Saturday, February 23, 2008


I looked up the concept of "vefa" in the Turkish-English dictionary. Couldn't find an English equivalent that really describes it. Fidelity? Loyalty? Decency? Consistency? How boring, right?

Turkish writer Perihan Mağden wrote a wonderful column when our magnificent prime minister took her to court for "insulting him." She reminds the prime minister how she defended him, when he himself was convicted because of a poem he read. Then she says, she's not expecting "ahde vefa" from the prime minister. She says she only expects it from her equals, from the people she loves, from the ones who share similar opinions with her.

Maybe the solution is not to show "vefa", just so I won't expect it. I won't think about people, I won't care about them, I'll just spend time with them when I feel like it, as long as they keep me entertained. And I won't expect anything more from them, either - feel free to desert me as soon as I'm boring and heavy. Let's hang out as long as we drive sufficient utility from each other. Flexible markets, efficiency. As soon as you find a better option, disappear. It must be my fault to be who I am, falling short of your expectations.

I realize that there are quite a few people who think and act like that in my life, in my head. I'm not going to become one of them, not because I can't (because I am well capable of acting flaky, unfortunately I have before), but because I don't want to.

Somebody's loss, somebody's gain.

1 comment:

pratsrandomwalk said...

hmmm...there's a word in hindi which is very similar - "wafa" or "vefa" which means fidelity. "wafa-dar" is a loyal person/friend. it has overtones of 'duty' too, i associate both words together somehow.

its often used in the context of marital fidelity and friendship.