Friday, February 27, 2009

feelings, words and language - a tragic situation

It's difficult to speak of things that are very deep isn't it? One can talk of matters that do not lie too deeply, but it requires a certain confidence in oneself and the listener to broach a problem, the very existence of which one has hardly admitted even to oneself for fear of awakening the echo of darker things that have been asleep for so long. In this case it isn't that I don't trust the listener," she added quickly. "I have more than confidence in you. But to put certain feelings into words is not easy, especially when one has never before expressed them in words. The feelings are familiar, but the words to describe them are not. Words are terrible things, aren't they? But I know you are not impatient, and I shall go at my own pace.

For for too long, I've assumed that I can express myself better in English. I've been struck by a thunderbolt (for lack of better words!) in Jan last week. My world is twisted and tormented.
 Everything looks different. Everything is different. From a world of thought, I'm fused to a world of feelings. Suddenly, I realize the emptiness of English. It neither helps me access my feelings nor communicate them. The challenge in expressing feelings is multiplied! Not only is it difficult to express feelings in words, it is doubly so when doing in a language that is suddenly foreign!

But, can I express feelings in Telugu? Is my language Telugu or Telangana? I've never expressed feelings in my language! How does one go about it, when the vocabulary to deal with feelings is severely limited? I think it is better to express in Telugu, when I feel deeply, instead of resorting to English, regardless of the vocabulary constraints.

A tragicomic situation

We are Martians from a billion-year-old civilization. We studied Earthlings intensively and found that they have a staggeringly complex cortex, with a wide range of advanced mental skills, an infinite associative capacity, a virtually limitless storage capacity, and a similarly limitless ability to generate new ideas and associations. In addition, these Earthlings have a magnificently complex and physical body to support and transport this intelligence, the psychological ability to enhance their own skills, and an inbuilt curiosity that drives them to explore all aspects of the universe.

We next observed that, in attempting to gain access to their vast mental
 capabilities, the members of this race are squeezing their intelligences out only through the incredibly narrow and restrictive channel of language.

In my case, it is tragic, I fail to see the comedy at this juncture in my life. :(

1 comment:

yogijp said...

First para is from Jiddu Krishnamurthy.

Balangangadhara talks about language denying access to our experiences, but now I experience this disconnect!