Silent noise

This is an instance where there was noise in silence, talking without speaking – strange? Yes, but true and experienced by me. It was a unique and difficult to explain feeling. I happened to go to a center for the hearing handicapped in connection with some work. It was their break time when I reached and the children were out of their class rooms. Usually this is the nosiest hour in a school but I was struck by the quietness. Teenagers, kids were scattered around the playground. All happy, all enjoying each others company but not a word. They were doing what children their age do, but without a word. They were interacting socially, cracking jokes, laughing and playing games like basket ball and cricket – all in silence. Till that day I had never imagined a scenario like that. The sign language was being spoken and understood – words did not exist and it did not matter either! They were content in their silent world – not complaining about what they do not have but making use of what they do. They had empowered themselves with an alterative, and were as busy and satisfied as the others who can hear and talk. The experience humbled me – we take things for granted and crib and complain about so many things that we are deprived of and here were youngsters who were ‘talking’ without words. As we were about to leave, one young girl came up to my colleague and catching hold of her beautiful dupatta made a sign with her thumb and first finger ‘saying’ very beautiful. It was, perhaps the best compliment my colleague had ever received for her dupatta! Coming out of the sprawling campus, the busy road  jolted both of us out of the world of silent noise inside

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