"What is the sound of one hand clapping?" is one of the famous Zen Koans.These koans are like puzzles but they do not have defined answers but they are deep questions which act as triggers to the Zen disciple to ponder over life and come up with his own unique answers.
The sound of one hand clapping!
I have heard this sound in my heart beat when someone I care for deeply and love is hurting and all my efforts to reach out go unresponded.
I have heard it in the sigh of mothers whose children have "grown up" and left them to lead their own lives. I have seen it in their longing looks when they crave for just one more time for the child to call out for them and make them feel needed.
I have seen it in the silent tears of young widows whose future has been cruelly snatched in the dark hours of one cold night leaving them frozen in the memories of a hazy past.
I have also seen it in the serenity of the old man who used to walk with his wife until a month back but now alone; he keeps the same pace that it almost seems like he is walking in step with a wife who has just become invisible.
I guess the sound of one hand clapping is just the sound of rejection, separation,indifference or complete identification.

(Transferred from old posts)
9 Responses
  1. This is beautiful

  2. A.R.Malik Says:

    the sound of 1 hand calpping is "cl"
    -Terry pratchett

  3. ravi Says:

    It also means that one's left has left the right.

  4. Mahadevan Says:

    The sound of one hand clap is separation, rejection and is incomplete. "The song in my heart I bore, long after it was heard no more' said Wordsworth about the Solitary Reaper. This is one hand clapping.

  5. Beautiful post, Usha.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Usha, that was a really nice post. And anything i say about how nice it is, will only be an understatement.

  7. Usha Says:

    Sammy: thanks

    Abhilash: Hehe...( and a scornful shake of head!!)

    Ravi: (smile) yes!!

    Mahadevan: absolutely. I didnot rememeber it at all. Thank you..

    Vaish: Thanks >:D<

    Pooh: That is a very nice compliment. Thanks. :)

  8. Shashi Iyer Says:


  9. Anonymous Says:

    I can feel it is something incomplete, something mysterious and something for which you crave but cant understand it completely.