Monday, May 24, 2010


Estha occupied very little space in the world.

Estha had always been a quiet child, so no one could pinpoint with any degree of accuracy when (the year, if not the month or day) he had stopped talking. Stopped talking altogether, that is. The fact is that there wasn’t an ‘exactly when’. It had been a gradual winding down and closing shop. A barely noticeable quietening. As though he had simply run out of conversation and had nothing left to say.
- The God of Small Things.

Sometimes I’d wish that I could be like Estha. Stop talking altogether. Wouldn’t it be rather nice, in a weird way? If you don’t speak and hence do not reply to people’s irritating questions, people will gradually stop talking to you and you could live in your own world but at the same time not unaware of things going on around you. You are not deaf and can still understand what people say, and there is absolutely no expectation or obligation to contribute your two cents worth on anything, anything at all. (Anything a-tall). The world is too full of people blabbing endlessly about things you don’t want to hear, things you are least interested in, things you don’t care about. Like the new flat screen TV they bought, the boyfriend’s name of a friend of a friend, your cousin’s sister-in-law’s niece who has her own flat blah blah blah….

I think I am deceitful. If we go by the theory “Birds of a feather flock together” then I ought to be outgoing, talkative, friendly and annoyingly cheerful. But I am not, while I seem to collect friends who possess the aforementioned qualities. While I might exhibit those qualities some of the time, there are times when I have been called boring. To my face, yes. And I have been asked why I keep quiet all the time, why I am so unfriendly and unapproachable. Maybe I don’t like you, maybe I have nothing to contribute to the subject being discussed, or maybe I always find myself short of words. Maybe I don’t feel like talking, maybe I am preoccupied with something more important than what you are saying. Maybe I have run out of conversation and have nothing left to say.


  1. Hmmm you sound just like me. Sometimes I'm amazed at the torrent of words people come up with. At the same time though, I think it can be quite possible to go insane from not speaking at all. Like people who get solitary imprisonment for years and years. I often wonder how they cope with it.

  2. Coincidence. Am re-reading the novel again right now. And I've always been puzzled as to the meaning of the phrase that kept cropping up- "locust stand I". I think maybe it has something to do with low-caste, cos Velutha is from a lower caste..
    Oh, and I'm the kind who talks a lot, though I'm quiet around strangers and creepy men :D Brevity is so not my forte- in anything.

  3. J - What amazes me is the stuff people talk about. They can go on and on about something which they feel would interest the listener, and sometimes I'd think, "Don't they get ever tired of talking?" Oh and speaking of solitary imprisonment, just the other I was thinking about The Count of Monte Cristo and how little I knew of the story. Maybe I should find a copy.

    kuku - TGOST is one of my most favourite books, I keep on rereading it time and again. And the strange thing is I somehow identified with all the characters.
    Locus Standi: Latin: legal standing before a court.
    And check this out, see if it doesn't make your head spin:
    Standing or locus standi is the term for the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's participation in the case.

  4. Oh, okay, thanks for the info. Me and my interpretations, hehe. Hard to follow the legal explanation though, the convoluted ways of the law...

  5. I have been trying to be a bit talkative! But it really annoys me when people ask grossly stupid questions- which they obviously know already- just to start a conversation. The best I can do in such a situation is give a one word reply, and I'd more or less be back to square one = :l

  6. Sometimes I feel the same way too. Not talk to anyone and be in my own world. But then, when I don't have an outlet, I feel suffocated. Talking is good for me, but only to people I trust :-)

  7. kuku - Legal terms deliberately confuse. I think whoever invented legal lingo must have been one big pedant, know-it-all superior type.

    Jona - If you ask me to list my top ten peeves, grossly stupid questions would rank very high, definitely among the top three. Sometimes even a one word reply is too much, there are questions that are not worth replying to.

    Mimi - Yes they say talking about your problems bring you much needed relief. Writing helps a lot too.

  8. I am guilty! I am one of the blabbers, and being such an ardent one at that, I have always been convinced that if I lost the ability to talk, I would slowly go insane :)