Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Silence

1.

When my son was born, for the first few minutes he was absolutely silent. No outburst of crying, no movement and eyes closed. The attending doctor and nurses were busy trying to find out why he was so silent. My wife was still on the operating table, drowsy and recovering from one of the most painful experiences of her life. I stood there, near the small table where the specialist was doing all kinds of procedures on my new born son, putting long tube to clear out the air passage in his mouth and nose, holding him upside down, rolling him sideways, from one side to another, checking his bright pinkish bare chest with a tiny stethoscope.

No one took my pulse that day but I can assure you it was racing and increasing in every second. The dreadful thoughts flooded my mind. Was he okay? Would he breathe? I only knew my son for a few minutes and the normal worries of a parent has already started. And then a tiny voice let the world hear his first cry. So low the voice was that I could hardly hear, but saw his mouth and eyes opened for the first time, and at last he was letting the world know of his arrival in his own time schedule.

2.

Some silence is unbearable, like the absolute silence of my son just after his birth. Some silence is full of anguish and pain. In some scriptures of our world’s great religions it was mentioned that there was silence in the universe in the beginning and perhaps the boredom of the silence made our creator take the plunge into creating a universe or maybe many universes full of so much varieties, sounds of all kinds from the atomic to the macro levels comprising this world. Let there be light and the light was there. Let there be sound and the sound was there.

And here we are in the early era of 21st century, surrounded by technological gizmos, non-stop information overload, twitting, facebooking, googling, blogging and pondering about when the driver-less car will arrive with the zero fuel cost from the abundant solar energy or utilizing the workable fusion or fission technologies or when we will reach the proverbial singularity, transcending humanity into the next level of existence perhaps even achieving the immortality.

My son is 10 weeks old now. He cries loud and clear when he is hungry or when he wants to be cuddled. Holding my son very close to me, rocking back and forth when I try to soothe him after he is fed or waiting to be fed, I look at his eyes, so much full of wonder and surprises, so focused observing the ever expanding, the vast and humongous world surrounding him. Now he started to smile in his dream, perhaps dreaming a world where his needs will always be taken care of, he will be given full attentions and there will be no worries of anything whatsoever. His parents and loved ones will always respond with the unconditional love and not by heartless silence. In my tight embrace of my son close to my heart, I can hear the slight murmur of his fast beating heart.

Sometimes, in the middle of rocking him back and forth, singing a nostalgic lullaby deep in the night, my mind wanders like a sea farer. I traverse time and space, like floating on a magic carpet, travelling miles after miles, looking at the world beneath me. The expanse of the blue frothing waves of the rocking ocean, the outlines of land mass of the world, even the tiny miniaturized homes, bridges and cars and the people of all colors and races, going about their lives and livelihood. No silence in the world! Then why so much silence in me? From deep inside me, why can’t I say the words I need to say? Why can’t I cry from the top of my lungs like my son does, seeing the scream and cries and desperate agonies of other father and mother, holding their shredded, mangled sons or daughter, not moving, silent, snubbed and dehumanized as inferior just for their meager existence?

Silence has two forms. One is the wilful silence and another one is the silence of ignorance. In this day and age when fact based information is abundant, being silent equals with the oppression and oppressors. This world is beautiful and has plenty of good folks with genuine hearts and caring. But this beautiful world also has its painful silence among its inhabitants like me. Who for one reason or another, perhaps to keep the status-quo alive, preserving one’s own survival, will not utter a single word seeing the outrageous acts done on my fellow beings or even the animal kingdom in the name of consuming protein and tearing the flesh and bones of others. We have indeed progressed so much ahead in terms of harmony and peaceful existence, but unless this wall of wilful silence is shattered to pieces in absolute terms, there will always be victims who will be playfully blamed just because of their desire to live like the rest of us.

3.


We cry when we are born. We cry but slowly get into absolute silence when we die. In the middle of these two absolute constants is everything that the real life means. When my son cries I hold him tight, rock him gently, pacify and sooth him with a song tune he seems already to like. I slowly whisper to him, let him know how much I love him and always tell him to cry the loudest, and not to be as mute and silent as his old man is.

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