Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Song of Silence

On 22d March, when the curfew was announced for the first time during this Corona virus crisis, I woke up and what hit me was the silence. Not even birds chirped. No dogs barking or cats mewling. Of course, there was no vehicular noise, which was to be expected.

Since then, as traffic has come down and now we are in the lockdown period, again it is the near-silence from the other living things that is the most noticeable. Animals do not seem to feel the need to keep up a conversation, share thoughts or communicate all the time. I have visited jungles courtesy my photographer husband, and there too, it is the man and his machine that make the most noise. Even large gatherings of deers are predominantly silent. Wild boars, ducks and deers can be seen together, and langurs on the trees, but they all remain predominantly silent. They make a sound only to communicate danger or to call out to each other for mating.

Even in the city, you can hear parakeets as they take off or land, crows when they seek or find food and koel - well, that's a noisemaker because it too likes to hear its own voice. But by and large, they all remain silent.

Man, on the other hand, ah! He needs to talk, to share, to basically always hear his own voice. He has to fill his world with sounds all the time. If he is not talking, he has to listen to music, or watch TV. And in these days of social media, reams of text add to the noise, but videos have also become rampant. Everybody has something to share - a great recipe, an insight into current affairs, a comedy video or just their great voice...

In all this, where is the time and the silence to listen to your own inner voice? No, no, I don't even want to hear that! I want to hear the inner silence, the absolute stillness that comes with it. Have you tried listening to that? Shut off the music, shut off the TV, shut out the people. Don't replace it with internal noise, chatting with yourself non-stop.

Just train it in and use this opportunity to listen to that silence.

You will not be bored. You will not feel lonely. You will not seek company.

That is real music. Enjoy it.   

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