s civic sense towards traffic rules in the West during my short trip, I tried doing the same in Kathmandu: waving at people who halted to give way while driving as a thank you signal. The result: utter harassment. Two men followed me for a week. But I would love to wave back at someone waving at me. Our carpenter found a report card of a girl studying in a popular school in Kathmandu. Upon contacting her, the girl at the other end, despite thanking him for doing the favour of calling her, rebuffed him as how could he pick it up from the streets. She blamed him for picking it up. “Those looking for it in the streets would have found it if he hadn’t picked it up,” she said rudely. One would normally be thankful to the carpenter and would love to meet him in person and collect the report card, if not reward him.

Thank you and sorry are two words at the tip of my tongue. But I have found people having problems uttering these words. There are people who feel they are demoralised when they say them and some who feel that it is too formal to thank someone in return for a favour. As I have the habit of thanking any time and all the time, one of my friends tells me that I keep him at a distance with my appreciation and asks me to refrain from being thankful. Thank you is just a gesture of appreciating and expressing my gratefulness and making the other person feel that I owe something in return and I will leave no stone unturned to keep them happy for what they have done for me.