It’s Only Words

I‘m sure most of us have heard this song:

It’s only words

And words are all I have

To take your heart away

“Words” by Bee Gees

What is it about words that makes them so powerful? Is it because they are a mode of communication? Or is it because sometimes actions alone don’t cut it to express how we feel? Or maybe it’s something else altogether?

There is no right answer here. In fact, for most people—myself included—actions trump words. As they rightly should, of course. Because your poetic, heavenly words mean absolutely nothing if your actions are not in line with what you say.

I mean, it’s no rocket science. What would you prefer — meaningful words without any action to back it up, or no proper communication but actions and evidences that prove how much someone cares?

The latter, right?

It is so obvious.

So, why do words matter? What is it about words that make us stop and take notice?

I don’t know. Maybe I am biased. Because the inherent writer inside me can never not be biased to the written word. And to the spoken word as well, for that matter. Words mean so much to me. Why? Is it because I tend to express myself through them? Or is it probably because they could sound almost angelic when used the right way?

Or maybe it is nothing else but just the die-hard romantic in me that craves to find the right words for every situation? Hell, I cannot even post a meagre selfie without trying add some semblance of poetic wisdom in it through the caption.

I love words. That’s a given here. In English, in Hindi, or even in an overtly melodramatic Bollywood language, for that matter. Words are like fuel to my soul. They keep me going.

And, it’s not limited to personal equations and relationships. No.

As much as I would like to paint myself as this eternal dramatic heroine pining for the beauty of words, that is not actually the case. Even in my professional life, I value words and the clarity they bring along more than anything else. I mean, be it making lists or breaking down goals into smaller milestones or even laying out the strategic proposal before embarking upon the action plan, I am all about the written word!

Words help me make sense of the world.

Sounds weird? It probably is. But it works for me.

Why do I write? Why do I have this blog that I very rarely update? It is because I use words to gather my thoughts and start putting things in perspective. Sure, thoughts help. And sure, talking helps. And those of you who know me personally know how much I LOVE to talk. And still, somehow, writing trumps it all.

No other reason apart from the fact that I love to rely on words. Spoken word helps a lot, too. It gives a structure to the random verses masquerading as legitimate thoughts inside my brain. Until I get it all out, it is nothing more than a veritable bedlam of chirruping.

**Side note: I learnt the phrase “veritable bedlam of chirruping” from a Khushwant Singh story in my English Lit class way back in high school. Goes to show how much of an impact words can have on me.**

But oh the unquestionable bias I have towards the written word, it is on another level. I guess I have said this before somewhere as well. A thought, in my head, is just a thought. The same thought spoken has a temporary physicality through sound waves that carry the random mess from my head into someone else’s ears. It does not last, though. But oh, the written word? Once the thought is written down, suddenly it has a temporal form. It is tangible, it is out there, and it is eternal. Now, it becomes all the more difficult to ignore it.

Words hold the power to sway the world per their liking.

So, there comes a lot of responsibility along with the written word. Spiderman-adjacent? Not really. But yet, significant.

Phew. I have a lot of words in my head about “words.” Inception, much?

Anyway, coming back to the Bee Gees song.

Not trying to take any hearts away here, but sometimes I do feel like words are all that I have. It’s my words that make me who I am, because that is how I present myself to the world. Sure, that’s how most people present themselves since words are an integral part of our mode of communication. But my identity as a writer sometimes lends a lot more value to my words. Because not only do I associate my sense of self with it, but also my sense of worth is somewhat attached to the words I write.

I was reading the brilliant novel “Ikigai” a while ago. In a nutshell, your ikigai is something that brings together what you love to do, what you’re good at, what you can get paid for, and what the world needs. While reading the book, my mind would constantly flutter about thinking what my ikigai is. And somehow, it would always end up at my passion for writing.

And so, I place a lot of value on what I write. Because sure it is not what the world needs, but I hope some of my words can somehow help someone, even one person in my community, to feel seen, to feel connected.

I have had a few people benefit from my writing in the past. Even now, when someone says they can relate to my words — here or through my micropoetry on Instagram — I feel on top of the world. It’s not much, but it is something I cherish.

So, in a very weird, absurd way, words are my superpower. And they are all I have.

Actions, gestures, expressions, and other non-verbal ques would always be of the utmost essence. But for me, sometimes it truly is only words. And, words are quite literally all I have to take your heart away..!

– J

Thought I’d drop a link to the song here since I have been referencing it so much and also because I do actually think the Boyzone version of the song is pretty neat:

Image Source : WordPress Free Photo Library provided by Pexels

Copyright Disclaimer: I do not own the images / media featured in the post. All rights belong to the rightful owner/owners. No copyright infringement intended.

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