Ever so often I see a husband and wife pair who look like ‘beauty and the beast’ and I find myself wondering what ever made the pretty girl marry such an ugly fellow or vice versa, and then in the course of conversation I find them telling me about the other, “he is a good person.”

Moses Mendelssohn, the grandfather of the famous German composer, was short of stature and, even worse, was hunch-backed. But he was madly in love with the attractive daughter of a rich merchant in Hamburg.

Last evening was when passion hit a crescendo, when I saw incredible talent win over age!

To conduct a choir at the age of ninety, and to bring a perfect rendition of a Capella singing, is nothing short of an unimaginable miracle! Conducting is no mean task, and pulls out from the maestro, every ounce of not just his or her energy, but their skill and musical dexterity! For those who mistakenly think it’s just about waving a baton to and fro, while choir and musicians play on merrily, they are far mistaken.

Very often we go through life hoping a problem will go away without making any decision, because we are scared of doing the wrong thing. But I do feel that even a wrong decision is better than not deciding at all.

There is this little joke about a little girl talking to her mother:

 

                                                A wise old bird sat on an oak-

                                                The more he saw, the less he spoke.

                                                The less he spoke, the more he heard,

                                                Lord make me like that wise old bird … Anon

 

Sometime back I decided not to carry my cell phone with me. I managed to do so for two weeks. My friends thought I was crazy. “Bob!” they cried, “we remember when your hands free mouth piece used to be clipped to your beard. It was part of your face!”

I smiled; I did remember. There was nary a moment when I was not on the phone, calling somebody or other, or sitting in the car, talking to friends, or casual acquaintances as my driver drove me around. We passed the sea, we passed magnificent hills but my mouth firmly fixed on the seductive mouthpiece and my mind on needless conversation hardly noticed rolling waves or soothing hills.

It’s been estimated that a talkative person speaks around thirty thousand words a day! But the important question is, how do my words, whether many or few, affect those around me?

A Greek philosopher asked his servant to cook the best dish possible. The servant who was very wise, prepared a dish of tongue saying, “It’s the best of all dishes, for it reminds us that we may use the tongue to bless and express happiness, dispel sorrow, remove despair and spread cheer.”

The philosopher was quite intrigued by his servant’s philosophy and later asked him to cook the worst dish possible. Again he prepared a dish of tongue, saying, “It’s the worst dish for it reminds us that we may use the tongue to curse and break hearts, destroy reputations, create strife, and set families and nations at war.”

I didn’t have to eat tongue to grasp that servant’s point, but I certainly have had to eat my own words quite often before I’ve learnt to avoid saying things I’d like to retract later.  Which is why I believe now, the less said the batter.

King Solomon wrote: “The tongue of the wise promotes health.” The key word here is not tongue but ‘wise.’ The tongue is not in control but the person behind it is.

Like I said it was for two weeks I managed and my friends are curious.

“What do you do with your talk time now?” they asked.

“I talk.”

“You talk?” they asked looking at each other incredulously with a ‘I told you so’ nod.

“Yes,” I said, “I talk.”

“Without a phone?”

“The person I talk to, who’s the One who created my mouth, doesn’t need a phone to be contacted.”

“And what Bob, do you talk to this Person about?”

“To make me wise,” I whispered, “that when I do use my tongue I’ll use it to bless, express happiness, dispel sorrow, remove despair and spread cheer..!”

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My old house is going through much needed repairs and quite a mess, as workers move in and out and the already polluted air is extra laden with cement particles. Not the easiest living for anybody, and more so for a writer who expects peace and comfort all the time. Yes, I’m making excuses for my awful behavior to get away with all and sundry transgressions during this time!