Posts Tagged ‘bravery’

Every day heroism

June 13, 2019

In the past week, I have spent time with: someone bravely going through a painful divorce, someone recovering from a stroke, that someone’s daughter who’s taken the load on her shoulders, someone who’s taken care of his father and family through the father’s severe illness, and struggled to get ahead in academics (and succeeded in both), someone who’s been swindled by family members, and is trying to bounce back, someone whose children may lose their vision, someone who is dealing with a spouse’s cancer..and perhaps others whose secret trials and burdens I will never know.

Heroes? I walk among them.They are everywhere, my every single day heroes and heroines. Everyday bravery, that is silent, is the toughest bravery of all.

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What’s “dirty”? What is prudence, and what is cowardice?

February 12, 2009

The Moral Police Sene have raised a lot of issues, and I have been pondering on this one…what’s “dirty”? What is “objectionable”?

I think that often, the “dirty” association is not in the word or object that is written or discussed, but in the mind of the person reading or interacting.

Take the word, for example….”panty” (or the less gender-specific term, “chaddi”, which is the word in the news today.)

On a bus recently, I saw the words “panties” being spelt as such in English, but as “fanties” in Kannada. I made a light-hearted post to this effect on my blog in Citizen Matters.

But a reaction from a friend set me thinking about it, and I decided to “unpublish” the post. The reason for this was that I realized that the word might have different associations for different people, and certainly, my post was not serious enough for me to want angry, negative comments from readers. It would be a case of a molehill becoming a mountain!

Am I guilty of “copping out”? I am pondering over this now.

…I don’t think so. If I had made a serious post, I suppose I would have stood by it, but this was just a kind of humourous observation about how the word was spelt differently in different languages.

On the other hand, though, I am musing on the fact that I feel it might be a sensitive issue (especially at this time) and didn’t feel it worth getting a lot of flak about, so in that sense, perhaps I am guilty of moral cowardice…

Am I being prudent, or being a coward?

Where does “being sensitive to others’ reactions” turn into “being afraid of others’ reactions”?

In fact, the different associations that words have for people is often the cause for humour; when I say something in all innocence, and it brings other associations to the hearer’s mind, that results in a laugh.

Read this limerick:

There was a young man called Reese
Who said, “Madam, if you please,
It would give me great bliss
If while attending to this
You paid some attention to these!”

Is there any “dirty” word in that? No. But I have never yet recited that limerick to anyone that did not result in at least a smile! So, it’s the association the words “this” and “these” have, that results in the joke being carried across.

So, I feel that very often, “dirty” in words is often in the mind of the one who is reading/hearing that word….

No clear answers after musing for a while….but I will not publish that post now, but if any of you want to see the spelling of the word in English and Kannada, in the ads on the buses, you just have to go to my Photobucket site! But please understand, that’s all there is to it…an observation that the same word is phonetically spelt differently in Kannada.

Responsibility

April 3, 2005

A friend of mine has been taking care of a schizophrenic husband, whose condition has progressively worsened. During this time, she has undergone so much trauma…working in a school, she saw him unfit to take up any work; she could not pay the building maintainance dues and was reviled for it; she has brought up two daughters, the elder of whom took up tuitions to make ends meet. She put the elder one through engineering college, and the daughter fulfilled her promise by doing well, working for Mphasis for a while, and then getting admission to SP Jain Management College in Mumbai. Now the husband, after bouts of violence, has been institutionalized during the week. My friend has now got the opportunity to spend a six-month, all-expenses paid stint in the UK, as part of her job. Meanwhile the institution has raised the fees, and she is facing a financial dilemma. Should she go, or not? She has taken the decision to go. I salute the huge courage this friend of mine has, the grit with which she has handled life all along. She finds herself without a shred of wifely feeling for a personality which is no longer that of the husband whom she married all those years ago; but feels that if she leaves him, she might just push him over the edge, and continues to take responsibility for him, much as she would for a sick child. I admire her for her courage, the kind that I feel I might never find in myself.