Tamed or Obliged?

I often observe in relationships, that they make time to return favors. A lot of times they do that during special occasions and/or as needed. If we take help from some political leader or somebody of authority, we return favors in cash or by giving them expensive gifts during Diwali. Not just that even in families when a family member has always been helping and caring, they try to reciprocate the gesture by supporting them. If for any reason they are unable to do that, their relationship starts developing a glitch. At times we are mature to understand and often times we have our egos. Also why is there a tradition of return gifts on a child’s birthday? Why? I heard from couple of my friends that, “They’ve stopped this gifting culture.” I asked them why, what happened? They say, “Today I will give, tomorrow they’ll also expect that I’ll get something for them. Better to stop being formal.” Well, I don’t know how giving gifts feels like a formality. I love giving gifts. To me giving is a happier feeling.

I had a friend and I used to be so excited that every time I received my salary I asked her what she wants? Because giving her gifts meant happiness to me. Be it Friendship’s Day, Birthdays, Diwali, Valentines, Christmas or any day that I am happy or want to make her feel special, I used to gift. Giving is a gesture that keeps your heart happy, but only when you are giving it without a motive.

Take a small present when you are visiting somebody’s home for the first time, that’s courteous. But if your wife demands regular surprise moment, so that in return she can make your nights pleasurable, that gradually becomes a task for the husband too. If you want to keep the bond healthy and loving there are a lot of other ways a husband can contribute. For starters be home on time and other than providing the family monetarily take few other responsibilities on your shoulder. She does a lot of work when you are at work. Yeah! but remember important dates dear husband, that can surely get you an award for being a great husband and the hot topic of the talk in her kitty parties? I wonder how easily we fool the feelings of our loved ones? I mean on one hand we say –

रहिमन धागा प्रेम का, मत तोड़ो चटकाए.
टूटे से फिर ना जुड़े, जुड़े गांठ बंध जाए.
– कबीर

On the other hand we celebrate Rakhi by tying a knot. A knot which is not useful if you cannot stand for your sister/s during the test of time (Don’t take it literally sisters, they have your gifts ready ;))
Are we scared of how delicate these relationships are and how a silly mistake can break them forever. Why are we materialistically pampering them? Are we not good enough in nurturing them or are we so confused? We all know how relationships get their lives, but we are so great at avoiding our responsibilities or better delegating them on the shoulder of others. A friend once told me that there is always a person who gives more in a relationship than the other. Probably that’s why we have a pre-list of mending gifts for each situation that comes our way. I’ll get her that necklace, those Gucci glares, Tommy Hilfiger shopping voucher, Armani Watch, a vacation, the list gets endless. Also the most heard and visited by you all would be, when the groom’s family gifts something to their to be daughter-in-law, the bride’s parents have to double the amount of what their daughter has received. I ask why? What kind of tradition is that? Is this the amount with which he is going to get her gifts in the future? Is the self-respect of the girl so less or her importance is just as much the amount of money you provide with. I heard one of my friend who preferred to go for a court marriage and how their family was surprised because it just took two minutes to get the formalities done. His reasons were bang on to what I think of, if I ever plan to get married. I mean yes, we have people who live by their principles, but the majority is obliged of the relationships they have made. Do you feel likewise? Seriously?

In fact, the funniest of all was, that if I don’t go and attend the wedding of my friends no one will come and attend mine. Does this make any sense to anyone of you? I was like it’s completely okay with me. If I gave them reasons today, probably they’ll provide me with a long list of reasons tomorrow. If this creates such a distance in the friendship, then I am sorry we never really were friends and we hardly knew about each others lives. My code of conduct won’t change in your presence and my behavior would never be affected by it at all. I will never have any hard feelings and I’ll talk to them just like I used to. But when it goes beyond my self-respect, I’ll be sorry. They might be in the position to stay mad because they valued my presence in their lives biggest celebration. Probably I value them more in my life and not just that occasion.

To this I would like to quote in my words –
आखरी गांठ तक मैं बांधती रही,
तब तक कुछ तो था, रिश्ता ही सही.
– सीमा

For me a relationship is way bigger than one celebration, especially whose party can be enjoyed every time we are together. For me, it comes from the heart. I was never scared, or confused to fulfill a relationship. On the contrary, I’ve given time to it but never received. I’ve expressed and have never been reciprocated. But I haven’t changed a bit. That’s the kind of conviction I live by. I am not obliged because of what you did for me. It is all about treating the person and relationship with respect, which I’ll always provide you with. But my goodness can’t be tamed as per your needs. Never!

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