Say Sorry Please..!

Robert Clements
31 Aug 2020

A few years ago, someone travelling to a religious place out of the country, called me up, “I am very sorry for the wrong I have done to you, please forgive me!” he whispered.

“Sure!” I said, happy the person had it in him to apologize. A few months later, he did the very same wrong, “But didn’t you say sorry the last time?” I asked bewildered by his action.

Indian Currents

“Did I?” he asked, astonishment writ on his face, “Since I was going on this pilgrimage, I asked forgiveness from everybody, it’s a requirement!”

And in a majestic building somewhere in the country three esteemed and venerable gentlemen, one, his hair swept back after a motorbike ride, look at another standing in front of them and say sternly, “Say sorry!”

“I won’t!”

“We will punish you!”

“Yes I know, so be it!”

“Please say it!”

“I can’t!”

“It’s just two words!”

“It’s more than that! It’s two words that will make me hate myself for the rest of my life! Two words in which I will be a betrayer to my own conscience!”

“You don’t have to say it loudly, just mumble it!”

“But my soul will hear me! The spirit of truth and justice, and all that I believe in will mock me if I will!”

And in mind I see a divided country, “Why can’t he just say sorry and finish with it!” say a portion of the people, “There are bigger things left to do, than being punished for not being able to utter two simple words! And again, in my oftimes very vivid imagination, I see the man who called me just before his pilgrimage nodding and saying, “What do you lose by saying sorry I didn’t lose anything!’”

And the man standing in front of the three gentlemen turns to him and says, “Sorry is not just a word, or two words. Saying sorry means, ‘I admit what I said was an untruth, that the situation I said existed does not exist, and that in the face of enlightenment I retract my statement!”

“So, what’s wrong with that?”

“When the enlightenment is the end of a lathi, the muzzle of a gun or the facing of a prison sentence, even a mandatory requirement before a pilgrimage, or any such threat, then the retraction is an act of cowardice!”

And I see the gentleman who had wronged me turn to me and laugh, “How silly! Just two words!”

“Yes, just two words!” repeat the three good, venerable gentlemen, one, his hair swept back after a motorbike ride, “Please say it, and we will be able to save our faces!”

“I’m sorry!” says the small man as the eyes of the whole country glisten in anticipation, “I can’t..!”

( bobsbanter@gmail.com)

(Published on 31st August 2020, Volume XXXII, Issue 36)

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