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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Scream & Silence

Last year I went to Spain and had the good fortune of seeing the painting of Munch titled Scream. A pretty famous painting with a figure in black with his mouth wide open as if it is screaming its lungs out and the vibrations are felt across the world. At that time, the picture merely amused me. Today, in a sort of an epiphany, the painting makes a lot more sense than it did earlier.

All of us, and I am taking the liberty of generalisation here, have many things which we wish to say out loud. Our regrets, our anger, our sorrows, our happiness etc. But rarely do we get the audience or the time for the full disclosure of it all. And so it happens, that all of us have so much to say kept within us, just beneath the surface, bursting to come out. And when the time comes, it does.

A scream, in each of its decibel, carries a different story, a new story to tell. Every pitch increase pulls out a new sorrow, a new anger, a new happiness from the hidden depths of our being and throws it out into the world to any and all to hear. Like a pressured machine having its steam vent open, full throttle, all at once.

A keen listener can make out the different stories in the scream. But what he dreads the most is the silence after the scream. The poignant, unending silence which in itself has the sharp bitterness of submission and defeat. In contrast with the loud audible screams, the silence, by its conspicuous absence, is more unnerving than ever.

Beware a man who has just let loose a scream, for now he has nothing in him to suppress, nothing in him to hide, nothing in him to restrain him. He has become free from all his inhibitions and ready for new battles with a clean slate and mind. Like a sort of cleansing ritual for the mind and the soul.

But the worst kind of scream are the silent ones. Where your stories and sufferings are so strong even Voice cannot explain them to the world. Decibels are meaningless and audience irrelevant. Those are the screams, most private and personal, reserved only for ourselves in our most vulnerable state of being,

You shed them like a snake shedding a skin and you feel anew, having been tempered in the fires of life, sharpened by the rocks of experiences and doused in the waters of misery. A rebirth of the Phoenix.

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