We speak for so long. We speak to so many people. We speak on so many things. I believe the amount of time spent in speaking would be second only to sleeping. Yet it is a travesty that we spend so little time in thinking about what we say and the effect that it has on our lives.

It is just one action, amongst the so many different things that we committ daily. But the kind of effects that it has on our lives is profound and interesting, at the same time. There have been instances when people have come back to me for kind words that I have spoken and there have been instances when people have never come back to me for the harsh words that escaped me.

One time, I was returning from class and was about to enter my hostel room. I had opened the lock to my room and was feeling quite tired. This was a few days after college started and there were a couple of new guys in the same hostel. The guy who had occupied the room opposite to mine had some query and enquired the same with me. I was feeling very sleepy and told him that we could discuss it later. I left it at that and crashed as soon as I could. I never noticed it, but things never took off between this guy and me and we were never on good terms and never on bad terms either. Things cooled down a bit in the second term of college and we started speaking a bit. During one of our never ending chat sessions in my room, this guy started speaking and he abruptly referred to that incident and how he was irritated by my answer. He had taken it very personally and said that it was my snobbishness that had led to his state of mind at that point of time. Explanations apart, this guy remembers the exact words and the expression that I had when I said it and that causes him irritation every time he thinks of it. Talk about words.

I think that this guy is still harbouring those words and his attitude is still being shaped by them, those initial words. It has been more than 2 years and things have hardly changed in this relationship silo. It’s frozen in that instant when I uttered those words and attracted a reaction from my neighbour.

Words, and some more.


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