The Art of Communicating
Today, in the era of digital possibilities, it is probably worth revisiting the idea of ‘communicating’ in our own capacities, because, despite our skills in reaching a message across, there would be times when we wonder what went wrong!
During my morning walks, I listen to bird-talk: not that I understand it one bit. However I never stop admiring that they accomplish so much with so little, consistently. Long, long ago, my High School Science teacher once held my pet dog in his hands and marveled at God’s creation for having put a heart that beat so quickly in that little puppy’s frame. In a way, that sensitized me!
Likewise it is with the birds. There are so many little ones that it is a Herculean task for the common observer to keep track; and to think that each one of them may have a heart even smaller!
I keep seeing robins and wagtails. I marvel at the volume of the sounds they produce. The mynas are garrulous, and they perhaps have the biggest vocabulary among birds! For that matter, I must digress a little bit and mention the cicada. An insect that resembles the grasshopper, it is attracted to wet or moist climes and lives on the trees in large groups. But when one cicada starts calling, and if you happen to be close by, and manage to identify that particular insect which is causing that sound, you will be amazed. Its body is highly disproportionate to the volume of sound it makes. And if the whole community decides to join in as they regularly do, it could get on to your nerves if you are the sensitive type.
Coming off on a tangent, I just noticed that I said ‘amazed’. A dozen years ago, I may have thought twice before using it. But then I met an NRI from the American continent, who used words like ‘amazing’, ‘awesome’ and ‘absolutely’ in every sentence, without meaning any of them! It took me some more time to understand and accept this was how language had evolved. Despite this, I was pleasantly surprised a couple of days ago, to see a guy from Bagalkot praise a singer on a Facebook post, beginning with ‘Osm’.
The point that I am trying to make is, shortcuts are reaching everywhere quickly and there is no special effort that people need to put in order to understand them – they are lapped up just like that.
And in that melee, are we communicating?