March 15, 2017

From Maximum City to Maximum Silence

Its been 3 years since I left Mumbai to live in Canada, and the thing that is still the most disconcerting to me, is the silence. Especially in the winter months. India is chaotic and noisy. There is a hustle and a bustle to daily life in Mumbai, the sounds of the milkman, the newspaper man, the knife sharpener, the kabadiwalah, the various other vendors who peddle their wares at you. Then there is the noise of the children, playing around you, or the myriad festivals and the loud speakers that invariably come with them. Add to this the daily ministrations of the various animals that are part of your day - street dogs, cats, birds chirping, crows cawing. Add in a layer of traffic and cars honking and you have one heady albeit noisy cocktail of sound. Deafening in its intensity, but still adding to the everyday. Staying in North America couldn't be more different. The silence speaks volumes. On most days, you may not hear the sound of another human being, animal, locomotive or electronic equipment. This silence gets magnified a thousand times over in the winter months, when the weather is terrible, and you don't see too many people around. 

I remember not being able to sleep when I first moved to Canada. And I realized that this was because the silence was so unnerving to me. It can also be soothing. It gives you the feeling of being wrapped in a cocoon that reassures you in its constant parity. However, I do think I miss the vibrancy of India and its millions of sounds.A very real case of the grass always being greener on the other side, no doubt?

1 comment:

Pravahan said...

Maybe yes, the grass is greener on the other side, as the age-old adage goes. I think a mid-way between silence and noise is the perfect blend that one needs. Personally, prefer a quiet and noiseless [sans the chirping birds and whistling leaves of trees] in the backdrop of my house. The noise doesn't matter much elsewhere through the rest of life.