Once upon a time there was an athlete, and a fine athlete was he! He inspired the world and created history by becoming the first amputee to win an able-bodied world track medal and thus, the 30- year- old Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius was considered famous, victorious, and invincible. Well, almost! Unfortunately, the same athlete is now charged with the murder of his own girl friend. Pistorius claims to have shot his girlfriend because he mistook her for an intruder, out to get him. It does sound bizarre but wait, there’s more going on. Reading all the reports on his trial, I was reminded of an author, Gordimer. Now Pistorius lives in South Africa and that’s where Nadine Gordimer, the writer, novelist and the Nobel Prize laureate lives.
So what links a 30- year- old Pistorius to a 90- year- old Gordimer? Just South Africa? No, it’s the story that Gordimer wrote, titled ‘Once Upon a Time,’ which has a striking resemblance to the ‘Pistorius case.’ In the story, is mirrored the same paranoia that Pistorius exhibits, or at least, that’s what it seems to me. The story says that “In a house, in a suburb, in a city, there were a man and his wife who loved each other very much.” It then goes on to describe the life that they lived in constant fear, the differences that existed in the South African city, the extreme security measures that the white protagonist took to protect his home and his hearth and eventually, the futility of it all. Tragically, the protagonist of Gordimer’s story is caught in his own fears in such a way that the fence that he had erected to protect his loved one ends up killing him instead. In short, the protagonist’s paranoia killed his loved one.
Now that’s what I call bizarre! It is almost as if years ago, Gordimer wrote the story and cast the then non- existent Pistorius as its hero! Gordimer’s story eerily resonates with the story of the now famous Para Olympian, Pistorius. It’s a similar setting, a similar fear of intruders, a similar security measure taken in a similar ‘gated community’ of the elite and unfortunately, a very similar tragic ending. Perhaps, life imitates art, or perhaps it’s the other way round, it’s an eerie resemblance nevertheless.
Unfortunately, equally eerie currently, is the morbid pull of the ocean. First, it engulfed the MH- 370 and then it sucked the South Korean ferry, deep down it’s belly. As the robotic submarine searches the depths of the Indian Ocean for the missing plane, and the South Korean rescue team frantically looks for survivors in the south of Seoul, there is one happy ending to cling to. Shin’s. Fearing that he will sink with the ferry, student, Shin Young-Jin texted to his mother, what he assumed would be his last message to her. It read,
“Sending this in case I may not be able to say this again. Mom, I love you.”
Fortunately, Shin was one of the 179 survivors rescued from the ill- fated ferry. Mother and son were reunited. Here’s praying for those who could not and hoping that the world witnesses more happy endings.
Featuring the organisation, ‘Beautiful People,’ this month, who are hoping to add their bit of ‘happiness,’ to the world, or at least to the lives of the young girls who they help. Launched in 2006, Beautiful People supports teenage girls on probation and help them to reintegrate in to the society. Their vision is to “walk with teenage girls through key transitions in their life and to inspire, educate and empower them to be at their best and highest selves.” However difficult life gets, they believe in “finding reasons to celebrate.” If you want to be part of their world, click
That’s all for now. Hoping you all find your ‘happy endings’ and see you next time!