With best compliments!

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Sep 2017 12:37:25


By BIRAJ DIXIT,


Compliments, give me some and win me over! There is nothing in this entire world as charming and as disarming as compliments. With them, you thrive and blossom. With them, your affections for your own good self stand vindicated. With them, the life is blissful and worth taking all the trouble of living. Their absence in life spreads unease, discouragement and dejection. And they can come easy, if you can give them easy.


Of the many pearls of wisdom that I have collected in my little life, a truly precious one is that the person who has mouthful of compliments, flowing like streams of gushing waters, is likely to sing in prosperity. For, compliments are the most precious of all gifts that almost always find an eager receiver. And giving people whatever they are eagerly waiting for is one time-tested method of ‘endearing oneself to’ and ‘getting endowments from’ success. Try giving some, you would get some and the barter would be such an eye-opener into the ways of the world.


The one great thing about compliments is that they are extremely cost-effective. All it takes is either some genuine appreciation, a kind-heart, naiveté or lies but what you get in turn can be anything from lifetime of being in someone’s good books to immediate purpose served to heartfelt compliments or may be all of these in return. Wonderful, isn’t it? With compliments flowing all are in win-win situation.


But people often mire the fun of compliments by going too much into the detail of true or false, wise or unwise, deserving or undeserving. Most wise of the world would tell you that there is no such thing as absolute truth and absolute falsehood. All of us live in between. All things are in between. So, how does it matter if all things said are just in between? Truths can be subjective, can even be momentary and can be selective.

So can be compliments. To a lay eavesdropper, the suitor showering poems on the tresses of his lady love may appear downright stupidity and utter falsehood. But to the man, it is the truth perceivable only by a loving eye. To the lady, it is the absolute truth left unattended by the obnoxious world.

Truth, thus, can be so subjective. The same man, when turned into a husband, if, finds an indiscreet sample of those tresses comforting itself in his food plate, can cook up a storm. The truth of lovely tresses can thus also be termed as momentary. Let us also consider that if the beauty of tresses alone is the subject of compliments, then different suitors will find different tresses differently beautiful. The truth of the beautiful tresses thus becomes selective. If truth can be so wavering, why do people take such offence to overtly paid compliments?


Of course, people vexed with the world or those too tired of pleasing everyone every time often try their hand at off-hand and back-hand compliments, rather than playing a straight game. The double-edged compliments are most innocently used these days. I have a lot of them from my personal collection. For example, “You look quite young, for your age.”


“For an ordinary writer, you have come up with a brilliant piece.”
“You are a much better poet, than a writer.”
As an eager recipient of compliments and one who forever cherishes to achieve more, I am still smarting under their tirades. All I do is blush. That way no one can tell whether it is humility or embarrassment.


Double-edged or a single sharp stroke, compliments have a cutting-way for sure. They go deep down in the heart. And hence one must practice paying it. In fact, it should be taught in school and colleges. Given our stresses for career building, personality development so as to make it more and more pleasing and tutoring management skills to our kids, the importance of compliments, praises and sweet-talk cannot be left to their natural talents. They say that children learn from their elders. If that is entirely correct, there is nothing to worry. But to make ourselves doubly-sure we must teach them how to pay compliments.


For I fear, that if left unattended and uninterrupted by education and elderly behaviour, they may presume it good to be absolutely honest. They may not set higher goals of climbing success ladders but jump to something absolutely undesirable as morally upright and truthful. They cannot be allowed to confuse between deserving and not-deserving. For, the world that they will inherit has been systematically cleared of any such gaps and demarcations.

They must learn to merge beautifully. While we present ourselves as examples of eloquence and mannerism and keep showering indiscriminate praises merging the wise and otherwise, clever and cleverer, deserving and deservable, we must also teach them to compliment our world by being part of it.


Once a certain Henry David Thoreau said, “The greatest compliment that was ever paid to me when one asked what I thought and attended to my answer.” But these are people from the yore. Compliments had very limited scope then. Look how we are transcending all borders!