Decoding Silence


I have stayed away from this space too long. Long enough to forget the password to my WordPress account (which was a serious wake-up call), and longest since the inception of the blog in 2008. Recently in a conversation, someone was lamenting to me about  their writer’s block that has lasted a decade (approximate duration of said person’s marriage), and blamed it on the lack of ‘unhappiness’ in their life. He/She added that misery fueled by loneliness that often became a catalyst for their creativity in the past, went extinct in the presence of a solid relationship. Companionship had somehow replaced the need for self-expression. Their amorphous poetic verses faded in tangible moments of laughter and togetherness. He did not seem entirely kicked about the status quo, just as none of us ever is!

Last November, after enough fuss, I married my current partner. My last post on this blog space was in January this year, and the lull that followed has been spattered with innumerable attempts at piecing a single paragraph. SO, I gathered that there might be some truth behind this theory of companionship being non-conducive to writing (I am not sure if it extends to other creative arts). It was possible that it hasn’t been the lack of ideas or experiences stopping me from penning my thoughts down, it was the availability of another outlet – my partner. A real person who unlike writing, doesn’t demand grammatical accuracy or immaculate articulation and can offer an ear to our various rants, ramblings or challenge our opinions instantly.
After all, I have had a lot of brilliant experiences in the last one year that included enchanting travels, a living abroad stint , and HELLO – MARRIAGE (and you really have to be in India to know the societal weight of that relationship status)! An infinite number of ideas rising and ebbing daily,  waiting to become a story on my blog. Between several such moments in the past year, I found myself looking for a paper to capture an experience but settled instead for the reflection of it in my partner’s face. There was no need to share in words, what was already shared in being. There were times when a performance, a piece of art or the colors of a landscape moved me to tears. Times when ideas in a T.V series forced me to think really hard about gender roles, or when I met interesting strangers in unexpected places. Yet the feverish urgency that came over me earlier, to put in writing and immortalize the thoughts and the experiences that tormented me till they were a lucid post on my blog, has certainly dimmed.

Writing is not just a medium to convey/communicate and express to the other but also another medium for us to remember and record for ourselves (remember the diary entries?) To tap into and freeze our energies and thoughts of the current moment in little fragments that in retrospect lend meaning to our lives.

Sajjan Singh in the movie Lunch Box says “We forget things if we have no one to tell them to”. So when we have someone to listen to everything we have to say, does it render the need to record and remember in words redundant?

Secondly, a companion occupies space in your head. The head concerned so far with its own little trappings, limited by its own ambition. A partner brings in his own set of the above, engaging you in life more actively, challenging the status quo, making self-reflection a thing of the past, a luxury. Thus every spark in your head that earlier became a poem dipped in angst becomes a rant at the dinner table. Ideas become debates, stories end up as unfinished paragraphs.

This is not at all to say that good writing only comes to the loneliest or unhappiest among us. It is simply to say that, dabblers like us who possibly use writing merely as an outlet and seldom as a craft, have to possibly try harder to write in spite of the health of their relationship status.

And while we are at it, I would like to dedicate this post to the person responsible for all this laziness and slacking in writing. My outlet, my friend and my partner (exactly in that order) for the ideas that became debates, stories that ended up in unfinished paragraphs and the general lack of “unhappiness” in my life.

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