A Lesson Taught In Silence

By John • February 1, 2016

One day, when i was back at kerala, I had gone out with one of my friends and got a chance to meet all his friends too. Well, it was a lot of talking. I felt that even I couldn't hear my voice out there. Everyone was talking about the problems he or she were facing in life - some about divorced parents, some about broken relationships, some about not getting a job. I don't remember the rest, but there was more on the list. It didn't take long, before even I joined the conversation acting like a sole loser, telling about the problems that I felt that I had in my life...

There was one guy in that group, "Anand" (name has been changed due to certain reasons). Well, as i remember, he was there listening to each and every thing everyone, was saying, well... he said nothing. Just listened and gave a comforting smile. As time went by, everyone returned home and there was only 3 of us left - myself, Anand and our mutual friend. Soon even he left, it was just me and Anand. To start a conversation, I stuck to the same topic as before and was speaking about problems which at that point of time I thought I had him. He never said anything, smiled and listened, as if he was eager to know more. Confused, I asked him, "Bro, you have been listening all this while and yet you didn't say a word... The very first sentence he said was, "Bro, I was listening. Everyone has problems. Everyone finds a different way to deal with it. You people believe talking out to people will help. Well, I don't believe in problems."

I was not satisfied with his answer. Moreover, I was confused. He continued, "The people who were here all this while, they were unknowingly, competing. Competing to show who has more problems." When these words got into my ears, I felt it was true, for a second. I don't know why I felt his silence had something more to it. At that point I didn't know if I was right or wrong. Well, the next thing he said was "okay, bro. You wanna see my 'problems', as you guys call it?" I was like "see?"

He replied with a smile, "C'mon....take your bike your gonna drop me home."

15 minutes later, I was standing in front of his house. Well, I don't know if I could call that a house. It was not even as big as my hostel room (where if you add 2 beds...you won't have place to walk). And moreover, it was made of coconut wood, well it looked like it. He said, "Come on in." I walked in, and suddenly, he started screaming out "Appa (dad)...Amma (mom)." He did that for around 4 to 5 times, and believe me I was scared seeing him turning around and screaming in all directions. And then he looked at me and smiled, "See, they never answer back."

Confused, scared, I took a step back. He continued, "I've been doing this for the past two years. They never answer back, and you know why??? Cause..(with a weak smile) God took them away from me." I didn't know what to say, he was like sort of hyper, then he jumped out and said, "Take your bike,we are going to your home." I was confused, scared, sad and shocked.

Half an hour later, as I was about to reach my home, he asked me to not to go inside and to stop by the gate. We got off my bike and we were standing right in front of my house. He didn't say a word, just looked at me in the eye and looked at the house. Well, I've never believed in the quote that silence speaks more than words, but that day I did. I just couldn't disagree!

I understood he wanted me to open my eyes for the first time in my life and see what was there. I saw a 2-story building, an outhouse. I realized what he was trying to say. As I opened my mouth to talk, he spoke "Call your mom...right now!! Tell her that you will be late to come home, and put it on speaker"

It felt like i was following everything he was saying...like i was hypnotized or something. The phone rings and mom picks up and says "da, mone evida ("where are you"). I reply, "Mom, I'll be late, I will come after sometime" and then in a sad voice, she said "the foods ready and we are waiting for you...do come fast." I kept the phone... he kept silent.... I kept silent... staring at the phone.

I realized what he was trying to do. I realized how powerful silence can be, for the first time, I could hear my mom's voice louder than anything... It was all silence again. I guess it was apt... I left him back at his house, gave him a bro hug and got onto my bike. And to break the silence, he said:

"God's great bro, life's always great, you just don't realize it..."

On my ride back home, a lot of thoughts went through my mind, especially the words that he said in the end. I could hear it in my head. I was thinking, I was taught on that day to love life, the way it is, by a guy who lived in a box, whose parents had died. A guy who did not believe in problems but in God and himself. I realized, problems come and you have to deal with it. Deal with it believing in all that you have left, and in yourself, and it cant get simpler than that!!!

So all I have to tell those of who you read this note the very same words he told me....

"God's great, life's great... you just have to realize it."


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