Monday, April 21, 2008

Condolence over phone- talk smart !!

Death- Irreparable loss to anybody. While we are one of those close ones to the dead person, it's a terrible pain. While we are not one of those really close persons, we have to console the close ones. Guys…Have you noticed that talking smart over phone is (not a choice) almost a necessity while conveying condolence?

How do we do this? Death does not happen frequently:)- I understand that we can’t prepare speeches/practice to deliver proper consolation during the 10th day or 12th day events. And if you are a girl, you have to talk to console !!

However, some people talk really smart and sensible while consoling!! My mom is one among them. She is so articulate that I admire her talent. After attending condolences or after I called up the deadone's family, we have discussed “ Who said what and what they could have said instead..etc.” It might sound odd to some of you..Namakku koncham analytical everything.. "Unaku epdi ellam topic kedaikkudhu, veetuku india call pesum bodhu"- apdinnu yosikaadheenga!! It's true!! Just thought of sharing my thoughts on some specific situations... It’s really funny but thought provoking.. Thought it would really help others in communicating better.


1. When somebody (who is older than the dead one) cries “Kadavule! Avana kondu poyitiye!!. Enna kondu poyiruka koodaadha….Naan poyirukalaam (கடவுளே..அவன கொண்டு போயிட்டியே..என்ன கொண்டு போயிருக்கக் கூடாதா!!)", how will you react as a third person??

You can’t say “aaamaam”(I have heard some people telling this by mistake to console:)- ) By saying aaamaam, you mean that 'You old lady!! you are in queue and you could have died before your son'..ha ha ha... cannot say “illa..avan ponadhu right”

But you can say this.. "Apdi ellam solladheengo/nenakadheenga….yaaruku minaadi yaaru povaangradhu namma kaiyila enna irukku! Aprom (don’t say neenga poyita), yaaru indha kuzhandhaigala paathupaa!!/அப்படியெல்லாம் சொல்லாதீங்க..யாருக்கு மின்னாடி யாரு போகணும்ன்றது நம்ம கையிலயா இருக்கு..அப்புறம், யாரு இந்த குழந்தைகள பாத்துக்குவா!!"

2. Many a times, I can neither call up the close one nor cry when somebody is crying on the other side (though I am sad). How do you start the conversation and convey your empathy?

Well, I learnt this the hard way.. by trial and error..Well, if the close one is young, you can definitely start the conversation by saying ‘I am sorry about this’ and asking ‘how this did happen’. They will be more than willing to share the event and not cry that much. That way you don’t have to cry to them. If the close one is old, listen to what they say. They will do the talking and all you have to do is reply according to what they say..
Let us see some of those situations:

3. When the old one (periamma or paati) says “namma ellarayum vittutu poyitaan daa!/ நம்ம எல்லாரையும் விட்டுடு போயிட்டா டா or bagavan nammala ipdi sothikaraane/ பகவான் நம்மள இப்படி சோதிக்கறானே", how to reply over phone?

Most of the times, I blink!!
If you say “aamaam perimma/chithi”, you should be careful to say the appropriate phrase next!
What to say next??
Generally, we youngsters don’t say a. “Ipdi poyitaare ” though it’s okay – kindaa odd
b. “kavalapadaadheengo paati.. dhairyamaa irunga” sounds rude - it's like 'summa keda kezhvi!!'
c. You can’t say “naan edhir paakave illai"- I have said this though some body can even expect the other one to die. Even if so, you can't say it right!!

Say something like “aamaam paati.. aana neenga dhaan dhariyamaa irundhu mathavangalukku dhairyam sollanum /ஆமாம் பாட்டி..ஆனா நீங்க தான் தைரியமா இருந்து மத்தவங்களுக்கும் தைரியம் சொல்லணும்”
You can say "ipdi nadakumo.. pona dhadava paarkum podhu kooda avlo nalla pesinaare/ இப்படி நடக்குமோ…போன தடவ பார்க்கும் போது கூட அவ்ளோ நல்லா பேசினாரே"

4. When it’s the death of their parents, you can’t say (even if your parents are not alive)
”I know exactly how much pain you will be in". It will not be consoling at all..
Rather you could say "I cannot really understand how much pain you would have that you cannot express? But I will pray for their soul to rest in peace and May God give you lots of energy to get going”.

5. If the person dies out of health problem and you are calling up to convey condolence..

If mildly sick and dead,
you can say “yaarukum kashtam kodukaama irundhaa.. apdiye poyitaa..யாருக்கும் கஷடம் குடுக்காம இருந்தா..அப்ப்டியே போயிட்டா”

If severely sick,
“Paavam romba kashtapatutaar irukum podhu..bagavam romba sodhichutaar/ பாவம் ரொம்ப கஷ்டபட்டார் இருக்கும் போது..பகவான் ரொம்ப சோதிச்சிட்டார்”

6. It’s highly embarrassing to call the dead one’s family. I hate doing this..My tip is this:
Before calling up the close one, recollect the most interesting conversation you had previously with the dead person.. Feel free to glorify more than how they were…
I could never do that. When I want to say he is good in that/this..I will not remember 20 good times. But I will remember one bad incident and so, I can’t say this generalized statement “he was always good”. By keeping our conscience away, I think, we can exaggerate or lie at this instance which will help the close one feel better.

Feel free to add in comments section and I will add to my list here.


Gopinath Sundharam said...

Hmmm.. interesting tips Priya. I'll try to use them if need arises. ;)

Anonymous said...

idhai padikardhuku poi sendhuralam. Saavu veetuku poi onnum sollama irundha podhum. Poradhe oru moral support ku dhan. Appa kooda bladea podanum.

Priya Venkatakrishnan said...

thanks gopinath..

ozhunga padikamaa kadhai vidaadeenga..all i said is only when you cannot go and you have call up and convey condolence :)-

Anonymous said...

Oh ok ok..thappa sollitein..sorry..nalla post appo

Anonymous said...

Oh ok ok..thappa sollitein..sorry..nalla post appo

Badhri said...

How about.
"Hello....Badhri pesarein. Sowkyama?"

Priya Venkatakrishnan said...

haa haa..

Priya Venkatakrishnan said...

haa haa..

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