Words are not enough. At times, they utterly fail us and leave us groping in the infinite magnitude of letters desperately trying to exactly and comprehensively find a combination of them to explain what we want the others to understand. You conjure up all possible combination of words, sentences and yet realize that it is not what you want to convey. You ask for divine help; you curse yourself; you feel like banging your head into the nearest wall. Yet, the words elude you. Finally, you settle for a line which is not even nearer to what you want to say but you console yourself with reason that it was the best you could fish out.
Have you ever experienced this? You did?
Have you ever tried touch!
Perhaps some kind of Uber text could only do justice to the messages that we send through possibly one of the oldest communication medium – the touch. It is always fascinating to observe people using touch to convey most complex of messages and express a lot of feelings including the most intricate ones. I have often attempted to translate those messages to written or spoken words and invariably found it almost impossible. The failures, however, drew me more closely to this – trying to fathom the language of touch.
My son cannot sleep without placing one hand under the body of his mother; just the palm of the hand, under the ribcage of my wife. He is only five-year-old. At times, when his mother is not around while he sleeps, he places the palm of his hand on my face. He cannot sleep without this seemingly peculiar obsession. I think it is his way of getting reassured and feel protected. It is his way of staying connected – even when he is sleeping. It may also be his way of saying something that we have failed to understand so far. But the communication is very strong; impossible to ignore, impossible to forget.
While still in college, a particular girl was the center of all our attention. This perhaps is a very common story. One of my friends noticed her smiling at him one day and he groped my hand in excitement immediately. He said nothing and I still do not know what he wanted to convey with that touch.
I became quite friendly with the same girl later on and on one occasion, while we were waiting for a bus one day; she gripped my hand only to release it a few seconds later. There was nothing apparent either in her face or in the surroundings that justified that touch. We never proceeded any further because both of us seemed to be not interested. I do not know where she is today, but I still cannot but help thinking what was there in that touch! There was a lot of communication in that touch and yet lot of confusion.
I have experienced hundreds of other instances involving people of both the genders having touched me in my life and successfully confusing me and unsuccessfully trying to convey something. Yet, I am sure they were all communicating something that was not possible to be conveyed with words. Nothing can be more communicative and at the same time more confusing then touch.