While not being able to speak is frustrating at most times, there are some times when keeping quiet is advantageous.
Sometimes I get angry about something and think of making some cutting comment but the thought of the tedium involved in calling Jaya and dictating the comment will cool my temper and I will satisfy myself by giving a baleful glare. Anyway the retort will not have the expected impact because of the absence of non-verbal cues. Five minutes later I realise how stupid I would have been if I had actually dictated what I had intended to say. My forced silence often saved me from making a priceless ass of myself.
Many people in this neighbourhood know that I am from IIMA. That meant that I am only interested in business matters. People will talk about inflation or the gyrations of the sensex. They will talk about some articles in Business India or Business World. As I wrote earlier, I don't have any interest in these matters nowadays. But I can't let down my alma mater so I sit silently and nod sagely.
Once I had a visitor who unfortunately taught some management courses somewhere. He found out that I am from IIMA and started telling me about a new book on Human Resources Management which was much better than the books that he had previously been using. He waxed eloquent about the new material in the book. I sat silently, smiled broadly and
blinked strategically, hoping that he will conclude that we were on the same wavelength. On such occasions I safeguard the prestige of IIMA by maintaining a studious silence. A closed mouth gathers no foot - old Zen saying.
Ask not what you can do with speech, ask what lack of speech can do for you is a useful motto for me to follow.