Music all Around

It is afternoon. It feels there is silence all around. In a world full of cacophony, how can this place be so quiet and calm. I thus concentrate. And soon I am surrounded by a kaleidoscope of sounds. There is a red vented bulbul making its chirping sound. It knows that I am concentrating, so it starts to make a louder call. I like the sound. To invite more melody I thus concentrate harder.

There is a squirrel which is twitching it’s tail again and again and with every twitch is making a sound. What you call it’s sound, I am oblivious of that, but the rhythm is great. The squirrel is in a weird hurry. It sometimes looks here, sometimes there, then picks a nut and breaks it. It then looks at me with weird alertness and quickly starts to eat. I wish I could let the squirrel know that it could have the nut in peace and savour the taste. I was anyway full, not that I even wanted to eat.

Club members

Next on further concentrating, I hear a periodic sound. My birding classes remind me that it is the coppersmith barbet. This has added another layer of beat to the music. I remember how a coppersmith uses a hammer to make such a sound. For no reason, it takes me to the novel “God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy, where she describes the body of the dark skinned worker whom the leading lady admires.

Somewhere here was the barbet doing it’s job

There is also an occasional call of peacock from somewhere far away . I can hear these sounds noticeably now. In case I am missing something else too, I continue the game of concentrating and identifying. It has become a treasure hunt now. And like in a game, I soon find another treasure. There is a trrrrr trrrrr sound . And before someone judges, it is a lesser goldenbacked woodpecker. I couldn’t believe the woodpecker is just behind me, as although I have seen woodpeckers earlier as well, but only through a binocular. This one was so close that I first heard it, and then saw it.

Woodpecker was right here, but I couldn’t capture a picture as I would have missed the moment otherwise

This bird and the sound was definitely a reward. So I concentrate one last time. And with that I heard a rhythmic yet subtle tune. It is not a sound of a bird, or animal, or even a vehicle. I had no idea of what this sound is, and who is making it happen. And on examining only for few seconds, I see there is a man cutting grass with a sickle. It is the sound of the sickle against the grass. Lovely! So much was around, and I was thinking the space around me to be silent.

Sickle sound

That’s how important is listening. There are things you can hear, feel, and eventually explore events that may be obvious sometimes and might be faint the other times, yet are responsible in making the picture complete. There are also sounds of spotted dove, crow, jungle babbler, parakeets, cows etc, around me now. I am sure there are still far more calls around, and I think I will be able to hear them soon.



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