Of Pocketed Passions and Silent Sufferings

Posted on April 21, 2009

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One of the many attributes that make us human beings highest in the hierarchy, is probably the ability and variance with which we express emotion.

Identical twins can have the exact tendencies in every aspect of their lives, but in the way they handle pain, for example. One might choose to mourn out loud, expelling heartbreaking sobs that melt the heartstrings of just about anyone made to listen. The other might decide to withhold on vocalization, preferring instead to suffer alone. Silently, and drawing as little attention to herself as is possible; hoping that noone else will suspect and interfere.

We walk down the same streets everyday; meet new people, meet old people. Cuss at a swerving taxi-driver, and indifferently order our regular cuppa from the local cafe. For all you know, that cabbie was fervently rushing home on hearing the news of a new addition to his family. For all you know, the barrista that just handed you your skim-latte had just ended his 10-year marriage the night before. For all you know, your colleague in the adjacent cubicle is suppressing a victory dance deserving of his team’s victory.
The pensive chap to your right at the bus-stop probably just got laid-off, and the guy smoking profusely on your left probably just got laid.
The woman you’re kneeling / sitting next to at mosque / church, is praying as hard as you are. Is she a mother begging for her son’s safe return? A battered wife beseeching for guidance? Or a daughter, hoping against all hope that her father recovers?

Everyone’s got a cloud above their head, hovering and following them every single minute of every day; some with a silver lining, and some without. We grieve, we rejoice. We mourn the loss of a loved one, or replay the freshness of a new relationship. Our friends and family, our closest confidantes might know…but those strangers you happen to bump into on your way out of the elevator, or those familiar-but-can’t-quite-place faces you smile a polite acknowledgement; they have no idea. Just like you have no clue.

Indifference is welcoming sometimes; it’s non-claustrophobic, non-judgemental, and non-pitying.
Beacuse your burden is burden enough. And because you just can’t pretend with yet another person that you feel their pain, when in truth you’re just glad you’re not them. We’re gluttons in times of glory, and selfish in times of anguish.

Not because we’re terrible people. But just because we’re human.

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