you can still see them in some of the villages down south. they might not be noticed, but they’re there and i’ve seen them. they’re located by the roadside here and there, typically like a culvert, made of 3 slabs of granite. two are planted vertically on the ground to support the third horizontal slab that would usually reach up to shoulder level. as a little boy, i’ve wondered why they made culverts so tall. only later did i realise that they weren’t culverts at all, but what is known as a ‘sumai tangi’. it is tamil, and quite literally translated, would mean something like a ‘weight bearer’. these are apparently made for the weary traveller, to off load his or her wares, which are usually carried on the head. isn’t that a simple and beautiful concept?

i’ve had the privilege of knowing human beings who can be compared to the sumai tangi. they’re the sort of people who would be most easily approachable when we need to relieve ourselves of some of our inner burdens. they’re ever ready to lend a ear, and they always come up with kind, supportive words. and funny thing is, one almost never sees them being troubled by this thing or that. or probably they do get troubled, but don’t bother others with it. sometimes i think God minimises their troubles because they so easily accept and carry other people’s burdens.

i had one of those heavy days yesterday, when i felt unduly afflicted with this heart wrenching pain. there wasn’t any reason in particular. it so happened that i had to speak to quite a few friends and relatives on the same day. and i noticed that they were all, in some of or the other, quite deeply sad. in fact, i’d even think they spend much of their lives drowned in sadness. which in my opinion, is quite unnecessary. but, i also believe in the inevitability of things, and so i felt quite helpless when it came to these people i loved, to see them so sad.

i thank God, for being with me every moment, for helping me sail through such tough times. to me, He comes in the form of friends, family and that rare breed of sumai tangis. and in the form of silence. i think God is in the silence. and i am grateful for it.


‘the beauty of life does not depend on how happy you are, but on how happy others can be because of you.’


23 thoughts on “Silence

  1. I hope you’re feeling much better now dharma. “i thank God, for being with me every moment..”I pray that God continues to be with you, your friends, and your relatives!

  2. Nice read….I wonder how would it be if ‘sumai tangi’ was a group of professionals, something like ‘rudallis – who come to weep when someone die, professionals! But you know what, we all are ‘sumai tangi’ at times…I’ve stopped believing in God..happened some years ago…but I agree if something comes closer to that concept it is the human ‘sumai tangi’….cheers, we all need loads of them.

  3. Lovely post Dharma! Ur an absolute inspiration in my life…cos I learn alot from ur posts here. They give me strength, courage and most of all help in my spiritual growth. TY!**and in the form of silence. i think God is in the silenceI really think so too. If I feel sad and I wanna vent out things, I realise that no matter how hard I scream n shout, I feel absolute peace only in silence. Cos thats when Im in conversation with God.Keshi.

  4. nice post dharma!somehow i quite agree with ur line, “god is in the silence”. sometimes i find god or i find truth in words spoken…those are rare times though. especially wen some things need to be let out and cant be suppressed too long!judging from ur earlier posts, u happen to be quite frank. its an amazing quality. i wish i cud be as self expressed as that! πŸ˜€

  5. ADITI,it doesn’t sound weird at all. i have always felt that God gives us exactly what we need, when we need it. i am glad :)AKKA,anytime!MISS I,thank you. yes, i am feeling much better.D,we may stop beleiving in one thing or the other, but the Truth does, and will remain, my dear friend :)DEVIL,u said.

  6. SUPERNOVA,i think it rarely comes naturally – for me, it is quite cultivated.KESHI,i am actually quite honoured. to think that even a bum can inspire -only shows ur sterling quality as a life long learner.SHITRINT,i am usually quite outspoken, especially about myself. i think it shows more here coz of being comfortably unknown.DEEPTHI,u r most welcome! thanks for dropping by – keep coming in more often πŸ™‚

  7. So beautifully written Dharma…You inspire me with your beautiful posts.”i think God is in the silence” I agree with you there is so much peace in silence and God will listen to u no matter what..I strongly believe.I hope you are feeling better πŸ™‚ You have a beautiful heart Dharma :)*Hugs*Stay Beautiful…!

  8. Yes, sumai tangis are a rare breed.I think they are fast dying breed these days and one does feel blessed having them around.I can’t live without these people around.:-)p.s. I think I did get hesse wrong. Am horrible with spellings even if I am an English major.

  9. Great post and quote. We are allowed to have our sad days. As long as they don’t go on too long, its ok. Sensitive people pick up on the sadness of others. Just sit in a mall one day and observe, you can pick em out everytime.yes I am a kerouacrelated to Jack Kerouacmy grandfather was his uncleWhy don’t you just take my darmabum novel of the blog and make it your thumbnail, that would be really cool.And you mentioned you thought my script was hard to read. What would you suggest for a script as I am writing on pink parchment paper?

  10. VASU,i am not entirely sure if they are rare indeed – for we all don the role of a listener when our loved ones need us. :)SOPHIE,hugs to u too! am glad u liked the post…TKKEROUAC,sitting in mall is undoubtedly the most boring thing to do *grin*i don’t know how to do this thumkbnail, gave it a shot – couldn’t figure 😦 wil try again when i find the time.about the script – not sure but i just find all caps a lil annoying. what would go on pink parchment, i have no clue :)ERIC,u said it – its the only place on can really find Him, methinks.SUGAR,haven’t read it, nor have i heard of it, but will look it up – thanks πŸ™‚

  11. HDWK,:)SADHANA,i strongly believe that He is the greatest sumai tangi of all – ever with us, never failing. it is we who get too lost to realise this. did i tell u that i like your name – it means so much…:)

  12. So rightly said…He is the “sumai tangi” for all of us. He is the silence during which most of the contemplation is done and answers received.He is with us all the time, silently walking with us!GBUArti

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