The Healing Touch

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Touch is a sensation which often has numerous tales to tell. Touch has a memory of its own. Not only the heart, but even the brain can well identify the words depicted by touch. A lovable and happy touch is etched in our minds forever. I remember an incident I witnessed a few years ago portraying the power of touch.

My uncle was admitted to a nursing home as he was suffering from a sudden chest pain. After a thorough examination, the doctor declared that he had survived a mild attack and should be kept under observation for a few days. During my visits, one day, I noticed the patient in the cabin next to my uncle. A young man, severely injured in a car accident, was under treatment for about two months.What was more painful that he had lost his vision in that accident. While the man and his wife were travelling, somehow their car lost its control and bumped into a truck. A nurse informed me. It occurred early in the morning and, the truck driver didn’t dare or care to stop and rescue the poor souls.When they were brought lately to the hospital by the police, both of them were unconscious and almost half-dead. After about two months, both have recovered substantially, but the man was in a trauma. He was not at all ready to accept the truth; that he had lost his vision and, was in a state of permanent depression.

The story really melted my heart.

The next day, as I reached the nursing home, there was a small crowd in front of that cabin. Out of inquisitiveness, I asked the same nurse what was going on.

The man was throwing weird tantrums and, the therapist suggested that his wife should visit him. For the last two months, they were not in a stable physical state to meet each other. The man had not been informed about the visit for that could make him more restless.

Few minutes later, a pale, fragile, woman arrived in a wheelchair. She was taken to the side of her husband who was continuously bending his body with an effort to get down and was shouting incessantly like a madman. Two male nurses were there to prevent his attempts. The wife, her expression clearly showed, that, she was shocked by the sight. But then, she somehow gathered herself and, without uttering a word, she touched his hand….her husband’s hand!

Like a spell, like some charm applied, the husband stopped shouting and writhing at the very moment. He extended his hand and touched hers; a few seconds…and both of them started crying. It was hard for everybody present there to fight back tears.

A traumatic accident, an irreparable loss, two months of solitude- still they didn’t need to utter a single word to express their feelings for each other. There was something different about that touch. Sometimes, a touch reaches your heart. Sometimes, reaching out and, taking someone’s hand denote the beginning of a new journey.

That moment, I realised, a single touch speaks a thousand words.


‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

86 responses to “The Healing Touch

  1. I am not aware what you told was a fact or fiction but the accumulating tension was diffused by a simple and yet indescribably powerful touch. A poignant account told capably.

  2. A traumatic accident, an irreparable loss, two months of solitude- still they didn’t need to utter a single word to express their feelings for each other. There was something different about that touch. Sometimes, a touch reaches your heart. Sometimes, reaching out and, taking someone’s hand denote the beginning of a new journey.This is called जादू की झप्पी in Hindi which some time acts like miracle.

  3. I was in tears reading the post, so believe in the power of touch bestie and I believe in such honest words. your posts never fail to reach me. ok may be i am emo now🙂

  4. ooh what a tender moment. And you have captured it so beautifully through your words. I am feeling a little overwhelmed now after reading this. Makes me thankful for some gifts of life.

  5. We long what we long for and there’s no getting around it. A touch Mani, (if I may call you that) and how powerful and life altering it can be na? I can only wonder at how God has made us. There are ‘us’ who fight and kill and quench their selves and there are ‘us’ who long to melt in the hold of a little love and reassurance. This was a beautiful post I read in a long time.I can’t help but imagine a reflection of your mind and heart in the things that you write and share with the world. My best wishes for your life ahead Mani. May God fill, what seems like such a beautiful soul that He has already given you, with the touch of love and happiness to carry through the delightful and testing tides of life .

    • Your comment has made my day, Anupam. I truly hope, someday, people will understand that there is no peace in killing others, be it in the name of religion or country. But, sadly, that day seems like a distant dream.

      No problem at all. You can call me Mani, all of my friends say so😀
      Wish you a happy and prosperous life ahead. My best wishes for you…🙂

  6. A very heartfelt incident. It must be so hard to come to terms with what he had just lost. This story reminds me of how we take these things for granted, vision, speech or hearing ability, and are so concerned with superficial things like hair or nails.

    • You’ve penned a beautiful perspective here. Truly, we, the so called ‘able’ humans take these things granted. We never contemplate on the fact that life becomes totally different for those who are not having it!

      Thank you so much for the wonderful comment…🙂

  7. Such an emotional tale! I couldn’t help thinking about the poor couple, who’s lives were destroyed by an accident. I don’t know whom to blame? Can’t really blame the truck driver, who was scared for his own life, considering the Indian law and mentality, who prefer to thrash the driver first and then ask questions. It was a sad culmination of many dreams, ended in never ending darkness and on a set of a wheelchair. Sorry for going on a tangent! But, just couldn’t help thinking along these lines.

    A touch is indeed worth a thousand words. It was a very beautiful story indeed, and very touching.

    • Not a tangent way of mind at all. Precisely for this reason, victims of an accident are not taken care of. Even for the passers by, it is sometimes problematic to lend a helping hand, for that also leads to unnecessary harassment.:-/

  8. This is such a moving tale, Maniparna, and it perfectly illustrates the importance of touch and its ability to heal. Thanks for sharing.🙂

  9. Ah, the healing power of touch! Eloquently told, Mani, and when two souls, who clearly belong together, hold each other, there’s electricity flowing — love is recharged. Thank you for your poignant message!❤

  10. Beautiful written, Mani. Such a story to share and I hope the man and woman find peace and love with each other. Agreed a single touch can speak a thousand words. Sometimes it can even say things words can’t…it’s all about the feeling between two people🙂

  11. Wow a beautiful story about the power of love. How a simple touch can mean so much. Well written again.

  12. This is a very moving anecdote, Mani, for which many thanks, and it rather reminded me of this event by the artist Marina Abramović:

    Do you know the story behind this?

    • This was a performance artwork called The Artist is Present. From March 14 to May 31, 2010, the Museum of Modern Art held a major retrospective and performance recreation of Abramović’s work, the biggest exhibition of performance art in MoMA’s history. During the run of the exhibition, Abramović performed The Artist Is Present, a 736-hour and 30-minute static, silent piece, in which she sat immobile in the museum’s atrium while spectators were invited to take turns sitting opposite her. Ulay (the man in the video) made a surprise appearance at the opening night of the show. He is a former lover of Abramović but the two had not met for 22 years. This is why it was so emotional.

      Abramović sat in a rectangle drawn with tape in the floor of the second floor atrium of the MoMA; theater lights shone on her sitting in a chair and a chair opposite her. Visitors waiting in line were invited to sit individually across from the artist while she maintained eye contact with them. Visitors began crowding the atrium within days of the show opening, some gathering before the exhibit opened each morning to rush for a more preferable place in the line to sit with Abramović.

      Most visitors sat with the artist for five minutes or less and the line attracted no attention from museum security except for the last day of the exhibition when a visitor vomited in line and another began to disrobe. Tensions among visitors in line could have arisen from an understanding that for every minute each person in line spent with Abramović, there would be that many fewer minutes in the day for those further back in line to spend with the artist.

      Due to the strenuous nature of sitting for hours at a time, art-enthusiasts have speculated as to whether Abramovic wore an adult diaper to eliminate the need to move to urinate. Others have highlighted the movements she made in between sitters as a focus of analysis, as the only variations in the artist between sitters were when she would cry if a sitter cried and her moment of physical contact with Ulay, one of the earliest visitors to the exhibition.

      Abramović sat across from 1,545 sitters, including James Franco, Lou Reed and Bjork; sitters were asked not to touch or speak to the artist. By the end of the exhibit, hundreds of visitors were lining up outside the museum overnight to secure a spot in line the next morning. Abramović concluded the performance by slipping from the chair where she was seated and rising to a cheering crowd more than ten people deep.

      A support group for the “sitters,” “Sitting with Marina,” was established on Facebook,] as was the blog “Marina Abramović made me cry.” The Italian photographer Marco Anelli took portraits of every person who sat opposite Abramović, which were published on Flickr, compiled in a book and featured in an exhibition at the Danziger Gallery in New York.

      Abramović said the show changed her life “completely – every possible element, every physical emotion,” and that Lady Gaga saw it helped boost her popularity: “So the kids from 12 and 14 years old to about 18, the public who normally don’t go to the museum, who don’t give a shit about performance art or don’t even know what it is, started coming because of Lady Gaga. And they saw the show and then they started coming back. And that’s how I get a whole new audience.”

      • 736-hour and 30-minute static! That’s incredible! I didn’t know of this really is historical. Thanks for such a detailed comment, Hariod. I’m really obliged. THANK YOU…🙂

      • Hopefully, you see how it links with your article on touch, Mani. That moment with Ulay was the only instance when Marina made physical contact with a participant, and it was a very powerful one, I think you’ll agree.

  13. A lovely story Maniparna. I’ve seen the importance of that in my own family with someone who was very ill. But I guess the concept of touch you introduced is also communicated in other ways beyond the physical be it in words or deeds – we’re touching each others lives all the time.😀

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