Mute spectators

Mute spectators

Representative image. Credit: iStock photo

I am surrounded by mute spectators at home. Their religion is silence. The refrigerator, for example, hums so softly that I have to strain my ear to hear it. The fridge may be frigid, but when I open its door, the light inside sits lightly on my eyes.

The cycle is fond of peddling a yarn that never comes to an end even after hours of paddling. I can’t apply the brakes for fear of breaking the story’s cycle. The frying pan on the stove giggles when I find its handle too hot to handle. It would have me thrown into the fire and mummified me but for my mummy being by my side.

At home, my father is quiet as a mouse. But wheel him behind the steering wheel of our car, when he steers it on the road, then he charges like a rowdy and rides as if driven by a silent monster. Nuts, he grumbles, referring to his driving under the influence and not to the dry almond nuts that influence his taste. 

The naughty washing machine in the corner makes me dizzy as it goes round and round. It has a fat body and a well-rounded get up. It gets up early in the morning for a body greasing before its daily whirl in whirling soap suds. The ancient air-conditioner still works cool as a cucumber, conditioned as it is by the temperature. Once my brother found the old machine warming up to jazzy music on the hi-fi. I think it’s time we left it high and dry, he remarked.  Have faith in me, the old faithful replied. Pointing at my brother, it blasted us with a blast of cold air, as if to prove its point.

All mute onlookers, whether idiotic or flippant or wise beyond their ears, make an exception for the idiot box in their dumb club. They play with varieties of sound—from the ground to the sky, from pop to jazz, from fame to games, from thrillers to spoilers. I wait patiently for my opening. At the right time, I open the image of Lord Jagannath before them. Silence returns, followed by the evening conch shell that blows and sends the mute lot to rest. Tomorrow is another day.

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