In the meantime, I met a beautiful woman who came to meet me at my house. As we sat talking, we discussed about each other’s family. I told her how I was in a bad mood that day and asked her if she has experienced such moments.
‘No. My mother is a deaf and dumb.’
I became silent for a while and later asked her about her childhood.
‘My mummy is a deaf and dumb woman since birth. Her parents were normal and so were her other siblings but it was just her who couldn’t hear or speak. While growing up, she fell in love with my father who was a driver and used to visit my mum’s town often. My dad ignored her for many years because of her handicap but my mummy kept loving my father. One day, mummy revealed her feelings to her granny who then passed on the news to my would-be-then papa.
The granny advised papa to not ignore such true love. Papa realized my mum’s love and married her.’
As I heard her talking, I had a plethora of questions in my mind. She added, ‘Mummy was an excellent cook and made delicious food every night. She took great care of my father and loved him to the core. Few years back, they both moved to their native place in Andhra where my father died three years back and my mummy still lives there. She says she would die in the same room too!‘
I was amazed at hearing this. The conversation that started as a mother-daughter relationship was now about true love. I asked her if her father ever treated her mother badly for her inability to hear or speak.
‘Yes, he did. There was a time when my father was very stressed and he would often drink and come home like a zombie. Those days he treated mummy like a trash particularly because he used to get frustrated at her but my mummy still continued to love him and never said anything bad about him to anyone. Instead, my mummy used to take even greater care of my father in those days until papa changed his behaviour.’
‘What about you and your siblings? Didn’t you ever feel frustrated looking at your mom? Didn’t you compare her with other moms in your neighborhood and feel that wish your mum could also be like them?’ I asked her.
‘Yes, we did. We would often look at our friends and how their mums helped them in shopping and how they spoke to our teachers asking about their grades. My mummy never did that. She could not do that. Many a times it happened that when we fell sick, we waited for our father to return home so that he could take us to the doctor. For all our outdoor chores, mummy couldn’t help us.‘
‘But at the same time there would be few things that made you feel that your mum was better than others?’ I asked her again.
‘Yes. While my father was in that period of heavy drinking, he would often beat us or vent out his anger upon us but my mummy never even touched us in anger. She always showered us with her love. While we saw our neighbourhood moms taking their kids outside, we also saw them chiding and scolding their kids. But my mom never did that. We never saw a trace of anger in her eyes. Never.‘
I wanted to know if they ever faced problem in communicating with their mum. To this, she replied, ‘No. Not much. We never had problem in understanding her thoughts and nor we had a problem in expressing ours. She would just look at our face and understand if something was bothering us.‘
As I heard her speak, I thought about my mum. So what if she couldn’t understand me once, she outdoes herself the rest of the times.
It was enlightening to talk to her and since that day, I feel happier and more content. This conversation also made me realize that communication probably does not need any language.
Language is simply a medium.
Love does not need a language. It knows how to convey itself. It is we who complicate it with language.
After she left, I pondered for a while how I never used a word to convey my deepest feelings to people I feel extremely close to. I don’t use many words with my best friend Chandana who understands me promptly. I utter few words and pause and she knows what exactly I want to share. I have some of the briefest yet deepest conversations with my brother who understands me enough to read the silence. Sanjay reads my silence more than my words. Pahal and I can laugh and play for hours without speaking. We just make stupid faces and laugh heartily. And then my mum – who does not even have to look at my face to know what’s been happening with me. She just needs to hear my breathe on one end of the phone line. I immediately called her and surprisingly this time we perfectly understood each other’s point.
Do you also believe that we dont need to speak to communicate?