July 26, 2011

Of sounds and of sight...

A series of sounds keeps me entertained while I drive back home from work; every day. The morning ride also strokes past the same bunch of places, as the one back home in the evening does, but the same places sound and feel way different from the morning rush hour noise. The evening sounds feel as beautiful as the gentle blend of orange and purple of a monsoon sky, spread across the silver lake.

The beauty isn’t really seen or heard. Or maybe, it is seen and heard at the same time. Today, the routine beautiful ride left me thinking if I could really hear those colours. It left me thinking that maybe, I was even beginning to see those sounds.
It all began with a rustle of wind and fine sand, blowing through my office window. I looked at the flyover on the other side and leisurely noticed the foam of dust moving closer and I felt a familiar sound; not of a vibration that would contact my ear, but of a vision that reached the eye, much faster than the eyelids defended me from the sound that I so fell in love with. I opened my eyes, after what felt like an year's pause, confused if I had really heard it!

I have always loved the voice of prayer from a mosque. I never really know a word of the language, but end up feeling like I really understand what it intends to convey. I cannot comprehend the information and unfortunately, I cannot explain the feeling. All I know is that this is one voice that meant to reach me and when it does, the objects that lie in front of my eyes lose their meaning. Then, is a moment when I see this divinity and nothing else.

As I sub-consciously move past the mosque, I hear the distance, increasingly fading the sound away from me.  The vision disappears gradually; as I see a crowd at the vegetable market, next in my path, take a visible form; vegetable vendors, beggars and the buyers; carts, vehicles and street lights; dogs, pigeons and cattle; plastic covers, bags and money. Every single bit of matter seems desperately in want of being heard; each one of them, with a voice, visible to eyes that can hear.

I wonder how irreplaceable some sounds become in our life. Happiness and comfort and so often associated with certain sounds; terror and sorrow with other kinds. Some sounds seem so real and alive, while some so artificial and lifeless. 

I wonder how capably, we replaced some simple real sounds with some invisible mechanical ones; intelligently.

We cannot seem to signal to a vehicle with an expression on our face; we honk.  We cannot seem to call out to a person over a closed door; we use the bell. Mothers no longer sing their little ones to sleep; media player does. We cannot walk a couple of steps to speak to a subordinate; we ring the bell. The cock no longer wakes up early for he takes the alarm clock for granted!

If only, I could see even one of those latter sounds, I might actually believe that they were real!


Can you see that voice?

No comments: