Skip to main content

Sh...Sh..Shhh

FEBRUARY 1, 2010
The night I landed in Melbourne, I was greeted by my friends, my sister and Lolo. We screamed and hugged and created some noise at the airport. My arrival was much awaited . I was happy I'd brought some noise with me. After a cup of coffee at Nats, Lolo and I drove to Rosanna, the suburb I would adopt as home, away from home.

Getting up in the morning, I felt a bit strange. Strange because I found myself in a sea of silence, so quiet that I could hear the birds chirp, the soft breze blowing... I had to feel at home so I yelled, "ka-ba-ree, ka-ba-ree wallah, ees-steel wallah.." into Lolo's ears. Now, these are the sounds I have been waking up to for the past 15 odd years of my life. They are in Lolo's words, the "harry wallahs", the junk and cloth collectors in exchange for some paltry sum of money and steel untensils. We, in India, love collecting steel untensils. We graduate from collecting aluminium to steel. It's a progression chart.

I am now slowly learning to cope with silence. I told my old neighbour Lynn how I love the sound of her grandchildren when they come over sometimes. She lifted an eyebrow. I explained I lived in a place where I could hear my neighbours discuss everything and even smell what they were cooking. I said I miss noise and smell. She is getting slowly used to what I think she would call as my idiosyncrasies. She is nice. She calls me for a tour of her kitchen garden everytime she sees me, never invites me for tea but gives me zuchinni and tomatoes from her garden. I called her for tea and I discussed sports netball, golf and tennis - with a 75-year old woman. We did not discuss her daughters-in-law.

I tell myself, this is orientation time. I have to bear the silence of the place and get used to missing every detail of my life in Netaji Nagar - and the abundance of noise and neighbours.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Sabarmati View said...
hi indi.......
I love the ka.. ba.. ri... e stell.... part.. i wake up to "kacharo" and jamphal, chikko, kela, saintara" calls... very well written piece.. the desichick rocks.. keep it rolling


Laxmi said...
dont u also miss going up to a shopkeeper and starting a sentence with "Bhaiya..." Loving the stuff u r writing as usual - keep it coming.

Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies. The mad man said [sic] " You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer ." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the ma

O-B-A-M-A

Two million people at the National Mall in Washington alone. The world watched too as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. So did I. I rudely cut roomie's soap operas and switched to CNN to witness history being created. Some day I may live to tell the tale of how Barack, the much touted Afro-American President of the United States, stumbled with his swearing-in oath. I was a bit disappointed as I watched the man who had run the most successful of election campaigns, the man who Americans were pinning their hopes on, take his oath. Clearly, he was under too much of a pressure to be the best. So before Chief Justice John Roberts could complete the first sentence, there was Obama abruptly breaking out into his first names... " I Barack Hussein Obama.." and then waited for the judge to complete the sentence.. The next line was even taxing. He stopped short after two words... " That I will excute ..." and then Justice Roberts cont

Good Girls Don't Drink?

I have been disturbed by the news coming out of my region – the northeast of India - where a teenage girl coming out of a bar at 9:30 pm was molested and beaten by a group of 20 men. The news has even found its way down under for the shocking nature of it. Tabloids and even TV have carried the news. I have always prided myself in belonging to a region that is known for its high tolerance and where women are generally safe and independent. But I have always felt a bit squidgy about Guwahati unlike the rest of the seven sisters. The place is so like the rest of India in many ways, dirty and claustrophobic. That explains why bars are looked upon as sleazy places and women going there beaten up as with the recent case. Just 150 km away is Shillong, the place where I grew up. Night clubs thrive there and till date there has been no case of attacks against women. Reading the news, I am appalled by some of the reactions. “But the girl was drinking,” or “only prostitutes visit that