There is a single word that has been playing repeatedly in my head lately – Mrudu bhaashan. A famous song by Saint Thyagaraja describes Lord Rama as Mrudu Bhashana.
Mrudu Bhaashan – gentle words.
An excellent virtue, easily forgotten.
My paternal grandfather was incapable of being harsh, and even in the middle of a raging temper, could never go beyond “you…you”, a wonderful inadequacy to possess. Especially in the era of scant disregard for the spoken word and its tonal repercussions. In me and around me.
“In me” is obviously more important than “around me”. The expletives that cross my mind, and sometimes my vocal chords, when a cyclist cuts me off at an intersection, or my brand of body spray just sold-out, or my loved ones don’t act as I want them to, makes me want to rewind to the era of mild-mannered LG, who was incapable of harshness, much like her grandfather.
“Around me” seems more extensive than ever before. A recent visitor’s tonal aggression indicating entitlement in response to help that was offered, a reflectionless persiflage to camaraderie sought and widespread belittlement of another, in an attempt to be one-up among the known devils complement the harsh words exchanged between strangers, on the road, in the queue, on the internet, among unknown angels. Such verbal harshness is often comforted by the blanket of anonymity or cushioned by contempt-breeding familiarity.
Where from stems this insensitivity ? The decline in importance to words? The acceptance of aggression as a virtue rather than the vice it really is? The self-centricity that attempts to drive everyone else by its own gravity? Intolerance of the speck in a brother’s eye despite the beam in one’s own? Or endemic Kluver Bucy ?
Whatever it is, Mrudhu Bhashana must be restored. Within, if not without. Words are powerful. Stick and stones may break bones, but words break spirit. And when the spirit is broken, of what use is a bag of intact bones?
Within it shall be.