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Token Visit

I totally dislike duty visits, or 'token visits' as I call them.  The festival of Diwali is with us and token visits take place all the time during Diwali and the following days.

You know how it is.  You have to call on the neighbours to wish them the compliments of the season.   Certain members of the family (usually two!) are selected.  You are sent to a certain house.  You carry a box of sweets.  You smile your way through the conversation while you sip a glass of water and nibble on a sweet.  How boring!  I just hate it.  It is one of the most boring activities in which one could participate.

If there are ladies sitting together and no gents sitting in, it can be quite interesting.  We'll gossip a bit about who died/got married/is pregnant.  We'll speculate on why the Singhs' eldest son moved out of the family home with his children, leaving his elderly parents and younger brother's family.  We'll speculate on a possible rift and discuss every possibility.  That's actually fun.

If gentlemen are present, it's all talk about the office and children's studies.  Conversation for the brain dead in my opinion.  I'm not a fan of gossip, but it is thrilling in comparison to small talk.

I received a token visit once when I was in hospital. I'd just given birth to my youngest child.  A family which lives near us sent their most senior lady to visit me.  I must say, I was very touched.

The truth is, when a neighbour calls in, attitude is everything.  If they seem pleased to see  you and eager to talk, you will enjoy the conversation.  If on the other hand they sit impatiently, refusing tea, sipping half a glass of water and politely eating half a  perda' (that's a sweet) and make their excuses and leave at the earliest possible opportunity, they shouldn't think anyone will be sorry to see them leave.  Rather they'll be relieved!

The truth is, if you are sincere about being friends with people, they'll be happy to see you.  But treat the visit as a duty visit and no-one will enjoy it.

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