Monday, June 22, 2015

When is "silence" really "golden" ?

In one of the sleepy and low profile by-lanes of Chembur (Mumbai) lies a building named "Disha". The sign boards that lead to it remind you of those discreet ones on country roads, ensuring in a way that only those who are there to find it end up finding it and to the rest, it is sheer ignominy. The gate is perennially open in urgent need of some fixing at its hinges, much like those who traverse through it. Whether you came up there alone or were brought there, whether you are in a quagmire of love, work, pregnancy or old age - the initial despair for feeling the need to come this far to a psychiatrist's clinic despite many known gradually gives way to a comfort of not being alone among the peer group of unknown. When your eye meets that of another waiting in that compound, the pain gives way to a smile - both acknowledging that perhaps "silence" was not all that golden for us - we don't mind paying to be heard- for the real gift of expression is only realized when someone else has the gift of listening.

While it is considered a virtue to be able to measure thoughts before putting them into words, the pressure built around this has the capability to perpetually mute people. Those who profess the importance of silence should understand that for tranquility and equanimity that it seeks to bring in life, it is also vital to clear out the noise of the person you listen to. Not all that a person says needs to make sense, for who are you to adjudicate on another's sensibilities. Not all that is spoken to you needs to be acted upon, for who are you to make another feel dependent. Not everyone has the same emotional intelligence, the same circumstances or the same priorities. In spite of having the locus of control within you, there will always be a time when you feel the need to be listened to. Perhaps, that's why some may go to the wilderness or pray- for even in that passivity, there's a comfort that conversations can be as long as you need them to be without the fear of being judged and the path to clear out the mess comes from nobody else but within. But what if that doesn't work? It's a shame if they are quiet when they want to scream, if they keep it to themselves for the fear of being misunderstood later. Not all will have the courage to walk alone through the gates of "Disha". Fear those whose muted life pushes them to seek refuge in alcohol, drugs and in the worst case, death.

There are 1000+ new stories on Facebook everyday but whose story are we a part of from start to end? There are 100+ "i am doing fine" conversations on Whats-app but who among them has eyes welling up every now and then , feeling the need to connect to us? " There's not a worse sight than an amputated spirit", said Al Pacino in the Scent of a Woman. I cannot help but wonder if our misunderstanding of "silence is golden" adage is somewhere creating one.

Tangy Tuesdays

This article has been linked to #MondayMusings  (June 22,2015) on WriteTribe


  1. Evolving as a writer with every article. Nicely conveyed.

  2. Silence... Silence. Well done Sam! Nvr knew U had a blog! Congrats for Tangy Tuesday! :)

  3. It's mind-blowing writing in exquisite and beautiful form, Samparna. Silence has qualities that it heals heart and usher in positive that will hurl in the future. Stayed in Mumbai for quite some time and glad to reach out for your blog. Will follow you on both my accounts.


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