The World of Sound – Ananya Grover

Artwork By Ananya Grover

I close my eyes, ignoring my sense of sight,
and a whole other world which I usually
sideline comes to life.

The world of sound.

The sounds echo and pulsate
in my head; familiar sounds of
familiar things: objects and people,
yet slightly new, with undertones and
irregularities which I had never
given enough attention to notice.

The whirring of the fan grows louder
and thicker, lulling me into a stupor
the mindless chatter of the hordes
blurs into a vacuous singularity;
each conversation converging
till it means no more than noise.

A kind of noise, that surprisingly
fails to bother me much and
instead makes me feel calm —
like the eye in the middle of a storm,
the white dot in the black yin;
detached, and able to listen in.

Or tune out, then tune back in
focus on specific conversations or
some other thing— like the rustle of
paper, the scraping of chalk, the abrupt
momentary quiet or the slamming of doors
or windows or bodies against the walls.

In other places, there are other sounds
some places have more curious ones—
the drone of the rusted engines of the bus,
the whoosh of the wind against my face;
or the stirring spoon and the rattling pots;
the slaps of sandals, or the slaps of hands.

Each of them, screeching or soothing;
whether afflictively loud or stiflingly soft,
jigsaw pieces that join to create moments,
but so often forgotten or ignored because
we are so busy looking, we don’t hear
or so busy hearing, we fail to listen.

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