Doing WroRig

Musings / Thursday, August 12th, 2010

That’s my word of the day. It’s a combination of Wrong+Right. I intend to use these for those times when we really don’t know if we have done the right thing or the wrong thing. In my case, WroRig can be used to pretty much describe everything in my life, including my rather free-floating, free-falling mind, which deserts me at the most opportune moment, and a cruel heart that stops beating at the most critical moments. I had one acute case of WroRig on said mind and said heart for sometime now. I could never resolve it. And the thing with WroRig is that they don’t leave you alone – no, both Wrong and Right combine to create a wulderwig sort of chaos (that’s my second word of the day, and I haven’t the faintest idea what it means).

Two years ago, a friend of mine. Nay, a close friend of mine. Nay, one of my closest friends was about to do this.

It’s a long letter there. But that writer described everything I went through. To shorten it for you, this person’s friend is getting married. To the wrong person at the wrong time. Her friends know it. She doesn’t. What do you do, her best friend asks? I asked myself the same question. I was in the same situation. The letter writer in the Salon article agonizes over how to tell her friend. “What I want to tell her is this: “I love you. I don’t feel like I’ve seen you be your true self or grow with him, and I worry that you’re doing this because you feel you need to be at a certain place in life and not because you really want to.” Ah!! I wish I had these words at that time! Instead, I had some two-pence nonsense about making choices in life, and how they have consequences. It wasn’t a pretty battle, and it almost wrecked the friendship in my case.

Our letter writer phrases it even better. “I will always support you and be there for you, but I think marrying him is not what is best for you. Deep down I think you know all this, and I’m sorry if this is hurting you.” I am not sure I said all that either. Because I have a dumb way of saying things that tends to put fire on a raging soul than calm it, and to stoke embers in even the calmest soul. Ok, I really don’t know how to gently say “You are being a fool,” and pat you on the back for being a fool. In the end, the tortured letter writer asks “What does being a true friend mean? I think she’s throwing her life away for somebody who will never do her justice. But at what point am I doing it for myself and not for her? Do I risk one of my closest friendships in the attempt to throw her a lifeline she may reject?”

Most of the people I know follow a policy of non-interference inspired probably by Nehru, and approved by Gandhi. They believe in ‘allowing the other person to realize.’ I always wonder, which one of these ‘friends’ will sit back and allow ‘the person to realize’ if that person happens to be their daughter, sister, son or spouse? Which father will not utter a word if he thinks his daughter is making a mistake? A mistake not in the school exam but in marriage? I mean, it’s not one teeny weeny step that, although seeing the way people get married here in India, they probably devote more attention to buying a car than choosing the person they want to get married to. So, which sister will keep quiet if you know that your sibling is being rather dumb in a matter of great significance? So why should friends be different? Is it all that nonsense about ‘accepting you as you are’ that has led to accepting your mistakes too as yours to own? If my role as a friend is to watch you kill yourself, and then turn up for the funeral all weepy-eyed, then I decline that role. I may never know if I was right or wrong in saying what I did to my friend at that time, but I am glad to know that I wasn’t the only one who thought it right just to say it. You see, that is the point of it all. To just say it. That was right.

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