We communicate by expressing our ideas, feelings, commands, and wishes in a structured form.
This form has a definite semantics attached to it, with a box full of words you could string together, to express just about anything your mind finds worth wandering through.
We’ve all begun at the threshold of the same life, our tiny fingers struggling to clasp everything around us. Cooing and gurgling, with occasional crying, becomes our prime way to convey a general meaning. With the passage of time, we learn the language through an emotional tone, passed to our parents from the previous generation. This is when we begin forming patterns that go on to significantly affect the way we read, write or think.
But communication isn’t confined to the linguistic branch alone.
What is it in our life that enhances, or rather, fills what a linguistic form of communication cannot?
The everyday stream of life embellished with non-linguistic communication does the job.
A hearty laughter echoing the walls of the room, a puddle of excitement splashing out as one would jump around merrily, or maybe something on the other end of the spectrum, like anger hurling blame at another, by pointing a single finger with rest curled up. The winks passed on the dinner table, and gestures conveyed in the mourning.
With the non-linguistic approach, we say our mind out without actually speaking, and also amplify the meaning of our thoughts. When coupled with the words, we can convey the entire message in a larger font, and which makes the act of reading much easier.
And then, there is a form of communication that doesn’t quite fit into any of the above categories.
It is our relationship with the objects and nature, and the relationship established with other humans, with objects being in the middle of the channel of communication.
On busy roads and highways, the blaring horn, gleaming headlights, and flickering taillights become the way two objects under the control of a human would operate, and interact. Of course, this form of communication isn’t defined well enough to give us the exact meaning, and there is always a scope for error. Hence you might flip the bird every once in a while when someone would blow their horns too much to drive you up the wall.
In coastal regions, the hard sway of the trees along with rising levels of the sea, is a sign of an impending storm, whereas, in the mountainous region, jumbo pillow like clouds hint at the bad weather, coupled with lightning discharge spread out like an upside down twig. Surely, you can get that information with much more details on a weather report, but that only adds a cascade between nature’s communication with you. The starting and ending points remain the same. At the receiving end, it’s us.
We communicate with each other and with objects in a mediate position, as with the roads and highways example. In ways alike, two people on the either side of a door could communicate through that door. A bang on the door would starkly differ in intent, from a soft knock. Messing around with the doorknob would be suggestive of forced entry, and so on.
Objects become an extension of us, and our feelings. They take shapes that we cannot. Produce sounds that we can’t create, but which we feel reverberating in our bones. Take the case of the musical instruments:
Our hands on their body, sometimes a slight press on the strings of the guitar, and sometimes a rhythmic strike on the drums paired with an occasional hit on the metal disks, together conjure a singular vision of the artist (or a group of artists). In that way, an artist channels out his or her emotions in front of its audience.
There is a manner of establishing communication, which is often distinct even within the same language.
This piece could have been written in a thousand different ways, and yet it is complete (or incomplete) with the above-inked words, giving one perspective, accommodated into specific lines, and leaving a certain bit of white space wherever deemed necessary.
The process of communication is universal. It may or may not be conspicuous, but everything communicates, either through definite forms-language or sometimes in ways which may be obscure to our senses.