A tailor bird almost never sits still and if you’re a bird watcher you’d know; its incessant tweeting can be painful to some. I want to start by narrating this beautiful encounter one cloudy morning on my terrace. The tailor bird decided to do something differently that day, which left me a different person in some ways. It was honestly lucky I spotted one, perched motionless on a branch almost a meter away from me; like a breathing statue, in the quite moist air of the early morning. We were both letting the stillness soak into us. It felt like we both felt each others presence, almost a conversation without any language. What was so special about this moment anyway?
I met silence that day. I don’t know if the tailor taught me something or it was just Bangalore weather working its charm, I was mesmerized.
Silence can be felt anywhere and everywhere and you don’t have to be any special place for it. One of the Fridays in June this year, as I stepped out of my room, my mom in her usual morning-tea spot expecting a ‘good morning’, was being confronted with a dumb charade. Unable to convey my point I wrote a note- “I’m not speaking the whole day”. I could tell she was happy inside—one day of peace. This experiment didn’t mean I was going to lock myself up; I went about my day normally. My curiosity to Vipasana Meditation led me to this challenge, and it wasn’t as easy as I had in mind.
I almost blurted out when emotions took over at any point. Just like all other bad habits, I realized, we have made this a habit to keep talking all the time. Unnecessary details and information being discussed, explain ourselves more than needed and repeat sentences till the listener wants to run away.
I recall being at Echoes in Koramangala (Bangalore), a unique restaurant, which is mostly managed and run by specially-abled people who are hearing- and speech-impaired. They gave better service than any regular restaurant and I was in awe. How little we need to say to convey what we mean. Just a few gestures and nods can also suffice. Actions speak louder than words and this was like a mind opening experience. If you’re a foody then all the more reasons to head there.
We don’t need to be loud to get the point across to the other person. Subtlety will be louder than your loudest words as read in a recent article, “Those who use the nuances of silence as their most effective communication tool. Indeed, how well we use silence in communication is an indicator of our emotional intelligence. Those who speak less are heard with more care and taken more seriously.” Times of India Vineetha Nangia.
From whatever I know in Hindustani Classical Music, its’ said that there are seven Swars and they can be sung on different scales. The seven notes in music are like different sound frequencies. If all these frequencies are shut down only one big emptiness remains and that is silence. In Silence any swar gets created and silence bears that swar and becomes that frequency, then gets back to becoming silence. All notes begin from silence and end in silence. Hence silence is the biggest swar, can become anything from being nothing.
From the Big bang moment till now, silence kept fading away as the noise took over. Today people think silence can be found only in Himalayas (or secluded places). Silence is inside us and we can totally experience it if we just pause and focus on our own creation of sounds. From that one days adventure I am very cautious of the sounds I create. Keep noticing if I’ve kept the glass down louder than it was needed. I don’t use the horn so much when on the road, just wait up till it clears (whatever is holding me up). Surely noise pollution is something that each of us need to stop creating. Our DNA can get altered with the sounds around us, now more than ever, having this understanding we need to make a shift. If the tailor bird can sit still for a few minutes, I’m sure sure we all can make an effort too.
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