The Silent One

(posted for  the Weekly Writing challenge)

How important is it to talk to people? How important is the sense,the power of speech to us? Did we ever pay heed to what extent our life depends on the way we communicate with others? The way we put down our thoughts and shape them into words with the help of our voices? The gift of speech..the art of communication..All through of our lives we have said thousands of words and sentences  but have we really said anything that had ever mattered?

Mr Ghosh was a neighbour of mine.Yes, I use ‘was’ for him. He is no longer with us now in body but he has never parted ways with us in spirit. He was the favourite of everyone, the apple of everyone’s eye. He was there for the joys and sorrows  of the whole neighbourhood, be it the marriage of Abhishek da (elder brother)  , the birth of li’l Manu, my sucessfully clearing the entrance exams of college or the death of my grandfather. He was there for everyone. He was the favourite uncle for kids, Ghosh da for my parents and for me he meant more of a patronizing figure than anything else.

The only thing that I haven’t said yet about him was that he was mute. Yes, hearing and verbally challenged from his birth. Yet I or anyone else who knew him could communicate with him without any difficulty.It wasn’t like we all knew sign language to talk with him.He just had this incredulous ability to read the faces of anyone around. A cheerful person by heart, he never had anyone for a partner. He  was unmarried. One should try to step in his shoes just for once and see how it would be to live a life like him

I remember,once when I was in my 9th grade ,I had met with a terrible accident.The doctors said I had lost a lot of blood and there was noone nearby willing to donate their blood. There were no blood banks during that time..It was this Ghosh Da who came to my rescue..

An episode from my late teenage, I had this terrible argument with my parents about this whole new cell phone tha came into the market.My father wouldnt buy it for me, saying it would destroy my career, my whole agenda, would take a toll on my studies. But my rebellious mindset of adolesence turned a deaf ear to their advices. Mother came up to me lovingly with food (I was in a sort of protest) .I, in a fit of rage, threw it all away and stormed out of the room. Only once did I turn back to see tears in my mum’s eyes…She was visibly hurt…

That night  I decided to stay at Ghosh uncle’s apartment upstairs. I knocked on the door three times. A silent yet firm reassuring figure answered my call. It didn’t even take him a minute to understand the whole situation. He motioned me to sit in a chair, made me some coffee, and looked at me as if to tell me that I had done a big mistake by behaving in such a manner with my parents. Though he made my bed and put me off to sleep, I knew he was touched by all of this. That night it rained…

The following morning I woke up and found a note next to me “Dev, you dont realize the depth of injuries your words may have caused your mum and your father. They love you irrevocably..Its a sin to break the bond of such  a love..” .This was enough to burst me up to tears.I ran up to my room. My mom was seated there.From one look I could say that she had cried the whole night. I went up to her and hugged her and cried for a long time…I was forgiven….

This winter the sad news of his demise came to me. I was in my college…At once did I feel the call of the Silent One..I had to meet him  before he set of for his final journey.. Yes the Silent One was the person who taught me to speak…


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