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How much time do you spend in silence? I have always embraced silence more than loquacity or sound. Ironic? Yes, may be in a lot of ways because my love for the performing arts makes sure I am surrounded by creative sounds. But I prefer calling it creative energy instead. My mother was a music and classical dance connoisseur and performer. Naturally, the house was always buzzing with sounds of the sitar and the tabla, not to mention the dance classes and the continual tinkle of ghungroos. My own inclination towards theatre and dance ensured the house was always resonating. And yet, I discovered my silences in these sounds.

 When life happened and new spectacles unfolded themselves, I let go this paradox. Life embroils you in different ways. The humdrum is so overpowering that the only solace is in quietude. The passive state truly. Or, so you think. With writing taking over the part played by dramatics or dance previously, I indulged in the sound of words. What kind of sound do words make? I tried looking for an onomatopoeia for it. Well, I didn’t find one. So, I believed that words make this silent kind of noise. The kind that reverberates in the insides. Enough to keep you on edge.

With the internet and social media taking over our lives, I am inundated by the noise of words around me. Sometimes, when I read an ongoing debate/discussion on social media profiles I find bellowing, wailing words vying for attention. Oh, the noise they make.

Today when a friend quoted Rumi and wished for creative silences for artistic souls, I was left contemplating about creativity in silence and the silence in creativity and whether any of it actually exists. As I type this, I can hear my daughter practicing the aamad in the adjoining room and the tinkle of her ghungroos playing the background score for this piece of writing. I’m wondering if that is the silence I still crave for?

What kind of silence draws you inwards or what kind of silence unleashes your creative energy? The silent night or the honking cars? For we each have our own silences, don’t we?

I just finished reading Pebbles on Paper by Swati Khatri. A deep thinker has her own reflections about life. Swati’s collection of poetry and prose, is her own derivation of life. A lot like most of us. She talks about the past asking us how relevant it is; believes that life is not fair, not always of course but also that it is how it is and we might as well take it at face value rather than be unhappy about it; she also believes in dancing even when there is no music and doesn’t shy from talking about the emptiness of life. Parts of the book reminded me of the Chicken Soup series for there is something ‘On’ Winning, ‘On’ Participating, ‘On’ Listening. No anecdotes there, but plenty of similar musings. All in all, a quick read and feels very familiar.

You can follow Swati Khatri on www.swatikhatri.com

Or on Twitter at @swatikhatri_

The book is available on   https://www.amazon.in/dp/1649198264/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_AbbhFbXV8GT0H


  1. Dear Sonia. I’m happy to swim in the silence of the spirit with you on this page and beyond. Words are the boats that carry us across these vast oceans of ‘who am I’–don’t you think? They help us to get used to the waves of ups and downs life throws at us. Then one day, when we are strong enough, we may be able to let go of this boat and swim through this ocean with just our breath for company. But till then let our creative music guide us in the silence/stillness where we meet our muse:)
    Sending you love and hugs.

  2. Beautiful post, Sonia. And thoughtful. I love silence and solitude, I have always loved them but in the last 5-6 years, I have turned allergic to noise, kind of. I can’t stand loud voices. And no matter how sad/depressed/cranky/frustrated I am, leave me alone and I’ll be okay after some time. My solitude is precious to me.

    And I have Swati’s book. Will read it. I really like her one-liners on Twitter.

  3. I like to be where the only sounds I can hear are those of nature. At first it seems like silence, but the more you listen, the more you become aware of.

  4. An interesting piece, Sonia. I need silence to get the creative juices flowing, and even when I am reading. Give me pin drop silence any day over the cacophony.

    The book seems interesting, will surely check it out.

  5. Loved your piece as usual Sonia… But, this one left me thinking. Come to think of it, I never actually thought about the silences. It’s easy to say that one silence or ‘me time’ or whatever you name it… Which you crave and look out for… Like in my case I love the silence of nights. But what about those silences that you lean on when there are sounds around! Now, when I sit to think I guess during all such times… Like in the midst of a traffic jam… Or some cacaphony around… I look for the silence of thoughts or look for the silence in the words that I read or write… Probably that’s where I find the solace of silence 😊

  6. My kind of silence are the sounds of nature, the sounds of waves crashing on shore, the sounds of chirping birds. I always find my solace near sea.

  7. I’ve always needed silence or “quiet time” as my mother called it when I was very little. I need that silence to maintain my equilibrium, and with that equilibrium comes creativity.

  8. I did not know that you love art so much.
    Really nice to know that your family is so artistically bent.

    And yes I will say silence has no set path.
    At times we don’t find silence in the middle of a night and at times we can find it in the crowd.

    Also its nice to know that you enjoyed reading the book. This means so much to me 😊😊

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