SAYING ‘SORRY’…. How easy! ….  Do we really mean it?


 “It is incredible how many hurts can be healed by two words. I’m sorry.”     …… MATSHONA DHLIWAYO.

There is a subtle difference between saying “I am sorry” and “I apologize.”

An Apology is a formal admission of wrongdoing and is more like a commercial and professional affair. It is undoubtedly not heartfelt – i.e., a person may apologize without feeling guilt or blame.

On the other hand, saying “I am sorry” is usually seen as a truer admission of regret.

A heartfelt SORRY has tones and overtones; a depth and feeling that needn’t be spoken in words, only the eyes tell the truth.

What to talk of a superlative term, where people say “I am very, very sorry.” I am sure they don’t mean a word. By adding prefixes for ‘very’, does the gravity of remorse upsurge?

I remember in school while standing in the corner with hands up, as punishment; I would say, “I am sorry ma’am”.

The teacher would very reluctantly say, “I am also sorry “.

I did not understand why was the teacher was sorry?

I apologized ….  But, anger and rage in the teacher’s apology were different—the same word with two other expressions.

The irony is that how many times do we say … ‘Maaf Kar deejay”?

We say, “I am sorry,” at the drop of a hat. Even an illiterate rickshaw puller will say, “Sorry.” How easy and straightforward!

Speaking of Maaf Kar Deejiye (somewhere down the line, our ego comes into play) {come what may; Maafee Nahi Maangoonga’}. Some sort of self-worth depletion.

Sorry, can be said a million times with ease and fluency. {as if uttering apologies for a mistake is our constitutional right.}

There is a deeper meaning and gist to this SORRY.


Remorse is a feeling of sadness over the wrong action. ‘She was filled with remorse for what she had done.

There is regret, a heartfelt apology, and a curse for the wrong that has been committed. There is penance and deep-seated grief that may devastate that person.

King Ashoka went into remorse after witnessing the mass massacre at Kalinga. He did not say SORRY to wash his blood-stained hands. He suffered sleepless nights, tolerated the deadly screams, and regretted the dastardly act. HE MOURNED with an aching heart.

The other day a tiny squirrel was accidentally killed by me. I didn’t have anyone to say SORRY to, but there was Remorse, and I was restless the whole day. The blood oozing from the shivering body of this innocent creature kept haunting me.

SORRY is what we say …  REMORSE is what we feel.

The person who says sorry may be superficial; the person who goes into Remorse is reliable and in-depth.

There is little scope for correction in saying Sorry; the fault is consistently repeated. The people at Remorse will work sincerely to mend the damage.

“Remorse is a terrible thing to bear, one of the worst of all punishments.”To wish to undo something you have done, to wish you could look back on kindness to someone you love, instead of on unkindness – that is a very terrible thing.”ENID BLYTON

ATONENCE is like a mental justification for past behaviour that allows us to move forward free of guilt and regret while having peace of conscience.

Remember? An old Hindi classic movie, ‘Dushman’ — The culprit accidentally kills a family head {lone bread earner} He is not put to gallows or jail but is punished to serve, and rehabilitate the suffering family [An ATONEMENT.}

Atonement is like meditation and a stage after Remorse.

King Ashoka, after his remorse, left the kingdom and luxuries and became a Buddhist monk. He achieved the Atonement by serving the poor and oppressed.

Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg movie –The Schindlers list, was a wealthy German industrialist who squandered his money gambling with the Nazi big wigs. But then he offered his entire wealth to buy the Jews from the Nazis to save them from the Holocaust. In the end, he weeps because he was short of money and couldn’t afford the lives of some more people. He cursed himself for the gambling he did.

To be unfaithful in a relationship, and after confessing and being remorseful, severing all ties with a paramour and devoting entirely to the said relationship with more depth and enthusiasm is Atonement.

‘The term Atonement refers to the belief that Jesus dying on the cross resolved the problems between humans and God’.CHRISTIANITY

Atonement leads to the final SALVATION.


‘I forgive all living beings, may all souls forgive me, I am on friendly terms with all, I have no animosity towards any soul, may all my faults be dissolved.’ A prayer that talks about forgiveness for everyone, on all terms, is the Michchami Dukkadam, found in the Airyapathiki Sutra in the Jain Community on the last day of Paryushana — It is SORRY…REMORSE and ATONEMENT.











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