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Words of importance

chandigarh Updated: Mar 03, 2015 13:53 IST
Ritu Nanda

The world does not need words, said a poet, it articulates itself in sunlight, leaves, and shadows; but certain words and expressions are always special to hear and carry across even the language barrier.

Think of a young man pining for his beloved to say the three magical words: "I love you." Love, which drives most of our actions and decisions, is also an emphatic and forceful declaration of our likes and desires. We can feel this primary emotion for both living as well as inanimate objects.

Rhonda Byrne, author of bestseller "The Secret", wrote that if you love anything in the universe truly, it will come to you sooner or later. Also, never forget the word "sorry". They say there is no space for "sorry" and "thank you" in friendship or close relations, but then which mother's heart wouldn't be soothed to hear her teenage son apologise after he has been rude to her for no reason?

These are small words but can mean a world to someone. A joke in Punjabi goes that: "Angrez chale gaye, please tae sorry chhad gaye (The British quit India but left behind the words 'please' and 'sorry')." True to some extent, as saying 'please' is a very British trait. In England, you say it even while making small product enquiries at the store. It's rude to put the question any other way.

Sometimes, ordinary words become important and make you hold your breath. It's always a sigh of relief to hear "normal" at the end of a medical test, or for that matter "pass" after the competitive examinations. Of course, to hear "topper" or "distinction" would be icing on the cake.

A key word since the pre-historic times is "safety". In the cave man's days, there was always a constant struggle for survival against odds such the elements, wild animals, and diseases. Even in the 21 century of tremendous scientific growth and development, the thoughts of safety still plague people? Their food is adulterated and modified genetically; and their travel is faster but riskier.

Small pox is eradicated but now lifestyle diseases are born. Nature's floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes are still the biggest threats and killers. Some of the damage can be avoided with mass education and awareness but the danger of natural disasters can never be contained. Yet we hope to live in a world and an age where "safety" is so given and natural that we can forget the word.