Suddenly it occurred to me yesterday that unlike English we don't have that many expressions for showing sympathy, formally, to someone who's sick or hurt. In English you just hear someone say they are in a bad way and you can let loose with a multitude of platitudes.
"Oh, so sorry to hear of your accident, mate!"
"Aww, I am sorry!"
"Oh, may he rest in peace!"
"Get well soon!" (that one sounds more like an order).
We have none of those. I mean we have the words and sentences in Hindi, but they are not in use so much in real life. If you start saying those things in real, it sounds phony and dramatic.
I remember a line I read long ago - हिन्दुस्तान में राय और चाय हर जगह बिना मांगे मिलती हैं।
(In India, you get advice and tea unasked everywhere.)
Maybe that's the reason.
We don't want to sound phony like a politician by quoting platitudes so we show our compassion and sympathy (of which we have an abundance) by giving advice.
As soon as you say, "I am feeling a bit of fever.", Uncle Ji would say, "Arre beta, you must take care, this season is not very good. Take two of ..." and so on. Some people would show off their knowledge of off-the-counter medicines while others would advise herbal remedies. Those who don't possess any specialized knowledge would at least tell you to see a doctor, or even recommend their doctor to you.
What I am saying is that, despite the lack of formal concern-showing phrases in daily use, we have our ways of showing genuine concern and compassion for a friend in distress. Where a Western woman would say, "Oh, get well soon, dear!", an Indian woman would say, "मैं अदरक की चाय बनाकर लाती हूँ आपके लिए।" (I will make some ginger tea for you.)
Of course, this a very generic and very subjective picture of both cultures and exceptions exist on both sides but....I am just dumping my thoughts on paper here and I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Click that comment button.