Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Words: When even a few provoke and a thousand sound profane


i am never concise and that i feel i can neither condemn nor extol. Brevity is not everyone's soul of wit. Probably that's one reason why i have this anxiety when i go on a expressing- my- thoughts spree.
This anxiety triggered by not having brevity so far as words are concerned cause me no harm other than invading my thoughts and nagging me to create a suitable title for my narrative when/if i have to say something. i wonder how many bloggers undergo the same dilemma of arriving at a suitable title that just about sums up all they have to say appropriately and beautifully.

But so far as others are concerned my words generate a chaos of emotions if taken in it's totality. Some misconstrue my words, others fail to see my point, still there are those who run to their defensive, a very few like my husband feel thrilled to contradict me just for arguments sake not even realizing that it could be embarrassing in company, definitely a lot many find me exhaustive and last but not the least my words even manage to inflict pain. It is the last effect that my words have that troubles me the most for only i know that when i said what i had to say it was never my intention to incite or aggravate.

Comforting words is an art and not my forte i guess. For my attempt to be honest with my feelings and be original was close to disaster. Maybe i'd  rather sound cliched and stick to the time-tested one-liners. Or for a change prefer to remain silent and just listen.

Of course when one is angry or frustrated hurling out words that hurt is quite common and even considered normal so far as venting out is concerned. i won't deny that i have not been a silent and saintly sage on such occasions either but i am beginning to respect the power of words today when in an attempt to comfort my loved one in distress i have defaulted.
i also realize that each experience brings us a step closer to knowing more not only of your own self but also of others. So this is what i know today and i shall try to be brief but to the point here.
a) Avoid indulging in analysis even if provoked by the one who is in pain,  for you will be adding tonnes to the already existing agony.
b) Offer only the assistance asked for if you are capable enough to oblige but do not attempt at suggestions that sound like Unsolicited Advice.
c) Never ever make comparisons, it hurts real bad like a wound dealt without anesthesia.
d) It's best to be silent and hear patiently and if you do need to use words try and be brief in attempting at words of comfort. Stretching it too far stings instead of soothing.
It is a pity that even when we have had the same experience how and why instead of refining ourselves we succumb maybe due to our own insensitivity in doing precisely what should not be done.

Just a week back when i was battling a tough situation figuring out how to set things right, i got this from a friend which not only left me baffled but also hurt me to the extent of cursing the day when i decided to get in touch with my long lost friends. i am still reeling under the after-effects of her insensitivity which in a way felt like a pinprick to my already deflated desire to even meet her . She said something like, " Shivani you need to unwind. i know of this wonderful place ***** where we could meet...".
i couldn't hear more as i had another important call to attend to and felt relieved that didn't have to listen to the description of THE PLACE. The timely call saved me not only from exhausting anguished explanations but also prevented bitter words from escaping my very slippery tongue as i was finding it difficult to gulp that offer which sounded more like can't be digested sermon rather than as a genuine gesture to comfort and thus our conversation ended on a peaceful note.
For i have changed. Gone with the wind is that power to coat bitter pills with sweet beating round the bush somethings. An exercise that i indulged into when i was much younger just because i wanted to please everybody. Also because i feared alienation. Those days it felt safe to conform to the said words, agreeing meekly outside when someone was shrieking inside, " That's not how i feel ".

Her suggestion seems fine apparently if one has no inkling as to how she coped with her own traumas.
i don't need to conjure up her reaction if such an advice had flowed calmly from me when her debilitating illness just a few days back required a strict regime of alternate sessions of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Her own method of coping came as a surprise to me from a friend who started lashing out requests that sounded more like commands to be strictly followed. Although she tried her level best to be polite.
She specifically asked me not to sent any fun forwards to her because it exhausts her to go through mails that clog her inbox. If at all i felt the need to send her words then it better be original. i wondered then if it was her illness that made her so uptight about my forwards or was it her own sense of not being considered unique enough at that juncture when she was battling it out and was clubbed together with other friends who also received the same along with her. i was wonder struck and also felt her commands to be strange because she offered me no convincing explanation.
i do not understand her move because i feel otherwise. Just because some beautiful, humorous, motivating, comforting mails are forwards does not necessarily mean they were not original. i believe before it was turned into a chain of forwards it sure was a creative original once. My intention was purely to share some beautiful, soothing, informative and even humorous messages that could have helped her forget the pain she was suffering even if it was for a few moments.
Also i feel that if you can afford the time forwards are a quick and easy way of saying hello and everybody does not possess that skill that requires an ORIGINAL.
Anyways i understood her angst, apologized and stopped sending her the forwards.

i was hurt because this suggestion should come from her of all the people.
She who by God's grace, medical advancements, blessings from elders and good wishes of all  is out of her illness now.  i sure do feel happy that she's out of danger and doing well health wise and otherwise but what gets me out of my wits end is that she should even suggest this when i'm into the thick of things finding it difficult juggling time and somehow managing my own responsibilities and commitments.
i wonder if she would have been sweet enough to oblige me in a way that apparently seemed like a service to an agonized soul when in the middle of battling something that had shaken her completely had also suffered another major loss when her mother who had come to stay with her and provide her with assistance and comfort also succumbed unexpectedly to an illness?
How could she not consider my plight when i am trying to play hopscotch with some sad turn of events in my life too?
Her words sounded like life was not tough on me rather i was making it rougher by not coping well enough.

Today she's seeing friends which i came to know through snaps posted on a social networking site and is enjoying her stress free life but she still insists on NO FORWARDS and there is a bigger NO to facebook and the sort. Not that i endorse facebook and all that goes on out there but it still irks me that this unwinding suggestion should be coming out of someone who has strict fixed set of rules today which in a way screams THIS IS HOW FAR YOU CAN GO NOT MORE THAN THAT.
She who claims that for her family comes first and friends the honored chosen ones belonging to her coterie are for later when she finds the time and the inclination.

Don't know if i am being good naturally or contrary to my belief of being assertive and strong today was i still being a chicken at expressing how it felt when she slapped those rules on me.
The funny thing is that although i am hurt i feel okay and would prefer to stay in touch and call her a friend still.
Maybe i realize that she has had her changes too and is not the same girl i used to oblige and also hang around with when we were at college doing graduation in the same discipline.There were no borders drawn then.
i guess as we grow old we do become very finicky about our requirements.
Also i know it is very common to forget the do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
i mean i just did that so do i have the right to condemn?
Definitely since it was my turn to receive hurt this wanting not to severe any further ties is also provoked by yet another routine of indulging in you can't change the world / stop expecting do your own... 
Amazing really! how easy it is to switch from being a prey to being a predator in order to console the self.

i feel somewhat irritated and pained when instead of understanding that for some time i can't allocate my time to friends, meet up and re-unions and the sort, am being discussed and sometimes advised the same. i got the drift through another common friend who has the same meeting friends things to say in her mail.
i am clueless about the sort of pleasure friends are getting who in the midst of their leisure vacationing, get together pictures are mocking me in their conversations doubting my intentions on the social networking site.
i confess that my care two hoots does not work when understanding is denied from those whom you are so sure would let you be.
For the rest i feel more wanted than ever also sometimes amused at their digs directed towards the one who has been a quiet prowler listening to conversations on social networking sites rather than being an active participant.
Sure it's endearing to note how suddenly one is in demand.

Considering that friends are important for very many reasons, comfort from troubled situations being one of them, how many would leave an ailing child of her own at the mercy of the ailment and agree to catch a get- together in this " meeting midway in the city...very nice joint in **** ******...not very far...".

i might have slipped out of line but just like other weird things happening these days like having a grand divorce party and parting as friends or viewing reality shows that make somebody's agony an entertainment subject this could be the latest in LISTEN TO YOUR OWN NEEDS thing perhaps.
i however am neither convinced nor comfortable with the emerging trend. And i care two hoots if i am crowned with various titles that mock me.
i know of one when just the other day another friend of mine thought that i was being JUDGEMENTAL in avoiding a friend who time and again has only proven herself to be a gold-digger and never ever as a friend.
My take on avoiding some is that i'd rather stay away from friends who are way above both my own sensibility and my budget. Knowingly plunging oneself into situations one can't handle is sheer stupidity.

Okay i strayed again and again but coming to the point where i was...
i experienced hurt from a friend just a week back and yet i failed to learn or else i would not be regretting my words today.
Why is it that we have this tendency to carry the wrong torch forward? A torch that singes and burns rather than making it an effective tool to illuminate the dark despair ?

My rant today was not directed only towards insensitivity and choosing the right words but more on WHEN to say what you have to say. i hope and wish that my bombarding thoughts have put it all across if not in a consistent manner but everything i had to say. Words, insensitivity, our own failings et al.
Also remembering my own as i have elucidated earlier about my own failings so far as words and experiences are concerned.

i cannot quit without expressing my gratitude to all...friends and family who understood my " leave me laddie! leave me to my own soup" and have obliged me with the time and space to figure out my own way out of this
impasse and thus find my own equilibrium.

Since i have talked about words and am figuring out the title for my blog i can't help remember this beautiful song called Words. It was my favorite when i was in higher secondary doing my Plus Two and it still is only that i don't hum this song now neither do i feel that strong urge to sing it aloud in the bathroom. i prefer to go about the song silently inside me.

This song may talk about the inability to express love through words of a particular person but it can have other connotations too, my own predicament included which saw me clumsy and guilty on four counts.
First in choosing the wrong time, then asserting my compassion, also failing to comfort and last but not the least, creating a ruckus of emotions when i yelled out my own lack of understanding of the fact that some things are easier said than done.


  1. Nice to see you blogging again. Welcome back!
    Sorry to see you hurt, I am sure that was not intended. My policy - forgive and forget... Easier said than done, but it works.

  2. @Preeti thank you.Yeah sure i will forget and forgive but i would keep reminding also of...do unto others what you would have others do unto you.
    Loved to see you here.
    Take care:)

  3. I read it twice. Honestly. And still think that I missed something there.
    I do not know the big picture here, but I may have to read again to find out a reason for you to have been hurt!

  4. @Raja apologies if i have lacked in my skills to convey.
    a)All of us face rough times but once we are out we forget all that we did...how we behaved and coped but when someone known to us is beset with the same situation, we don't hesitate to give the most useless suggestions.
    b)When u r good u don't analyse and get worked up at who said what and even if a thousand words were used for analysis/explanations you don't get put off but when u r in ur blues even a single can trigger a chain of sad responses from you.
    c)Last but not the least when someone is in distress it's best to be a patient listener than to go on a discussion spree...how...when...why...and worse still offer shallow suggestions which sound like detached views of an onlooker passing by.
    Many a times the sufferer is not looking for solutions from you and just wants to be heard and understood.
    Raja i know of my limitations about putting across what i have to say but hey this is what i am trying to work on without much success however i shall keep trying.
    Thanks for being patient with my chaotic thoughts which were rather bunched together clumsily.
    i do admire your honesty too...trust me i'm finding it very helpful.:)

  5. It's not 'bout your 'limitation'! You write beautifully, and the longer the post the better it is. It's 'bout the angle we look at things from. I don't generally let anyone's behavior affect me much. I'd suggect to you to take everything with the same grace and remember that even if the other person is bad, YOU are worse if you let that person's bad behavior affect YOUR life seriously.

  6. @Raja sure i understand and thanks again.:)

  7. The song conveyed it all.Your honest way of expressing makes you the person.These experiences makes us go into introspection and we realize to be better than before.We do get affected by people but the knack to move on is what you have in you and thats an inspiration.

  8. @Gauri thank you.:)
    Your words are so encouraging...i shall continue to try and try till i get better and better.
    Hugs and lots of love.