By Raza Hasnain Naqvi
Let me ask you something. When was the last time you heard the sound of your heart beat?
I don’t mean the thump-thump feeling in your rib cage that you become aware of at times when you are sitting idly. I mean really hearing the beats of your heart.
If you have a specific positive answer to my question, then I am happy for you. But, if your answer lies somewhere between ‘Don’t know’ and ‘Don’t remember’, then it is time for you to sit down and spend some quality time with yourself.
If my memory serves me right, I think it was 1998, around 15 years back, when I first became consciously aware of the sound of my heart beat. That year, I was standing inside the recording studio of All India Radio Lucknow one day and all I could hear was this sound coming from somewhere really close to me. I strained my ears to catch the location. A few seconds later it hit me and I began smiling. My heart was speaking to me in beats.
As some of you would know, the kind of silence that one experiences in a good recording studio is barely available anywhere else. There’s this vacuum kind of feeling inside a soundproof studio, where it feels that everything else has been sucked out of the studio and all that is left is you. You get the feeling as if the sound of your breathing and your heart beat is all that is left in the world.
If you are claustrophobic or a Grade A Extrovert, then stepping into a soundproof studio would feel like hell or amazingly empty. But, if you are an Introvert or crave silence, then stepping into such a studio would feel like Nirvana. That is when you realise the power of silence. That day in 1998, was my day of realisation and revelation.
Ever since, I have stored that invigorating feeling of silence in some chamber of my mind. At times, I have tried searching for that silence in the outside world too. I searched for it at home, sitting on my bed in the pre-dawn hours between 2-3 am, and then I searched for it standing in the middle of a vehicle-free, empty road at 12.30 am, in a foggy winter night of January. But there was always some sound that would puncture the silence. Never soundproof studio silence.
There’s something about a soundless, soundproof environment that forces one to pay deeper attention to the stream of repetitive thoughts that endlessly flow in one’s mind. On a regular day full of external sounds around us, we barely pay heed to this internal chatter.
But, what about the precious pearls that lie hidden in this deep stream of thoughts? Have you tried diving deep for them to claim their incalculable value? Allow me to speak for the collective ‘Us’ and reply: “We have forgotten about the pearls, because we have rarely sought silence.”
In a life full of sounds, we have no idea of the worth of a soundless life, made up of soundproof moments.
Parting Question: Are you willing to add minutes of total silence to your life in your daily quota of 24 hours?
Raza likes to share snippets of his life experiences and observations through his writings. This blogpost is the Day-3 post of his 15-day trial of daily blogging. Besides his social media footprints on twitter, facebook, instagram and Google+, he can also be reached on his email: bylineraza[at]gmail[dot]com