Friday, October 8, 2010
I am in Silence
It all began when he asked me if I knew what "the sound of silence" means. Since he was neither Simon, nor Garfunkel, I found it deeply insulting.
Hell, I invented Silence. How could he question me?
It came back a few days ago. The way my heart pounded silently. What you don't hear when Madonna and Timberlake team up with Timbaland for 4 minutes. Tick tock.
When I went out for a walk today, it happened again. The campus is full of hidden life that makes its presence known through actions and non-actions. It grows on you, like Harman Baweja in "What's Your Raashee?" and Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter books.
So there was this cricket, making a ruckus and oddly enough, seemingly in sync with my footsteps. I quickened my pace. So did the cricket! I fell back. And there it was, right on cue. A little later, someone started playing the dhaak. It's the drum they play in Bengal during the Durga Puja. And since the festive season has officially begun, this had to happen sooner or later. Except that the cricket and the dhaak churned an intoxicating symphony. They didn't need me anymore. I needed them, instead.
Isn't it irritating when people try to interpret your silences? As if you don't deserve a life filled merely with sensations? As if pleasure needs a purpose. As if Julia Roberts really needed someone like Javier Bardem in "Eat. Pray. Love.".. why did he turn on the music anyway? Why did he fill in the blanks? Why do people always fill in the blanks?
Let the vacuum be. Don't claim it!
Don't ascribe meaning to my silence as if it's a land that you discovered and conquered. There "is" no meaning anyway. You created it for your convenience. Don't make me sit with the fruits and vegetables as you shop for grocery.
I sit when I need to watch and remember and hear the world go by. I sit, drinking tea or coffee. The boys outside the Transit House clap and cheer as the men's doubles badminton match heats up the sneaky coolness of a lazy evening. There are flies all around, dogs barking for redemption, theories built and torn apart all in a smoky minute. My mobile flickers for mercy. The promise of silence because the battery is low. I am gravitating towards that light at the end of the torpor. The promise of solitude in Dehradun. The promise of transformation in Kalkaji. I stop being the only girl watching the match and turn into a dot, invisible to the aeroplanes that whooshed by... high.. high above. Why do they let me pay them later for the tea? Why do they trust me? Why do they remember me?
Why does she call me "dear"? She calls me a bird. I want to believe I can fly. She tries to imply that I have a nest.
Untagged photographs on Facebook. Silence hurts. He won't let go of me if she doesn't let him go.
The racquet whipped the air. And again! And yet again! That's the sound I want for my slideshow. I want bulletpoints. And the sound of authority. The sound of black. A cold squeal. A rumble, like someone cleared their throat. It doesn't matter if they speak after that. They don't need to.