Our Achilles heel could be anything

Our Achilles heel could be anything

Recently on HBO we happened to watch Brad Pitt bring the Greek legend of the Achilles heel to life in the movie ‘Troy’. An Achilles heel refers to the weak or vulnerable factor in a person’s physical make up.

And if you are to read about the legend of Achilles, apparently, he was dipped into the river Styx by his mother Thetis, with the aim of making him invulnerable. Since she held him up by his heel, that was not covered by the water and he was later killed in battle by an arrow wound to his heel. The movie brought the legend to life and over the centuries the story is now used as a metaphor for vulnerability.

All of us have our Achilles heel: That one vulnerable spot which can be used to bring us down during difficult times. Like Thetis, I have always felt that for a mother, her Achilles heel are her children.

Like Thetis I would like my sons to be invincible, untouched by hard times, have only the best in life. If they are threatened, like a tigress I am there to stand up for them, which can be embarrassing at times for them.

My second son had joined the best medical college in Bangalore a couple of years ago. He had got the seat on merit and my cup of joy was filled to over flowing. One evening I received a call saying he would be slightly late as the seniors were ragging him. ‘Ragging?’ the word conjured up fearful images of torture and near death with all the  media coverage of ragging in colleges.

Without a thought, I picked up the phone, called his principal and in a matter of seconds my son’s reputation was changed to ‘squealer’. He was upset with me. “How could you Mum?” he asked.

“All they did was made me roll around in a puddle of rain water cause they said since I had been a champion swimmer I had to show them my champion strokes in the puddle.” He did take some time to live that down but even so it has been very hard for me to avoid jumping in with both feet, even now when my sons are involved in anything, no matter what!

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