Sunday, August 14, 2016

ACHILLES’ HEEL







Pic.: Chetna Shetty

Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found it very useful – was telling a nice story in two tenses… Past and Present. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people who were earnest to improve their English with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and tell it to someone.

I have narrated this story to young Achilles’ in  our P.D. sessions countless times. Yes, to convey to them as to what the English phrase, ‘Achilles’ Heel’, really means.

‘Achilles Heel’ is our weak spot … Our vulnerable area. But, then, it no longer refers to a physical weak spot. Today, it refers to a psychological and character-related weak spot.

Hope, the legend of Achilles doesn’t cease to inspire…



ACHILLES’ HEEL


PAST:


In Greek mythology, Achilles was a great warier. The legend has it, that when he was born, it was foretold, that he would die young. So, to prevent this fate from falling upon him, his mother, Thetis, carried her new-born to the River Styx, which was believed to offer powers of immortality. There, the mother dipped baby Achilles in the holy water holding him by his heel. This made Achilles an invulnerable and invincible war hero. But, his heel, which was not touched by the holy water, remained weak … vulnerable, all his life.

It is concurred that, at the end of the Trojan war, when Paris shot a poisonous arrow at Achilles’ weak heel, Achilles’ end came!


PRESENT:


In Greek mythology, Achilles is a great warier. The legend has it, that when he is born, it is foretold, that he will die young. So, to prevent this fate from falling upon him, his mother, Thetis, carries her new-born to the River Styx, which is believed to offer powers of immortality. There, the mother dips baby Achilles in the holy water holding him by his heel. This makes Achilles an invulnerable and invincible war hero. But, his heel, which is not touched by the holy water, remains weak … vulnerable, all his life.

It is concurred that, at the end of the Trojan war, when Paris shoots a poisonous arrow at Achilles’ weak heel, Achilles’ end comes!


GERALD D’CUNHA

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