July 26, 2010


I like to kiss. Yes, I do. And I encourage everyone to do so too.

Wait, wait, wait…Before you begin to get any funny ideas, let me clarify this one for you. By ‘kiss’ I do not mean the first best thing to do with your lips (as suggested by a popular forward message). All I mean is: ‘Keep It Short and Simple’. Yep! (Sorry to those who were expecting this to go along some other lines! :-P)

All our lives we come across instances where somebody takes a lot of time talking more… and conveying a lot less. You look often (or very often) at your watch, anticipating an end to the tedious affair. You switch off completely. You begin to daydream. You become distracted (or try to look so) and avoid looking at the other person’s face. You interrupt the other person by asking random questions (Hey, where did you get that vase from?). You plan other things (shopping, dinner, weekend...), of course in your head. You think of all the things you could’ve/should’ve/would’ve been doing. You nod your head (almost vigorously) with a fake smile, hoping against hope that this gesture of affirmation might just do the trick and wind up the conversation quickly; only to find that the other person quite oblivious (or choosing to be so) to the whole situation takes it as a cue to launch Round 2 of the same rigmarole. You pray someone will call you… NOW, or even SMS you, so that you can make an excuse and leave. Better still, you try coming up with an excuse as to why you’ve to leave soon (you were reminded of something “important” to do just now). You wonder why you didn’t choose a more inconvenient time for the other person (his/her busy schedule would’ve ensured your quicker exit!).

That’s why we all have to learn to ‘kiss’! I’m not suggesting that we say only the absolutely essential and remain quiet otherwise. But, you’ve got to “know your audience” too. I’ve sat through several lectures, guest lectures, welcome speeches, and the like and thought to myself – Did s/he take so much time to convey THIS? I would’ve done it in so much lesser time! The thing about beating around the bush, going about in circles, laboring over a point is that it defeats its purpose – you miss it (much like this sentence!) A much better way is to be sure of what you want to convey, what you want the audience to take away, and say it crisply and nicely.

As for me, I’m anyway a woman of few words. I’m not very talkative (unless I am in the company of those I know well, and vice versa) and often do not talk along unless I really feel like it. Small talk, idle chatter, making conversation, etc. is definitely not my “thing” (I wonder why though. I have parents who can talk about pretty much anything to pretty much anyone!). I dunno if it’s that strange or abnormal, but I’ve always been less vocal (to those who know me well, go back to sentence 2 of this para). There were these GD classes in T.I.M.E., I remember, where the faculty there (dear Joseph Sir) tried all he could to coax (even bully) me into speaking – but somehow I wouldn’t! He used to do these mock GDs, where people who wouldn’t speak substantially would be asked to leave the group. And, needless to say, yours truly would be asked to leave almost every time, and spent most of the time watching others do the GD. (I finally did give my two cents’ worth in the SDM GD though. :-P).

Cut to Period MBA. Presentations. No matter how much content I prepared for “talk time”, I’d invariably end up speaking only one-third of it finally. It’s not just about presentations, but even my assignments, reports, projects… everything used to be brief. If there was a page limit (come to think of it, even if there wasn’t any), I’d end up submitting less all the time, whereas I used to find people outdoing each other. As for my exams (throughout my education), the story remains pretty much the same. I’d look around to find people asking for supplementary sheets, whereas I’d still be filling in whatever booklet I got (with pages still remaining). When I was working in the college newsletter as an editor, and had only 8 pages at my disposal, I realized that anything worth saying could be conveyed in just 150-200 words, not more.

Well, I guess everyone has got my point.

Sometimes ‘less is more’. Now, before you accuse me of preaching and not practicing, I shall wind up and leave you with this thought.

Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune. The talkative parrot is shut up in a cage. Other birds, without speech, fly freely about.
~ Saskya Pandita


Sameera said...

You ended it excellently with a brilliant quote!! OHHH sure you do know how to blog and oh so well... this one is a crowd puller!! Now to KISS.. I'll end my comment here.

PS: I am always accused of talking way to much.. so this post is very well taken!

Vijitha Valsalan said...

Geee... Thanks! :-D

Vinitha said...

Good one Viji. And to others, she's not as quiet as she claims. You need to believe me, as that comes after 24 years of co-existence!

Vijitha Valsalan said...

@ Vini: Thanks! I had a disclaimer there!! :-P

shamitha said...

Nice one Viji....!!

Anish said...

"KISS" ka mazha kuch aur he hai :P

Harshil said...

I agree with Vini ... :D

Vijitha Valsalan said...

@ Shamitha - Thanks!! :-)

@ Anish - Which 'kiss' are you referring to?

@ Harshil - Fine! :-P :-D