The inner conflict I experience before taking the simplest of decisions is a cause of exasperation for ‘the family’. “Why the dilly- dallying?” “Why are you are so indecisive?” “Is this the end of the world?” I allow the voices around me to recede into the background as I let myself be guided by my “inner voice”. “There are voices all around us, our enemies and our friends. Do this …. Don’t do that…. the chorus never ends. But I shall always listen to that quiet inner voice. It’s still and definite and I have made my choice. These beautiful words from a song learnt at school still ring in my ears and I ponder over them during each moment of uncertainty. I must confess I have no clue about who has originally written or sung it but there it is, shining like a beacon light filling me with confidence and a conviction all my own.

Some of these decisions may have not turned out right but at least I have the satisfaction that they were conscious actions not imposed on me. Clearly this leaves me in a position of power and no one to blame but myself when results are not on expected lines. Anyway coming back to the ‘inner voice’ I don’t think that mine has parallels with other ‘inner voice’ decisions purportedly made in the interests of the ‘Nation’ by some high profile leaders. I am neither in that league nor do my decisions impact a nation largely unaware of my existence. If you do not understand what I am saying, chances are that I am in yet another ‘Lonely Whale’ situation, a place I have visited innumerable times in my life. So, what do I do? I just change track reaching out to people at their level. This is difficult, involving inane conversations socially and clichéd expressions professionally. However, when they are the need of the hour use them with a straight face despite being out of your niche.

Blessed with an uncanny knack for conversation I can strike up one with the toughest nuts and have even won appreciation for getting a wall to respond … so to say. The wall in question was a scholar and a powerful leader famous for his pursed lips that never acknowledged or denied anything and I used all my skill to get a ‘one sentence sound bite’ from him for television. So precious were those words that my channel played them over and over again. But for all my eloquence I have encountered several situations where I have reached a dead end. Not finding people who are on the same page or understand what you want to communicate leaves you powerless, rudderless and lonely in a crowd somewhat akin to the lonely whale. It is fine to have these experiences but realize that those who share the same page are as rare as an oasis in the desert.

The loneliest whale in the world inhabiting the Pacific Ocean apparently sings at a frequency of 52 Hertz unlike the blue whale and fin whales that sing at frequencies ranging between 10 to 39 Hertz. This results in it being lonely and alienated. I have often given this example in talks about communication to students.  Communication that doesn’t reach out is futile leaving the communicator like a lonely whale because of frequencies that do not match.  So how come I have these moments? Here’s my secret I have them but no one knows. The frustrating times when I know that there’s no matching frequency are cleverly concealed. So I grin and bear it, having conversations with myself and inwardly patting myself on the back.  Not fitting into the accepted framework can be a boon or bane as one wades through the ocean like world which has a variety of species of different frequencies.

Much as I feel like one on umpteen occasions, the lonely whale has to remain an example of improper communication. The success of communication is concealing your own discomfiture to break the wall. Here you go. Don’t wait for the world to understand you or look for the same frequency or wavelength. No I am not a motivational speaker, life positive volunteer or a meditating guru. My advice is for free and I am just a motivated communicator.

ARUNA RAVIKUMAR