Ghalib on Communication
Chacha Ghalib continues to inspire many souls in this land but I’m sure that he has said things that use the ordinary language of a “love affair” but actually depict deeper thoughts about life. Earlier I covered his thoughts on Quality and today I thought to share my understanding of some of his thoughts on Communication.
Aagahee Daam e shuneedan jis qadar chaahay bichhayay
Mudaa anqa hay apnay aalam e taqreer ka
The very first entry in short selection of Ghalib’s Ghazals talks about how communication is interpreted and Ghalib says: “It is up to you how you want to extend the original words that you have listened because who and how it was said is not there”. So many times, the message gets lost in the layers of management and the vision set by a CEO is just thought as totally irrelevant thing by the actual employee who is supposed to strive for achieving that vision. So it is very important that the message is sent again and again and preferably by your own presence. No one else can explain what you want to say. Agile manifesto is another example of how it is adapted by different teams in different ways. It is okay to have variations but if it is against the spirit of what was said then it really hurts.
Daikhna Taqreer ke lazzat kay jo uss nay kaha
Main nay yeh jaana kay goya yeh bhe meray dil main hay
Ghalib knew that art of communication is not to impress upon the rational minds but it is more about the feelings that are associated with hearts. He says “See how delicious are his words such that whatever he said, I felt all of this is already there in my heart”. So many researches are now there to knowing your audience and say things that connect with them. If the listeners don’t feel what you are saying, then you’ll not be able to move them and follow your message.
Aankh kee tasveer sarnaamay pay kheenchy hay kay taa
Tujh pay khul jaaway kay iss ko hasrat e Deedar hay
This is one of the beauties and what might have appeared then as a bizarre concept, it is now widely accepted that “A picture is worth thousand words”. Ghalib says “I have drawn the picture of eye on the envelope of my letter, so that you can know that writer has a deep desire to meet you”. Drawing an eye to say “Hey, I wanna meet you” is a brilliant idea and facebook also realized lately that they need more emoticons for expressing feelings. The lesson is clear that since our mind is trained towards seeing the world first and then reading words, a picture says much more than words. That is why I mostly have some descriptive picture on each of my blog post.
Day kay khat munh daikhtay hay Naama bar
Kuch to paighaam zubaani aur hay
Ghalib knows that verbal communication surpasses over written communication and says “The one who brought me your letter is looking at me after handing over the letter. There must be a verbal message that is not in the writing”. If you work in any environment where emails are primary way of communication, you should know that emails bring no emotion and are so confusing. I have seen teams sitting in same hall or same location and exchanges dozens of emails in a day. It would have been much better if you stand up from your desk and just walk to the person and talk at length. The verbal communications are two way and reveal how other person is feeling. Ah those feelings, understanding them and responding them accordingly is what good communication is all about.
Bhalaa ussay na sahee kuch mujhee ko raham aata
Asar meray nafas e bay asar main khaak naheen
“If he didn’t care, at least I should have shown some mercy. Because whatever I was saying was having no impact on him”. I think Ghalib wants to say that if you are boring, then at least you should be short. So many times you sit in presentations that kill you of lengthy boredom and so many times you start a blog post and leave midway as it is too long and not being interesting. I usually use a yardstick to have a blog post of about 500-800 words because I know that I can be boring at times. Another rule suggested by some experts is to limit emails to a screen length so that they become easy on the readers.
With that in mind, I had listed down many other verses but I cut short here.
Have poetry impressed you to improve upon your communication? If so, let us know please.