Saturday, September 6, 2003
W O R D   P O W E R

Love is a lot of hard work!
Prerana Trehan

THERE are no hard-and-fast rules for a happy marriage, I know, but even so some marriages do seem like miracles. When the soft-hearted Simran married the hard-as-nails Raj, their friends wrote-off the marriage even before they returned from their honeymoon. In fact, when it became known that they were contemplating marriage, even their closest friends found the news hard to swallow.

Anyone who knew Siman, a gentle schoolteacher, knew that she found it hard to take criticism from anyone she loved, while Raj, a hard-headed salesperson, was known for his tendency to give a hard time to anyone he came into contact with. It didnít take a genius to figure out that Rajís behaviour would be hard on their marriage. Even though Simran would have been justified in feeling hard-done-by, she harboured no hard feelings against Raj, though, of course, she had to harden her heart whenever he was hard on her.


Maybe was the hard knocks that she took in her marriage that made the gentle Simran more hard-bitten, but according to her friends she took a hard line in dealing with Raj. She told him to take a hard look at their marriage and see if he wanted to make it work. Though Raj doesnít show his feelings, but it was easy to see that he took the ultimatum hard.

It seems to have worked, though, but then perhaps Raj is one of those people who only learn their lessons the hard way. Last heard the two of them were enjoying the hard-won harmony in their marital life. Some people say that they are hard-pressed to understand what makes their marriage work, but then these people forget that women like Simran are hard to come by.

Key to phrases used

Hard-and-fast: not able to be changed

Hard as nails: very tough, completely callous or unfeeling

Hard to swallow: difficult to believe

Hard to take: difficult to accept

Hard-headed: tough, not influenced by emotions

Give someone a hard time: deliberately make a situation difficult for someone

Be hard on something: to have a bad effect on something

Hard-done-by: if you feel hard-done-by, you feel you have not been treated fairly

No hard feelings: used to tell someone with whom you have been arguing that you do not feel anger towards them anymore

Harden oneís heart: feel or show less emotion

Be hard on someone: to treat someone in a way that is unfair or too strict

Hard knocks: used to refer to being in a situation which is not pleasant.

Hard-bitten: not easily shocked or upset because you have had a lot of experience

Take a hard line on something: to deal with something in a very strict way

Take a hard look at something: to think about something without being influenced by your feelings

Take something hard: to feel upset about something

Learn something the hard way: used to mean learning from unpleasant experiences rather than by being taught

Hard-won: achieved after a lot of effort

Be hard-pressed to do something: find something difficult to do

Hard to come by: difficult to find

(Reference: Longman Advanced American Dictionary)