The early morning stillness had just begun to mingle with the busyness of the day. I could spot early morning walkers competing; some with others, some with themselves. The winter-like mist hung low around the orchards and vehicles were happily ignoring the traffic signals.
As the car flowed past the slowly rousing world, my fingers fidgeted on the radio buttons flitting between FM channels. Suddenly, dad spoke the first word. His voice lacked the usual exuberance and was dipped in thoughtfulness, soft yet bubbling. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat and replied. The exchange of words started slowly, deepening in emotion and growing in expression. And we both revealed and shared things not spoken about usually. In the end we both smiled, having understood more than before. The delight and power of a conversation!
Later when I sat thinking about it, I recalled many more such conversations, with family, friends, acquaintances, and at times, strangers. All were laced with varying styles and degrees of intimacy and their closure had brought the people involved to higher mutual awareness and appreciation. Additionally, and this is what interests me most, these instances had some commonalities:
- All took place in a car and in few cases, a bus and even rarer so, trains. Albeit, some form of enclosed transportation was the venue.
- Silence was part of the scene, despite any surrounding noise.
- The conversation wasn’t pre-planned; at least didn’t seem so.
- The participants were no more than three.
I put all of that together and suddenly had a new-found respect for my ‘car-time’. and the following notes to self:
- Road-trips can change our lives in ways more than. Do them more often.
- Cars make for good conversation-cushions. Just make sure the content doesn’t anger the person who’s driving. Unless you are feeling suicidal.
- The daily commute could actually contribute to our lives if we don’t do it alone.
- The absence of any escape, physically that is, helps close the loop of communication. The lack of any distractions do the same. You have no option but to listen.
- I think too much, at times (thank god for the times I don’t, you poor readers), and i should end this post. Now!