Sunday, June 16, 2013

The city of hills and the sea - VII

Sound of the city

I listen to the evening azaan emanating from a distant mosque. Several vehicles scream and run past each other on the western express highway. Flights take off once in a while with heavy sound. The rains have just stopped. Once in a while vehicles run over potholes, splash the water out. I can hear the sound of those splashes. I switch off the TV, the music player, the noisy tubelight, the fan. I switch off the phone. I don’t want it to ring or vibrate. I take my slippers off and walk barefeet. I tune out all sources of sound that exist around me due to my lifestyle. Today, I wish to hear the sound of this city.
I am told this is India’s noisiest city. Makes me wonder what noise is. And what is it like being noisiest? As I wonder about noise, I am indulged with the idea of music. Could even silence have a sound? Before I can bring one thought to an end, the next one crowds. This city is like my mind. It can slow down, can change the conversations and the sound. But it never sleeps. Like my mind, this city is which is full of several sounds. Sounds of the love I experience from so many people and of love I hold in my heart for others. Sounds of thoughts of self and matters of life. Sounds of the trivia and of essentials. And of course the sounds of this city, I still call Bombay.
I close my eyes and smile to myself. I recall what a yoga instructor had told me once, “Listen to the sound of your breath. Can you, Rohit? Several thoughts will come to you but you have to come back to your breath. Gently. Feel it. Listen to it. What does it tell you?” Each time I tried hard, but was always swayed away by several other sounds in my attempt to focus on my breath.
I wonder if this city ever practices yoga; if it ever listens to its breath. Or does it escape silently as if either it doesn’t exist or it doesn’t matter?
The evening sets in. I open my window. I look down below. What if I jump? I imagine myself dead lying on the ground… in a pool of blood. My breath, soundless.
I hear sounds of crickets in the still, green space in front of my house, which shall soon convert into a concrete structure. I see some construction workers pass by. I deafen myself to the cacophony of the vehicles on the highway. I attempt to listen to any recognizable sounds of these men and women. I try hard but can’t hear anything. I wonder if they have a sound in this city. If everyone like them have any sound in this city? Or are they the soundless breath this city lives on?


To read the previous posts in this series, you may visit following links: