If their hands could speak, why can’t my mouth?

Oscar Wilde once said, “I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.” Perhaps all people, whether we realize it or not, are writers.

The mere fact that we can talk makes us writers. (Even Helen Keller whose life was largely filled with darkness because of her blindness was a magnificent writer.)It’s just that only a few would surrender to this fact. Fewer would realize that they would love to do it for the rest of their lives. And still fewer would be able to be dubbed “true-blood writers” like Oscar and Helen are.

Every day that we live, we share stories with people we know or do not know. We gossip. We talk our hearts out. We live in a biosphere where words if they were only keenly measured would be of great quantity.

But what if you were deaf all of your life? When these spoken words were meaningless to you because you never hear them?

I was boarding a bus home one fine Monday. It was twilight and so I felt a little sleepy and decided to take a nap while on trip. But before I could close my eyes, two students caught my attention. A boy and the girl who are high school students judging from their worn uniforms. Not that I got distracted by how they were “talking” but I was actually amazed and for a time, at awe. The two were indeed, “talking” just like what we do always. The only difference is that they couldn’t talk. They were hearing impaired.

Rather than growing empathy for them, I became humbled. If these people whose only way to talk are their fingers, why can I not use my voice to make a little change around me? After all, I have been an idle stone all my life.

Now ask yourself who that man in the bus you boarded home was? Or who the little girl with her dog in the sidewalk was? Wouldn’t it be interesting to know their stories? We take for granted the simple things around that matter if only we minded them. If we would realize this, then maybe we would also be tempted to get that pen and start scribbling on a blank sheet of paper until it is filled with stories out of the meaningless lines and strokes that painted themselves.

By the way, I am now a volunteer for an NGO whose aim is to empower children with disabilities with a glimpse of hope that this could echo a little change in this large sphere of people whose stories are yet to be unveiled.

Now I know what Oscar Wilde meant with “nothing”.

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