Saturday, April 11, 2015

Monday Musings 226 - The charm of the unsaid

Monday Musings 226 - The charm of the unsaid

"You need to keep reminding yourself of the obvious; charm lies in the unsaid, the unwritten, and the undisplayed. It takes mastery to control silence"

Youth is usually verbose and expressive, fueled by the exuberance that usually comes with naivety, idealism or foolhardiness. Middle ages is the wearing out of some of them if one is lucky and all of them if one is ordinary. Most lives are a struggle to overcome the threat of that ordinariness. In that sense, at the risk of generalization, most lives are a struggle not with their circumstance but with themselves. What can be more scary and hideous than ordinariness staring back from the mirror on a monday morning! It takes quite a lot to come to terms with the fact that having reached forties one is at best still a work-in-progress.

There is great joy in having opinions on everything - a borderline case of being opinionated.  It thrives on the sense of self serving importance that comes from knowing. One must speak on anything and quite liberally, for in our ability to speak with abandon lies our sense of liberation. Its like the adolescent who has the freedom to go anywhere and who because now he has it, shall exercise it without restraint. The fun is not in the freedom per se but in the realization that the freedom can be exercised at will. It is only with time that one realizes that the 'charm lies in the unsaid, the unwritten and the undisplayed'.

What is already expressed and articulated, in speech or words, is like cards that are already revealed. They do not hold much power or promise. The spoken and articulated do not hold potential for modification and correction. Finally they also do not hold any more charm - for charm lies in restraint and an implicit offer of something still left unexplored.  What is already explored is largely boring. Unknown holds the power of imagination and excitement.

What is it that makes speaking irresistible? What is it that having the last word in a conversation such an aphrodisiac - and in the corporate world, i might add with experience and trepidation a need that is the most pronounced?
Is it because what Naser Taleb, from whom i have liberally borrowed the quote above has also said - "writers are remembered for their best work, politicians for their worst mistakes and businessmen are almost never remembered" ? 

I guess there is grace in the quiet. I guess there is mystery in silence. There is anticipation in holding back. There is power in the unsaid. So the next time as i rejoice the magic of the said, i shall spare some time in exploring the power of the unsaid.



  1. At times silence is more powerful than words. But in today’s environment when everybody is hankering for the disproportionate share of limelight, it’s really difficult to practise. To rejoice the power of silence, it requires endurance from both sides which most of us have lost, in particular, in corporate. May be once we reach to a level, this can be experimented, which is a never quenching desire.

  2. It's definitive virtue to possess and requires a lot of control and discipline. No wonder Rahul Gandhi has to seek professional help in practicing "Vipaasna"..... :)

  3. This is knowledge that fills both the heart and is quite an irony that the answer that doesn't silence the mind is no answer at all but to receive an answer ,silence is imperative!silence is surrender...readying your mind to be porous enough to soak in is about keeping Pablo Neruda says....for putting an end to mindless activity and quietly is no generalisation that each one is caught in the net of time and can best wriggle out of it by listening to the sound of music rather than unnerving can be a total rhapsody if one allows themselves to believe that the universe is at work...chill....breathe...ask for more if u must...just celebrate silence sometimes!