Have you ever thrown open your window at the dead of the night and stood there looking out at the sleeping city? Have you watched the dying lights of the cars that slowly crawl back home for the night? Have you heard the night growing quieter with every passing minute? Slowly, one by one, the sounds die out; the mongrels, tired from their turf war quieten and accept a new member with a low whine; the faint music drifting in from another window suddenly dies as the window drifts into sleep; a wailing child calms down somewhere below as it is soothed into sleep; and a couple murmuring sweet nothings, reach their door, hand in hand. Slowly, the city prepares to slip into a deeper slumber.
Have you heard this sound of silence? The silence that envelopes all as the darkness thickens, once in a while sheared in places by a shrill cry of a night bird? Have you heard the wind rustling through the dark Gulmohar leaves or the sudden drizzle that adds soft music to this quiet? Do your thoughts find a voice in this silence and start a conversation with you?
How often do you feel that you need to return to this silence? Do you yearn for this silence in the morning as you wait impatiently behind the wheel, wait on the bus or make your way through a busy street as the world around you welcomes you to a virtual tsunami of sound? The radio blares; impatient horns honk at unassuming red lights; and eager peddlers thrust their wares upon you in their dreary, nasal drone. Do you on this daily trip seek out a quiet stretch of road where you rid your thoughts of this cacophony and spend some time rearranging them? Or do you seek out silence when too many voices crowd your mind with a multitude of opinions while you struggle with a problem at home or at work?
Do you long for silence when the newspapers scream scandal, scam and sham when referring to the people you once revered and respected most? When non-issues, no-news, debates, analysis, over-analysis, bias and subjective judgments drown the real issues at hand at the cost of the common man? When the Sensex hits the roof or slides beneath all human expectation? When self appointed preachers, leaders or teachers arrogantly lip lines that make you believe that they will lead you out of darkness only to find yourselves only deeper in the mire? When brands fight for your attention and promise to make you fairer, smarter, even more intelligent or picture perfect? When you grow tired of status updates, photo albums, tweets, voyeurs and the world of over-zealous social networkers?
Which is your favourite moment of silence? Is it in the midst of a heated exchange when you suddenly stop and take a step backwards to let silence take over and allowed sanity to return? Is it at the end of the day, when you have throw open your window yet again, put your feet up and enjoy a crimson sunset with your favourite cup in hand? Or does your love for silence take you on a longish drive out of the city limits? Or is it when the inquisitive, argumentative, giggly, hyper-active future has curled up in your arm allowing sleep to take over for the night? Do you find it between the pages of a book? In the beat of a lover’s heart softly pounding against your ear? Or when you are talking to your thoughts in the silence of the night?
Can you deny having lived, loved, listened to or yearned for the sounds of silence? I certainly can’t.
Read it on my TOI blog : Freeze Frame