Posted in Kindred, Life, Realité, Thoughts, thoughts to think

Voids and Blanks

There is one thing which I notice when I wake up every day, and when I go back to bed, these days. The silence.
Living in a busy part of the city, I am used to noise from dawn to dusk. I have been used to waking up to morning traffic frantically honking it’s way around, people walking around and feeling alive with petty yelling, hawkers testing their lungs by shouting out their products, kids playing in the streets with their high pitched chatter, and neighbors filling my ears with noise which can only be termed satanic.
I wake up to silence these days. It is not like, the activities have suddenly died, but its like they have been muted. The honk no longer has the zing in it, people no longer have their hearts in their yells, hawkers are the most impacted, I see their battered faces hiding behind those tiny masks, as they whimper trying to make their ends meet.
As I watch people from my balcony, I recognize many of them, I know many shopkeepers around my house, many have seen me grow up, I have seen many grow up and inherit businesses from their parents, I have seen them expand their businesses, in some cases lose a lot of it too, I have seen ups and downs in their life, as I live through mine. Now as I watch them carry on their daily life, I see the agony on their faces. They dont know what’s next. The silence of uncertainty has been deafening.
I had never thought much about local businesses, and how we should nurture them. When I first heard this idea from a close friend, about 10 years ago in a foreign country, I dismissed it as a first world problem, I thought who are we kidding, how can these giant corporations take over our friendly neighborhood businesses. Fast forward ten years around, when I order anything and everything on Amazon, I order my groceries on big basket, when I buy my son’s stationary online, I didnt realize what I was doing to my own fellows back home. In this time of immense fear and toxic uncertainty, when small business owners are fighting for their ends to meet, I have realized what my friend meant 10 years ago. However, even though I feel for them, it is not making me run to their shops to give them business, instead I frantically look for delivery shots online. The fear of virus has made me selfish enough, such that my selfishness has triumphed over my duty towards humanity.
This silence, which I have always been looking forward to, has become a bit of a nightmare. I am looking forward to all possible ways to fill in this silence. I have paid more money to Netflixs, Hotstars, and Primes then they deserve, in an attempt to fill my silence with creative words, I even become a “ullu” in the pursuit. No words can fill silence forcefully, can it?. I have filled my day with lot of walking and exercise, with never ending work, with movies and books, and a lot of family time. Despite of all this, I can still hear the silence. This nerve wrecking, insanely deafening silence.
My worst attempt to fill in for this silence has been via news channels. I have heard all kinds of news casters, the screamers, the learned bearded scholars, the biased, the international, in languages which require translation, from lands far away with a whole new world of problems. Whichever channel I see, its showing the same fate of people across the world, some blame it one others, others blame it on themselves. Suffering has been so enormous and universal. This silence has enveloped the whole world.
As I hear my son shout his way into this room, his childlike innocence reminds of a thing which lightens my mood, “hope”. I think these three magical words are what we have left, “hope”, “faith” and “belief” to fight this silence.
I thought I love silence, but this is not what I asked for.

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