I can hear the silence around me. Didn’t know silence had a sound. It is very distinct. It has different notes, different tempo, pitch. It is the sound of the birds chirping, leaves rustling in the breeze…sounds I grew up listening to. Those were the days of bonhomie, children playing in the open parks, running in abandon, adults sitting together discussing the politics of the world. A time when life was slow paced. People knew their neighbours, met up and visited each other impromptu. Life was easy. Life was simple, life was good.
As is wont to happen, things evolved. We became more technology oriented. Took pride in the fact that technology could do things better than the humans. In our race to create more technology that would make us redundant, we forgot what it was to live.
Our aspirations changed. Our cars, gadgets and other tangible things became paramount. The sound of silence was now replaced with the buzzing of mobile phones, machines humming, vehicles honking because someone was in a tearing hurry to reach somewhere. There was no time. There was never enough time. So much to do, so little time. One always had to be a step ahead of time, technology, people around us. We were constantly in a race, but didn’t know who we were running against. In all this, things changed. Slowly, surreptitiously, slyly.
Weekend trips to the mall replaced meeting friends, retail therapy became the cure all course of treatment. The smaller pleasures of life were no longer a part of life. We had started to behave like the technologically operated machines…on auto pilot, mechanical, mundane, monotonous. But life was still good. We had the freedom to do what we wanted, go where we wanted. Only, our choices had become limited.
One fine day, we were shaken out of our slumber. Things could no longer go on as they were till now. We had to stay away from people if we wanted to survive. Our only hope was to stay home and keep minimal interaction with the world outside the four walls of our homes. But that was okay. The technology that we had been relentlessly working on was going to keep us safe in our homes, without having to interact much with others of our species.
There is no longer the whirring of air conditioners, no vehicles trying to squeeze into the bare minimum space on the roads, no traffic snarls, no mums screaming for children to get ready for school, no mad rush to cram everything into the available 24 hrs. Suddenly, once again, I hear the sound of silence…the distinctly different notes, tempo, pitch. Once again I hear the birds chirping, hear the children playing with abandon. Now I also see the silence…the birds I wasn’t aware of, the neighbours I hadn’t spoken to, the games I had forgotten to play, the music I no longer had the time to listen to, the movies I had wanted to watch, but never got the opportunity, rekindle the love, find joy in relationships, just be.
My world will never be the same again. How about your’s?
Thoughts and musings by Suma Rao
Suma Rao is Founder Director of The Peoplecraft, based out of Hyderabad, India. She has vast experience in Coaching and facilitating behavioural change workshops. Suma is a dreamer, an empath and a positivity proponent.