Wednesday, October 14, 2015
The Art of Remaining Silent: Beginner’s View
So, with my over-enthusiastic attitude I began my day and all of a sudden I get to know that a colleague of mine didn’t like the way I behaved to a joke. Well, it is my tendency to respond to a joke with a joke. Where’s the fun if the joke lives on to become a tragedy one day? The life span of the joke is meant to be not more than a minute, or an hour, if the joke is really hilarious. If you respond to a joke with silence, either you’re dumb or the joke is stupid. And, if you respond to the joke with a bigger sarcastic comeback, you’re my best friend. My colleague was already infuriated because of too much work pressure and I’d just pressed the wrong buttons (so it seemed).
The matter was solved anyway because I am friendly enough, not to turn into one’s nemesis. I have my ways into their hearts, but the pace is too damn slow and they know it. Then the usual marathon began of our daily jobs and the day passed pretty soon. I had become a graphic designer and a copywriter, both at the same time, but still, I was happy doing what I loved. We celebrated two birthdays and both of my friends had their birthday plans fixed already.
As a 30 year old lad, I sometimes feel that I am running low on enthusiasm, I have a boring life and my job sucks – everything may or may not be true, but a bachelor’s life is like a double-edged sword. Sometimes you cut through everything that comes in your way, starting from earning for your family, looking after your home, maintenance, bills and all that jazz. On the other side of the sword, life is slowly cutting you up and you know it. You’re running out of time, your hair has turned grey, the sex ratio in the country is dropping, you’re not finding a bride that your parents would approve of; the desperation to be on the other side of the greener grass is getting intense. But, hey! Here’s a fun fact – YOU’RE NOT!
So, what are you going to do? Try and make as many as friends possible? Check! Roam around to places you’ve never been and do stuff you haven’t done before? Check! Is that working out for you? The question remains. There are times when I feel that I am invincible and nothing in this world can beat me. The positive energy in me is tremendous, but the realist in me doesn’t let the optimist take over and build myself a castle of dreams in the clouds of nothingness. The realist chokeslams me down to the concrete floor where it hits me hard enough to realise that some things aren’t meant to be real. Some friends aren’t meant to be close and no matter how hard you try to get friendly, no matter how far you go out of your way to make them smile, they would still want you to go back to where and whence you came from. Be a teetotaller or an addict for the sake of your friends; it doesn’t matter. What matters is what you do to yourself after realising your mistakes. It is important that you identify them. Ignoring them would be a first. Not everyone would tell you on the face that you are a weird person and you freak the hell out of them. But a friend of mine, whom I consider to be very close, said that, “Not everyone becomes friendly in a flash. They take their own sweet time and sometimes when they feel not to, they just let go.” That was when I realised my mistake.
I am too verbal to be friendly. In person I may seem like a decent guy, but overtly obese; I may seem to be too nervous (which I am) in person, but I am screaming my heart out from the inside with joy when I am with new friends. There is something about new friends that excites me. Something that triggers the nuclear launch codes inside me and makes me fire all my missiles, including the one’s meant to break the ice. Most the times, I end up, not only breaking the ice, but melting it to the point that the ice evaporates into the air and disappears. That’s lesson#1 of – The Art of Remaining Silent
It is completely okay, not to speak when you don’t have anything to say, or when you don’t have anyone to say it to. God has gifted me the ability to express myself in words and let the words do the talking. But these days, even my fingers have begun to bleed. It is not what I say hurts people, but what I write, does; because lately, my expressions have been flooding on the keyboard, rather than my lips. Astrologically speaking, I bear stars that wear my patience thin and add fuel to my wrath. But, I won’t blame it on the stars. They are all aligned the way universe has conspired them to be. The only thing I’d want to do from this point of my life is – to remain silent for most of the occasions and not to act too smart unless someone questions your intelligence (because that’s necessary to prove to people less privileged than you). Sometimes, I’d not even bother doing that too. The trick is not to act dead as if you’re working in a graveyard and nobody’s alive around you. To master the art of remaining silent, you should be (read ‘look’) alive, and not kill the fun of timely humour. Remember, remaining silent may not sound fun and you may even lose friends that you already have. But, at least you won’t be around the fake ones. The best way would be ‘meditation’, to begin with. It is very difficult to have silence around you these days. Just today, while I was riding my bike on my way to work, I counted the time gap between two vehicles honking. It was merely two seconds. Every time someone honked, I reset the time and counted again, and again, and again. I did this for almost five minutes. May be I had too much time to kill, (courtesy: city traffic) I was shocked to know that none of us like to rest our fingers. Some stay busy honking, some play musical instruments, some play Candy Crush, and most of us sit in front of the keyboard typing...
For me, the story of my life has just begun. The silence will lead the way and through that I will make friends (the real ones). Let my work speak out loud, let my emotions flow out loud, let my expressions shout out loud. I had a loquacious way to befriend the world. Turns out that the world understands the language less spoken; everything else is a friendly gibberish. Being a good listener would also be a great advantage. Sometimes, it’s not the words that you have to listen to. Perhaps, it’s exactly the opposite. Silence in speech is well grasped by everyone, but silence in the books look empty. You cannot read an empty page, can you? It would mean nothing. Someone might even consider a blank canvas to be a beautiful masterpiece, but, is it? Maybe it is. If the canvas if filled with meaningless colours, erratic and mindless stokes of paintbrush, it would rather make a good doormat or a visually disturbing stain on your wall. Would you hang that thing in your house? Such is life! Here on, appreciate the silence that you want to have for yourself, be possessive about it because silence is very scarce. Also, respect the silence that your friends want, because hey! It’s theirs, and you’d not want to mess around with that. Friends and silence are a dangerously beautiful combination. Because, when you want them both, you can have them, either together or separately without offending one another.