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When we were children many of us were never silent unless and until we were told to be so. It is very difficult for a child to be silent as that is the age when one is open expressive and conveys his emotions loud and clear. As a child we are quiet only when we are unwell or when we are chided by our elders and we feel down and are in a bad mood. But as we grow many generally mellow down and scale slowly tilts downward as one grows in age. That being the case as we grow we slowly start appreciating silence. Silence is if used effectively is a language in itself it conveys a range of meanings and emotions depending on the situation in which a person finds himself or herself to be in.
Here let us try and understand how silence as a language conveys meanings and emotions in different situations in which we are in. In the case of a mother and a child when a mother wants the infant to sleep and he or she would not, she simply hums a tune or a lullaby and tenderly touches the forehead and caresses the infant slowly as this processes is carried out the infant within no time is having a sound sleep. Here there is no communication in the real sense as the infant cannot speak.
But the silence after the humming and the touch and warmth of a mothers hand are what provide the infant comfort and security and allow it to go to sleep as it feels safe in mothers hand. One can see here a meaning is there that the mother conveys to the infant the message to go to sleep through her touch and silence. So silence in itself accompanied with the touch is turning out to be a language of communication between the two so the bonding between them grows too over a period of time.
Second let us take the example of a relationship between lovers. When they would just want to tell each other that you mean a lot to me and you are my world and I cannot be alive with you whatever the case may be. All this is conveyed not through communication between the two. Mind you here both of them are elder and they can perfectly speak but no words are needed as only the sound of the sea waves can be heard and as the moon rises over there.
Both of them look into each others eyes and communicate silently holding each others hands in the sands. Here again eyes and the hands convey what they mean and silence is the language which they use to express themselves freely what they would want to convey and both of them also understand what the other is saying without a single word being spoken. Here we can see silence as a language in action. As both keep gazing deep into each others eyes as the time fly’s by. As love is being received and given by each to the other.
The third case where silence works as a language is when in the course of longing for each other by the same lovers who have become husband and wife. Both the lovers are working in different cities and would want to spend time with each other and would want the others company, but they can only communicate and speak for long hours and nothing else as the next day they both have to rush to their respective places of work. And the daily routine makes life monotonous for them they would want to meet but they cant their longing to meet each other increases but both know their have no choice.
So when the communication takes over telephone in between there are moments of silence and this silences conveys what the other is thinking in their mind to their spouse and lover. Who in turn is unable to say anything in answer and is also wanting to convey the same but is silent but sparks fly from both sides. This is when silence is used as a language by both of them to convey and communicate their emotions and feelings for each other. Which the other very well understands and reciprocates. This is the power silence at play.
In the fourth case too the same couple show the power of silence when the husband is hospitalized and is in a serious condition and cannot speak but is conscious and can only see. The wife who is worried as he proceeds to the operation would want to tell so many things but does not know how to as she is shocked that such a situation has befallen on both. In the final moments when the door to the operation theater opens she holds her tears back as her husband is being wheeled inside and just glances at him, their eyes meet and a communication of the emotions being faced by both is conveyed to each other again through their eyes only the situation is different.
The meeting of the eyes is like a hour to both but the same is broken as the operation theater door is closed. The wife is full of silent sobs, she is alone and does not have the comfort of the lover who would provide her the warmth and comfort which she would find in his presence. She silently waits there hoping against hope that things go well and he would come out and meet her. But silence is the language here too.
In the fifth case after hours of surgery when the door suddenly opens she is jolted out of her sleep and sees the surgeon coming out of the operation theater towards her. Her legs tremble with fear as to what the news would be when the surgeon would speak. The distance from the door till the place where she is standing is very near but it feels like a long time when he finally comes. Looking at him she feels she is about to faint. But she keeps her composure and when the surgeon finally utters the words “He Is Fine And Will Be Fine In A Few Days”.
She is the happiest woman on the earth and wants to thank the surgeon but there are no words but only tears of joy. The surgeon understands this, smiles and pats her on the shoulder and says “Take Care” and then walks away to another ward. She is overwhelmed with joy. Here again there is just a smile and a message conveyed her tears of joy and smile and the surgeon returning the smile and patting her on the shoulder are the messages and emotions conveyed. But the main language here too is silence and the silence was deafening from her side.
In the sixth case after the treatment when she is about to take her husband back to their home he having fully recovered. We both of them meet the surgeon again before they leave both of them are filled with nothing but gratitude to the surgeon. The husband for having saved his life and the wife for saving her life that is her husband. The gaze from both their eyes is similar and conveys an emotion of gratitude and a big thank you and nothing else. Both are dumbstruck as they are unable to utter any word whatever they had thought they would to him.
They both feel awkward at the moment due to their incapability to communicate despite being able to speak. But the surgeon understands their situation and wishes them well and just say with a big smile “Take Care And Be Happy”. Saying this he goes on with his duty. Here again emotion is conveyed through smiles exchanged among them and a message from the surgeon. The communication was silence again as it was just smiles they spoke and what the surgeon told was just to lighten the mood for them.
This shows how silence can be effective as a language and convey a range of emotions and meanings which are very powerful but need no communication in the form of speech between two people or parties. This is nothing but the power of silence working. Silence has many other qualities by which it helps the individual be able to do something which he or she cannot do in the normal speech mode which is used in ones day to day life. Dear readers hope you enjoyed this topic of silence as a language.