Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Never Say 'OK'

20 years ago... My grandfather said, "Do not sign a paper without reading it." An old adage that is true even now

Sadly he didn't say, "Do not say 'ok' to everything blindly" I wish he had warned me. But it was a lesson learnt hard.

It all started with raks of course. I was busy, in the middle of an article with over 20 websites open on my laptop laboriously editing and tweaking, when she came by and asked the following, "Can I watch TV? Can I have a chocolate? Will you download the latest make up game for me in Ipad? Will you take me to fun world tomorrow? Can I...."

Honestly at the risk of sounding like an irresponsible mother, I said 'ok' to all. I admit I am guilty. I wanted to finish that article and get rid of the client who was buzzing me every two minutes on chat asking me whether it is done.

After about half hour, raks was in front of the TV watching a rerun of Chota Bheem's adventure.

Me: "Gugu! No more TV. Your quota of one hour is over for today."

Raks: "But you just said 'ok' to me when I asked. You know you should not go back on your word."

Thankfully the power went off and I thanked 'amma' for that timely help.

Next she was busy raiding the fridge for that chocolate that I thought I had hidden well behind the huge jar of curd.

Me: "Gugu! Please I will give a bite of the chocolate but don't eat the whole thing. Dentist aunty will get angry."

Raks: "But you just said 'ok' to me when I asked. You know you should not go back on your word."

Like a tape recorder she went on with the same retort which made me wonder what else I had said 'ok' to.

Next day, she was getting ready in her favourite party frock and I wondered where she was going.

Me: "Gugu! Why are you getting ready now? Are we going someplace?"

Raks: "Yes to Fun world!"

Me: "Who is taking you there?"

I watched her dreading the answer...

Raks: "You are"

What? What?

Me: "No way. We have music and dance class today. We will go during the weekend."

Raks: "But you promised. How can you break your promise?"

Saying this, she dramatically pushed me aside and lay prone on the bed reminding me vividly of Kaikeyi's tantrum in the animated ramayana.

So we had to take her to the fun world and while she was riding the toy elephant, I was doing some quick thinking as to how to get out of the foolish agreement that I had thoughtlessly said 'ok' to.

Back home after a long fun world session, we did a small recap of all the things that I had said 'ok' to and put on a new agreement with some new terms and conditions.

Can I watch TV?
ok
Only for one hour

Can I have chocolate?
ok
Only a two bites

Will you download the latest make up game?
ok
No. But I have downloaded the new numbers game

Will you take me to fun world?
ok
Yes. But not everyday. Maybe once a month

Can I wear make up at home?
ok
No way

Can I paint sandy's (dog) tail black?
ok
No!

Will you cancel rice and give me only strawberries to eat?
ok
Will not cancel rice but you can have occasional strawberries

Now you don't want to hear the rest of the things that I had said 'ok' to. It was quite a long list. Nevertheless I believe that we came to an understanding. And since then, I LISTEN to her whenever she talks and if I didn't get the gist, I never say the word 'ok' without deliberate serious consideration.