Image for representational purpose only.
As I write this, two women seated two rows in front of me on an almost crowded bus are talking to each other in a language I’ll never know. Nor will I hear strange-sounding words that I can laugh about. There were only actions, the play of the fingers, expressions in some cases; which I think was just natural and had nothing to do with the language as such.
Through the corner of my eye I watched them speak, and out of curiosity tried my hand at deciphering their conversation. Even after intently watching for a few minutes, I failed miserably. Everything looked random and the gestures didn’t convey anything specifically.
I saw a lot of barrel roll kinda motion, a gasping one, some random show of digits which I knew were the letters of their alphabet
Then out of the blue, another person from the opposite row nudged one of them and he too joined the conversation. They were all in their own silent worlds perfectly understanding what each other meant and not being affected by the sounds of the noisy city. The sounds that meant nothing to them. After some time he stopped while the women continued their discussion.
My mind slowly drifted into imagining their world, their daily struggle, their freedom of speech and all of a sudden when I was yanked to the present by a cruel road bump, I saw this man ‘overlooking’ their conversation. I then wondered about all the conversations we were passively hearing. Many not clearly meant to be heard. This language of theirs would have been the perfect cipher for public places if it weren’t for all the stares that they were getting. Maybe, people are just plain curious or in their argument – trying their hand at symbology?
As an afterthought, I wondered if any one of them could actually speak. The presence of one or two who don’t speak could be the reason they were using a common language. Unfortunately, they got down at the next bus stop so I’ll never know for sure!
Image Source : https://mashable.com/2017/01/23/india-sign-language-dictionary/#ZT0WuVNWGsqw