Urdu is a beautiful language. It’s known for it’s poetic nature. The depth of one single word that could touch and invoke so many feelings – is locked in Urdu. Shayari – which is poetry in Urdu is a popular form of entertainment in India. People mix it up with Hindi. Hyderabad is very well know in India for it’s Urdu and specific dialect of it.
Urdu is also extensively used in another form of entertainment called Qawwali. A group performance. Now and then Bollywood adopts few qawwali songs and makes them mainstream. It depends on who writes these songs. Javed Akhtar is one of the few gems who can write beautiful poetic urdu songs. This one which I love is from the movie Delhi 6. It’s kinda hard to translate Urdu to English because there is so much lost in translation. But the core of it, I have it below.
Arziyaan Sari Mein, Chehre Pe Likh Ke Laaya Hoon – All the requests, are written on my face
Tumse Kya Mangu Mein, Tum Khud Hi Samjah Lo…What can I ask from you my Lord, I think you understand
Ya Maula…, Maula Maula Maula Mere Maula – Yes Lord… My Lord
Dararein Dararein Maathe Pe Maula – Lines of fate on my forehead
Maramat Mukdar Ki Kar Do Maula, Mere Maula – Take control of fate/ fortune, my Lord
Tere Dar Pe Jhuka Hoon Meeta Hoon Bana Hoon – Am bowing at your feet, have fallen, and recovered
Marammat Mukdar Ki Kar Doo Maula – Improve my fortune/destiny, O Lord
Today I want to talk about some behavioral differences between East and West. I have often had trouble with my friends and some relatives about saying – “Thanks”. You see whenever someone does something for me and I automatically say – “Thanks” and all my Indian friends get mad at me. It was very surprising to me. They say, between friends there are no ‘Thank You’ and ‘Please’. I don’t know which Bollywood movie propagated it, but it really has sunken into a lot of people here.
So, this got me thinking. Was I like this in 1999? Did I get mad at people just because they were saying Thanks to me? I don’t recollect very well, but I could say that I was kinda adamant and believed in no Thanks and no Please attitude. So what changed? My stay in US? Or may be I just forgot that Bollywood movie? Upon thinking I could come to only one logical answer.
In his very interesting book – “The Five Love Languages“, Gary Chapman explains how we humans have 5 ways of expressing love.
Words of Affirmations
Acts of Service
When I think about it, usually in the west – the way people express love to each other ‘chiefly’ is – ‘Words of Affirmation’, ‘Quality Time’, ‘Physical Touch’. So, when people show love to you this way in West, you usually reciprocate in the similar fashion. Anything else like – ‘Receiving Gifts’, ‘Acts of Service’ are not very much treated as a way of showing Love – hence people usually say “Thanks” when they come across something like that. Whereas in India, it’s the other way around. People are not very vocal about expressing their love. They literally don’t touch (Who would want to, in this hot and sweaty India!). The concept of Quality time is no where nearby – as the only quality time any Indian can think of is spending time with TV. So, we Indians chiefly express love in the remaining 2 ways – ‘Gifts’ & ‘Acts of Service’.
So when my Uncle buys me an expensive watch for me, he is basically telling me that he loves me. When my mom cooks an extravagant Biryani for me, she is showing how much she loves me and she is happy the most when I eat a lot of it. So, when I say Thanks to these acts, both my Uncle and my Mom get pissed off. Our extreme opposite ways of showing love really gets people confused. Before I understood this, it was such a painful thing for me. I would dread to say Thank you to my friends and relatives.
Now the puzzle is solved for me. Phew. At least, thats what I think the reason for the behavior is.