Sounds of silence

Sometimes solitary is a good thing.

Years ago, a sudden silence scared me to death. 6 months of being alone in a 1BHK apartment in one of the quietest bylanes of Pune was enough for me to never want to be alone again. Funny, now that I think about it. I surrounded myself with all the sounds I could find then – some good, some that I could do away with, and some just noise. Rock, blues, punk, crazy ass death metal – and I am not talking only about music. Then I rediscovered family. And I filtered some. I filtered a lot. But the one thing that I still wanted was to enjoy the silences again. Those that I used to find in hidden corners in the college campus, on long walks alone at 6 am, on the ledge of my window in the house in Patna at 1 am. I wanted to enjoy solitary again. I craved it when the noises around me and the noises in my head got too much to handle. I plunged headlong into a vicious circle. One that involved a TV that was always on, a computer that was always on, and a mouth that never shut up. When the noise died down invariably at dawn, I used to confuse alone with lonely. And then R happened. With him came comfortable silences. But among the two of us. Solitary was still a stranger to me.

But this one moment right now, with all its deathly quiet and alone-ness (as opposed to the ugly L word), is truly beautiful. It has been years since I felt so good about silence. Sometimes, with all that happens around me, all the existential angst, the whirlwind of growing up (in age and in responsibility, at work and at home) and the art, science, and politics of living and making one, the only thing that is really difficult to find is this comfortable, feel good quiet. It is at times like these that my head starts answering all the questions it had been asking. About the good, the bad, the ugly. The rights, the wrongs. Of diplomacy and hypocrisy and the thin line that separates them.

It is a moment like this that really sorts me out. Like rain. It’s all good!

Edited to add – If you go back and read my posts from March-April-May last year or any time since I started blogging, you will find a striking similarity in tone and theme. It is the weather I tell you. The torrid sun is the cause of all my existential angst. The rain comes and sorts my life for me. I am a strange, strange person I tell you.


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4 Responses to Sounds of silence

  1. I tell you what, if I lived in Bangalore with all its rain and greenery, I'd write such beautiful posts too :) I was there this weekend (family obligations with Bong happy new year :D) and I just felt lighter.. the heat gets to me too!

    I have taught myself to enjoy (or bear) the solitary phases too, what with the husband travelling 4 days a week.. earlier I used to sleep with the TV on in mute mode (so I don't get depressed if I wake up in the middle of the night. Funny story, once I woke up to find the bath tub scene in What Lies Beneath playing.. and I sure don't react well to that genre. oh, well); now I sleep with some book covering my face. Baby steps.


  2. Searcher says:

    Surprising to find a writer afraid of silence.


  3. Abhid-d says:

    Hi Tammy !

    A nitpick :- that's “solitude” and not “solitary”. So, your sentences should read, “Sometimes solitude is a good thing” and, “I wanted to enjoy solitude again.”

    Anyway, Pune is an idyllic place. There was a article in the paper a few days back about some families who shifted from Mumbai to Pune. They were ga-ga about the sloow pace of life, the shortened commutes to their offices and most of all (as you said) the quietness that engulfed them.

    Unfortunately the mushrooming of IT parks is gradually ruining, Pune too (just like it bulldozed Bangalore's serene calm many years ago).

    Bye Tamms.


  4. Tamanna says:

    Smartie, :) I generally don't like being alone.. Used to long ago. But this one particular evening was much much needed!

    Searcher, I am a blogger. Not a writer really.

    Abhi-D, as usual, yours is a banal comment that I would have deleted if I didn't have to say this – We don't understand each other, you don't get my writing AT ALL. So stop reading me, will you? Please.


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