Sitting with a pen in my hand, I was looking for the obvious. By obvious I mean the right word that would fit my story. And it is quite difficult to find it when you have a very enthusiastic culprit in your mind, the idea. It just doesn’t wait. It would selfishly and excitedly wander through the labyrinth of possibilities while its father, the mind, dutifully tries really hard to shape it through words. Such a difficult job it is, to find the right word, especially for amateurs like me, for whom writing is an occasional affair with Unreality when you have Reality as an uncompromising spouse. So to look for the right word I should practise only then its shy cousin, perfection, would even consider to make an appearance. Luckily, I found the obvious and started writing. Building my story word by word. My entire thought process was working seamlessly in tandem with my idea. And at that moment I was listening only to myself, deaf to the world. Just then something irritating yet interesting happened. My mobile phone rang and my entire thoughts collapsed immediately. Frustrated, I switched off my mobile phone. But at that particular moment, like a lightning another thought struck my mind. But unlike lightning it didn’t vanish instantly. Till the moment my thoughts collapsed, I was listening only to myself. By this, I don’t mean that I was muttering but listening to my mind. This was a sensation of absolute oblivity to my surroundings. At that specific brief moment, I wondered whether that was what silence is all about.
Strange isn’t it? Physics would define silence as a mere absence of sound. Whereas what I experienced was something different. This had nothing to do with the absence of sound but with the absence of everything else. I realised that while I was writing, I could hear only the thoughts in my mind. So since that day I sometimes wonder whether silence is just merely an absence of sound or just absence of everything else.
Anirudh Murali is a bored engineer and a wannabe manager, who tries his hands at short stories and also sometimes writes about general observations in life.