I had two interesting conversations today.
In the office early morning, the peon brought me a cup of tea.
I smiled. Generally he smiles and moves away.
But today he did not move. He is a young lad – maybe in his 20s. He works on daily wages here. Not much of education and being on his first job, he does not have much exposure.
I realized that he was standing there. So, I asked him, “You want anything?”
“Madamjee, can you give me a suit?” he asked.
I was baffled.
“Suit?” I asked. “What do you mean?”
“A set of your old clothes”, he explained nervously.
I was still confused. It took time for me to understand what he was saying. But why did he need it?
Then I asked, “Do you have a young sister?”
“Yes”, he was happy that finally I had been wise enough.
He needed one set of my used clothes for his sister.
I said, “I will give it to you tomorrow.”
He smiled and went away.
In the evening I went to see a very senior government official. After 35 years of service he retired today. We sometimes used to chat and many times I had asked him to write memoirs 'after retirement'. Our relationship is not ‘boss –subordinate’ type; but of mutual respect.
There were many people in his room. He was obviously busy. But still he smiled and said “Hello” to me.
I sat on one of the chairs and enjoyed the conversation regarding his financial arrangements.
I wished him happy retired life. However, I knew he was taking on another assignment – a high profile one.
I asked, “Where are you going, Sir?”
He was confused. He looked at me and then looked at his watch. It was almost 6.30 in the evening.
Then he smiled and said, “I am going home.”
Now it was my turn to be confused. I clarified, “No Sir, I mean which job you will be taking now?”
“Oh, that is what you are asking!” He laughed and told me.
With two different human beings.
With difference in age, education, experience, social status ….
I have different relationships with these two – though I claim those to be egalitarian; the understanding of the term is different for both these persons.
But confusion was common.
Is confusion integral part of me? Does it reside within ME?
Do I tend to use words without touching its depth? Do I use words superficially?
Is it better to be silent than to speak or write constantly?
Somehow, I feel that silence always (almost always) creates more confusion especially when the topic is very trivial. Better to speak out even when I need to clarify …
In critical matters, words create more confusion – there silence works better.
But how do I decide what is trivial and what is critical?
The confusion remains.