Monday, August 17, 2009

Saying it Silently...

I was in the car, next to my sister, on the way to the airport and both of us were sitting quietly, each deep in her own thoughts. The minutes were ticking along, yet neither uttered a word. And then it struck me that between us was a special type of silence... not uncomfortable... perfectly companionable and funnily enough so much was being said, communicated without a word or a sound. Brain waves perhaps? Partings have always been difficult for us and knowing that we may not meet for more than six months was weighing heavy on our hearts. Yet some things should not be said aloud... they lose their significance and dignity then. In fact, some things are better said in silence.

Silence is a funny thing... how does one perfectly describe it? As absence of sound? Or does it have a positive definition of its own? Sometimes silence is warm and light-filled. Between lovers when nothing need be said, between friends when everything has been said umpteen times... those silences are beautiful and vibrant. They donot leave you wracking your brain for something to say. They are complete.

Then there are those silences where strangers meet and are ill at ease, perhaps because they pick up the wrong vibes, perhaps because they have confidence issues... or because they discover that in reality they have nothing meaningful to say. Not that all conversations have to be or are meaningful, but at times even small talk is painful. And so the silence is like a gaping valley... deep and yet empty.

But the worst kind of silence is when people actually want to say something, they know exactly what they want to say yet are unable to get the words out. Fear, the risk that once the words are out there you cannot call them back, fear that everything will change forever... that is what keeps this silence unbroken. And this can be painful both for the person who wants to say stuff and the person who knows that something needs to be discussed out in the open, aired, gotten over with and yet the situation festers on till it becomes uncomfortable and drives people apart. These are the silences I hate, the ones that can destroy friendships, tear apart relationships and leave a mess behind.

Silence and speech are both double-edged swords... each can be used to hurt and each can in turn soothe and mend the hurt. Be careful!

My Secret in Silence
- Lorelei Pablo

You came into my life
Quietly, Simply, Placidly
And my words stood still...
I couldn't express in words
Or even simple gestures
The secret I kept in my heart.
So I loved in silence
Admired you from a distance
Dreamt of you afar.
I wanted to say I love you...
I wanted to say i care.
But cowardly, maybe, you'll laugh at me.
In silence then I will love you...
In silence then I will care...


vinay said...

So true!! Silence has a world of its own..Sound cues die out and are replaced by slight gestures, expressions, actions and indications..Really well put by you! There's one more kind of silence that I have experienced and keep doing so..The one experienced in solitude. It's not very occasional, even when you are alone, and happens very rarely..Times when everything appears blank, still, with no thoughts running in your mind, no sound even within...SOmetimes very helpful, sometimes fearful, sometimes just a plain passage... :) Lovely post again!

adhirajad said...

Very well written......

Suneel Madhekar said...

Then of course, there is silence in the exam-hall, where you can hear the sounds made by the blades of the ceiling fan, the rustle of the question paper, and your own heart beating! Jokes apart, some things indeed lose their dignity when said aloud... A thought-provoking post...

Adwait said...


Shruti said...

hey very well written...i perfectly agree with the last aspect of Silence you have written...sometimes silence can do a lot of harm....create extremely uncomforatble situations....but the comfortable silences are sometimes moments to cherish!!

Madhurima said...

Beautifully written...
Silences can be scary,
they can be unnerving, they can infest your mind with irrational thoughts, and devour the self before you know- these are the aspects of silence...that i dread....

Mukta said...

Ah! So many aspects about silence were missed out here! The silence within oneself as Vinay pointed out, is important and difficult to achieve, scary too at times. Thanks everybody for the comments :) Keep em pouring in!

maneesh said...

'Sounds of silence' - Simon and Garfunkel

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

Bastet said...

lovely blog.... reminds me of Simon and Garfunkel "Sounds of Silence" - I see, someone's commented about it before I did :)

Mukta said...

hey Maneesh! Welcome back. long time, no hear :) and the lyrics are lovely. mebbe i can even get the song from you.
Chetana, thanks for reading. I have liked your blog and easy style of writing for quite some time now.

Arun said...

fabulous post.. even i read your blog after quite some time :)
and my own take - the awkward silences are the worst where u dont know what to say...

Bhargavi said...

first timer here and this was an awesome read.. completely seconding the fact- u kno u are wid the person u love wen u even find the silences so complete..