Indian Society Opinion Culture goodbye namaste

It May Be Anxiety But I Hate The Word 'Goodbye'

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*For representational purpose only.

My day always starts with ‘Namaste’. To whomever I meet: there’s no awkward rush to remember wishing someone, ‘Good Morning’, or ‘Good Evening’, it’s simply, ‘Namaste’.

A lot of people are now asking me why I haven’t settled into the norm of wishing someone in the most natural way known to everyone around.

I’ve thought about it, quite a lot in fact. It’s curious, even to me. But after delving deep into this, I think I’ve come to a realization.

Culturally, I always found it odd that being Indian, our instinct to greet each other with a ‘Good Morning’. What humored me even further, was that the term ‘Goodbye’ comes from, ‘Godbwye’, which literally translates to, ‘God be with ye (you)’ – this was meant to convey a blessing.

After some more research, I realized that the term ‘Goodbye’ wasn’t a favorite in other languages either.

There’s Do Svidaniya in Russian, which means, ‘till the next meeting.’

Hasta La Vista in Spanish, which means, ‘until the sight.’

Khuda Hafiz in Urdu, which means, ‘God protect you.’

And of course, Namaste in Hindi, which means, ‘I bow to the divine.’

What further intrigued me, was that in popular films, like Django Unchained, dialogues like, “…normally, I would say Auf Wiedersehen but that would mean, ‘till I see you again,’ and since I don’t want to see you again, I say, Goodbye!”

It was as if a whole new meaning to my use of Namaste, just opened up in front of me.

Goodbye: a word used for those whom we wish not to meet again.

This brings back a quote to mind, from Peter Pan, “Never say goodbye, because goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting.”

A close friend of mine is concerned. She thinks I shouldn’t make this such a big deal, I should overcome my phobia of saying goodbye.

You could call this anxiety, or even me having an irrational view of life.

But I don’t think it’s wrong to wish to never bid Goodbye to someone- I want to see them again. I want to have conversations that are never-ending. I know change is the only constant in our lives, but I don’t want any relationship to come to the haunting silence of a ‘Goodbye’.

I don’t want to get lost in the air of change, or transition. If I’m your best friend or your lover, I’m always going to be here, waiting for you. No matter how long you make me. I will never say Goodbye.

You may think I’m naïve, to believe in unconditional love, and refrain from saying those two words to someone whose broken my heart or promises of the past. But it could just be me.

But think about these five reasons for a while:

First, your cultural roots. Second, love is flexible, adaptive and if time changes, love can too- but it can never come to an end. Third, keep those moments alive. Cherish those memories, why do you need to, or want to, end the past with two words? Fourth, always believe that you’re going to be meeting this person again, or talking to them soon. Fifth, don’t you want to see your loved ones again?

So. Remember, when someone leaves, don’t say Goodbye.

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