Of Abstract Thoughts And Concrete Words

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After frantically searching for my phone for almost five minutes,
“Ma, where is my phone”
“I don’t know. Where did you keep it?”
“ I was talking with Swathi and I was sitting in the Verandah on the swing…”
“Check  if you’ve left it there”
 After 30 seconds
“Yes. It’s there. Thank you Ma  :-)“

I have this habit (my sister says it’s an annoying habit) of walking to my sister, asking her a question(a doubt) and even before she could open her mouth to respond, I myself would have answered the question and I would tell her thanks and walk away. Something similar to this.

“Akka, I have a doubt”
She clears her desk and makes some space for my book .
“Tell me.”
“In this comprehension,  the central idea according to me is option A, but the answer is given as option C”
“What is it about?”
“Well, I feel it is A because of ….(I justify why I chose Option A)
If it has to be Option C may be its because…..(And I proceed to think from the Author’s point of view)
Which is why, Now I feel Option C has to be right. Thank you Akka 🙂 “
“Get Out”

Now what was that?

Every time I misplace something, irrespective of whether Mom is around or not, I always ask my Mom. Not because she might know where it would exactly be, but she would help me find where it would be.
Similarly every time I have a doubt or a confusion, I ask my sister knowing that she could help me out , not by just telling me what the answer is, but by helping me find the answer on my own. All she has to do is push me a little, in the right direction.

Why does this happen to most of us?

Thoughts are abstract. Confusing. They can be interpreted in any possible way, and that exactly is the problem. It can convey different meanings at different situations, complicating even the simplest of matters.  You know what is there, but you can’t define them, as a result it is not easy to reach a conclusion.

But there is something magical about words. The minute you express your thoughts, the minute you give a shape to your thoughts in the form of words, somehow everything seems to make sense. We know what exactly we are looking for. Once the question is clear and we know what we should be looking for, finding the answer wouldn’t be that difficult.
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Have you ever wondered why we feel better after talking to someone about those issues which keeping bothering us? When it stays in our mind, as thoughts, it appears cluttered and unorganized and it is difficult to make sense from something which is so abstract. We cannot bring ourselves to understand what it is all about. But when we start sharing our troubles with someone (if we are lucky enough to find someone who would patiently listen to our woes) we feel a lot lighter. We feel the burden is lifted off us. This is because when we start speaking, or rather, when we give those thoughts a definite form, subconsciously, in our mind we draw a clearer picture of what is troubling us . As we pour our heart out, we reach a step closer to solving our problem, on our own. We feel a lot better because our heart knows that half the problem is solved, but it takes some time for it to convey it to our mind. In this process, now that we are clear of what we need, only to find the solution staring right at us (most of the times)!
Thoughts are like the clouds. We know that there is something in there, but what exactly it is, we fail to understand.

Words we speak (or write), to convey our thoughts, are like the rain drops. We can see them, feel them and listen to them, in a manner our senses can grasp. It makes our life easier!

64 thoughts on “Of Abstract Thoughts And Concrete Words

  1. Reason may be that your thoughts are not random.. You get lost in the randomness, talking about one subject to a person makes your brain think orderly. And voila! There comes the solution. My brother faces same thing.. And this is my analysis.. 🙂


  2. Yet another beautiful description…
    Amazing and am inspired…
    Incredible comparison, thoughts as clouds and words as rains.. you love languages i guess 🙂
    No wonder why your article appeared on editorial page 😀
    rock on ash….
    awaiting for your next post 🙂


  3. You are absolutely right….words expressed make it feel alright. It makes one's mind lighter in the process. Sometimes though words are misunderstood by others, that makes us work harder for clarifications. I loved your analogy with clouds and rain 🙂


  4. Absolutely , Damn True … Sharing or Talking to someone WHO would patiently listen to us and give us some thought about it will surely reduce our burden and clear our mind at least 50 to 70 percent 🙂 but finding or getting tat ” WHO ” is one difficult thing …. i dont mean family people here,they wud surely listen and give u idea… finding one outside of ur family is very difficult 😦 …. Every point u have written above is true Ashu 🙂


  5. So true Ashwini! The most successful people are those who can communicate well and are good listeners too!Communication can solve half the problem at hand be it at work or at home:)


  6. Expressing…either through verbal communication…or writing..or in any other form…is a way of giving shape to our dreams, thoughts, problems..as you very rightly say. The entangled webs of numerous thought processes untangle a bit…and we feel a bit lighter. However, I must add that once a bit of space is created inside, they are filled again with another clouds of questions and problems… 😛

    Its a cycle. 😉


  7. Totally Agree Ashwini. Letting it out in some form, give them a meaning and are so much easier to understand.

    Tha analogy of clouds and rain drops was so bang on.. if we don't speak it out, we would always be uncertain as to what it was!!

    And about losing stuff and then calling out to mom, that is so true for me too!


  8. Really agree with your opinion Ash. When we put our thoughts into words we feel great, we feel unburdened. I try to vent out my frustration in writing when I am sad or angry, it relaxes me and makes me feel so much better. 🙂


  9. your brain is working extra fast .. so you have the ansser but before you realise it you have gone furthur ..

    and NO it does not happen with me for my brain is toooo slow it takes ages to get to the result so i do need a lot of help thats why i call myself Dumb 🙂

    I have forgotten the specs that i wear on my eyes and still have to look for them thinking i have not got them on.. can you beleive that … ok now stop smiling .. it is true.



  10. Now thoughts are often more vivid than what words and language can support. Language again is different from communication. You can think about something very deeply yet lack words to speak about it and sometime what you say depends a lot on what you understand about what you say!


  11. Yes, No doubt about it. Once a tiny bit of space is created, it is occupied with something else, But at least we can feel good about having solved a few problems.
    Yes, Cycle Indeed. Thank you 🙂


  12. @Bikram
    Yea, Our Brain has all the answers, it is left with us to realize that.
    If you call yourself Dumb, in your dictionary how poorly will the rest of us fare? 🙂
    And with the specs, I can believe them, coz I've seen a lot of people do that. So you aren't alone in this 🙂


  13. It happens to me a lot 🙂 Nowadays i dont hesitate to call my mum when i want something. I just call her out asking for something and voila! it would have found it :D. If i dont call my mum, i can never find it. Mum gave up scolding me for it and she got used to it :p


  14. @Meera
    Yes, At certain times we feel we lack the clarity to express our thoughts. I'm just talking about Thoughts which confuse us and cause trouble.
    Completely agree with what you say!


  15. I guess all our Mother's would have got used to it by Now. Deep down, we know that they can do a magic and retrieve just what we are looking for.
    Cheers Harini 🙂 Thank you for dropping by 🙂


  16. It is always better to have a second opinion i.e. other than your own. This way solution to a problem or getting out of a dilemma becomes easier. Venting out feelings also has a cathartic effect !
    Every thing nicely put !


  17. Thoughts are abstract and we need good listeners and someone to help us clear and shape them. You ended the post in a great way. BTW, how often your sister is annoyed with your habit?


  18. “”I myself would have answered the question”” – SAME PINCH Ashwini!! And yes, it irritates others so much :DDD

    as for thoughts taking shape of words and beginning to make better sense once spoken out, true isn't it. we hardly consciously notice it though. very good post – well written


  19. Thoughts are like clouds..WOW! So well said Ashwini!! 🙂 I was nodding my head in agreement with every word you said and smiling a lot too!! Losing my phone and searching for my phone frantically is something that happens to me so often! 🙂 And yes, when we confide our mega somethings to someone we trust,it is like we've shed half of the weighty problem! Love this post in particular!! 🙂 My personal fav 🙂

    And thank you for the lovely comments on my blog Ashwini! A big thank you!:)


  20. Interesting thoughts Ashwini… 🙂 This is what I think – Thoughts are random but when we start to express them to near & dear ones, we sub-consciously start to arrange those thoughts and when we arrange them, we automatically get the solution!! Amazing!!


  21. Thank you Jen 🙂
    Yes, when I was thinking of how clearly I should express, I couldn't think of anything else.I was just thinking about CLouds and the Rain 🙂


  22. Thank you Binu 🙂
    Yes, I figured out that it is automatically organized and arranged, without us being consciously aware of it, when we start to speak about it.
    Thank you 🙂


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