The Sound of Silence


“And the people bowed and prayed

To the neon god they made

And the sign flashed out its warning

In the words that it was forming

And the sign said, “The words of the prophets

Are written on the subway  walls

And tenement halls

And whispered in the sounds of silence ’’ – Simon and Garfunkel


What would we know of silence? In the crazy, topsy-turvy world that we inhabit, silence has become a rarity, a prized commodity even, what with sound-proof walls, noise-cancelling headphones and other thingamajigs that dinosaurs like me probably aren’t aware of. Silence is the stuff dreams are made of. Except, what do you do when you’re rudely awoken from your beautiful dream and forced to confront your white noise reality? You scream in frustration, of course!  And inadvertently , bid silence adieu.

Recently, Sonu Nigam tweeted his displeasure at being  woken up by loudspeakers atop mosques, blaring the Azaan in the morning –

“God bless everyone. I’m not a Muslim and I have to be woken up by the Azaan in the morning. When will this forced religiousness end in India.”

“And by the way Mohammed did not have electricity when he made Islam..Why do I have to have this cacophony after Edison.”

“I don’t believe in any temple or gurudwara using electricity to wake up people who don’t follow the religion. Why then..? Honest? True?”

“Gundagurdi hai bus…”

Like he said, this is not a problem typical to any one religion.

It’s hilarious that people get offended when the necessity of loudspeakers to practise their faith is questioned but have no qualms whatsoever, about the fact that women don’t have access to many of these mosques and temples. How can loudspeakers determine the piety or faith of a person? How are they even relevant to any religion? I think sincerity and devotion trump being loud, and no, they don’t go hand in hand.

“We need to find God. And he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.”

Mother Teresa was one enlightened soul.  Morally outraged and self-righteous  parties kindly pay heed and at the very least, let people get some  much needed shut-eye. The current breed of lambs aren’t of the silent kind.

The post was written by Samyukta Menon, II year.

















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