Wednesday, April 16, 2014

'N' is for Nothing!

Nothing. What a versatile word that is!

When I was newly-wed, I sometimes used to ask my husband what he was thinking. Pat came the same reply every time. "Nothing". It took me quite some time to figure that some men are wired that way, they do not think so much all the time.
That is so unlike me. I am a compulsive thinker and there's no saying where my thoughts will take me. At one point of time I was keen to meditate. All the books told me to clear my mind. Think of nothing in particular, they said. Impossible, just the fact that I was told not to think of anything made me run the list from dinner to summer vacation to Ugandan politics!
When the girls were young and I was home, sometimes, they were unusually quiet. Any parent know that can only mean trouble. I'd enter the room and ask. "What are you doing?" Two guilty faces would look at me. "Nothing."  Of course, that nothing either meant the contents of the toy cupboard were all on the floor, or there was water and paint everywhere or some similar disaster.
As the girls grew older and their educational demands grew, they started studying into the night. I would wake up suddenly and hear strange noises emanating from the kitchen. The lights are blazing. I quietly ask, "what are you doing?" They jump. "Nothing," comes the reply. Of course, nothing means that the cookie box has been raided, the cola is over, the ham and cheese are on the kitchen counter and the girls are happily munching on something!
I get home, the girls are fighting. Right from the staircase I can hear them, just about getting ready to murder one another. I enter through the door and yell. "What the hell is happening. Why are you shouting like that?"
Of course, the silence is immediate. An answer is mumbled, "nothing."

Yes, this nothing-ness is everywhere. In the absence of those we love, in the tear drop that we did not allow to escape, in the quiet sigh of another day just before it starts. It fills my life. And  as time passes, I appreciate it more and more, what a lovely place to hide!
In fact, if you ask me why I just looked away and smiled, I too would reply, "nothing."


  1. 'Nothing' is the easiest word to escape from expressing the true feeling

  2. I absolutely related to this post, I am a compulsive thinker, but surely all writers are and my spouse of 23 years is a NOTHING kind of adorable lovable , love of my life ! #AtoZchallenge ☮Peace ☮ ღ ONE ℒℴνℯ ღ ☼ Light ☼ visiting from

  3. Yeah, it's everywhere, isn't it? peace. :)