without a sound

Its strange that it struck me today only. The silence of my usual mornings.

It’s an inanimate silence that fills my mornings these days. The day starts with the alarm ringing at 5:30. Ding-da-ding-da-ding-ding, Ding-da-ding-da-ding-ding of a Punjabi bhangra tune. Rather loud I feel. I keep pressing the snooze button for those precious ten minute gaps. So, I get up at anytime on 5:40, 5:50 or 6:00. After that, I am late.

By now, the mind starts its day-long, self chatting. How I wish, I could just keep it on snooze sometimes.

The next physical sound I get to hear is of me opening the room’s door. That rare creakingly-jointed sound of wood and iron found only on wooden doors. The slight, krrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr of a horror movie. Then there’s the kitchen light switch that is heard next. Is it a click? Or a flick? Or is there any sound at all? Does the light that floods the room magically has a voice? Perhaps no. Light is mostly silent I see. And if she had, what she would have said to me? Good morning?

Then there’s the tap opening up, like unscrewing a well, tap? The gurgling water filling up the pan, and again its sound is as distinct as an individual. If my flat mates have left some dishes overnight, which they usually do, then there’s this scrubby, spongy sound of soap against metal also. The weighted turning on of the cooking gas’ knob, the sparking scratchy friction of the match stick, the slow simmering of water and milk, the hissing sound that boiling water makes to the slow bud-bud-bud of tea filling up an empty glass or mug.

More sounds follow, the flicking opening of other light switches, the turning on and low or loud mechanical humming (depending on its mood) of the electric motor that fills up my bucket with fresh bath water, the slow careful immersion of the immersion rod in it and the slight sizzle it produces when the water gets more that warm.
The hushed rustle of clothes, the loud squeak of clothing closet doors, the round & square opening & closing of the round & square breakfast containers, the twitch of joints, the almost inaudible sound of soap over my body and the loud splash of water crashing on it and flowing through to the floor and the drain. The zirrrp of the zip, the scrucc of the shoe laces, the chewing of food between teeth or the gulp of milk, so much of variety and more. But not a single human sound.

Maybe a nervous twitch or sleepy groan from Vir or Dhruv or Homan (my flat mates) when I switch on sudden lights. Maybe a couple of phone calls (from home or from her), which either I don’t take or take always in extreme hurry depending upon how late I am for office.

But not a single human sound usually. Infact the first time I hear my own voice two hours after getting up is when I get a cycle rickshaw and ask the man, “Metro?”

And then, her call, and the day comes alive.


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