Mumbo Is Jumbo

Of Silence

Silence.
It goes out carrying a knife.
Not a samurai sword.
But a knife.
Less conspicuous. Conveniently deviant.

I hated its lack of discipline. I couldn’t predict it. As a kid I remember clapping in the shower, tapping my foot on the wet floor as the soap slid down my body. I hated the silence. So much that it had to be me, and only me, that killed it. Not nature, not some famous dude on the radio, but me.

There was an old piano in the living room of our first house. An old soul. On most evenings, I would hear it waking up, complaining like an old man as my dad settled down to play. But even that sounded beautiful. I would crawl down under it whenever my father played and lie there with my eyes open, basking in the silhouette of the parting sun as I felt my restless body slowly sinking up into the ancient wood.

I crawled under a lot of things. But the rusty old piano in the living room was my favourite. The creaky old bed in my grandpa’s room came at a close second. I especially liked to crawl under it when he was just about to fall asleep. He would toss and turn, trying to find a soft spot and I would listen to the creaks and the woody whines. It’s a child’s dream to have such a haven, a place where you hear everything you can’t see.

When I was about six years old, we moved to a new house. Our piano came with us and we gave it a very special place in our new shell. I couldn’t wait to lie under the piano once again, caught in the tension between the familiar above me and the novel below me. But I was to find out that something was terribly wrong.

“The C note”, my father cried. Unfortunately, the movers had not been careful enough with the old musical contraption and the old man had lost a tooth. One key somewhere to the right on the mundane assortment of ebony and ivory had stopped making the ‘C’ sound it was supposed to make. A tragic silence had replaced it. I couldn’t care less about what letter had gone missing. For all I cared, the key looked like one of those those giant statues on Easter island.

Dad never got it fixed. He just avoided it most of the time since it was on the extreme right and he used it mostly for high pitched embellishments. But there were moments when he would get carried away, stimulated by the rising music, and stumble upon the silent key. Under the piano, I would feel his muscles tense up in silent disapproval and self-reproach. Then, he would move on.

When I was around 8, I found myself before the piano everyday. No longer under it but at a useful creative distance. I too stumbled onto the silent key a couple of times. But then I got used to it. In fact, whenever there was a pause in a piece of music I was playing, instead of making my arms briefly hover in the air, I would press down on the silent key. It became my “thing”. I started treating silence like sound, like another note. And in time, I fell in love with it. And just like that, the kid who hated silence was tricked into falling in love with it by some divine force acting through a couple of careless movers. It became forever clothed in the delicate colours of sound. It’s nudity covered, it became a safe haven for my childhood. A place where I could hear everything I couldn’t see. And I didn’t even have to crawl in to find it.

Mumbo Is Jumbo

On Chewing Fennel

I hang on to a blue handle hanging from a blue bar by a blue strap on a blue bus. Maybe they got the colours right. Maybe they didn’t. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t mind the colour. It compliments the morning sky well. I shouldn’t even be worrying about this. The commute from the gate to the aircraft isn’t that long. But the baby and the woman I gave my seat to were also in blue. Thus all this contemplation. From when I can remember, I’ve always seen a baby on an airport shuttle. The repeated introduction to ‘blue’ and ‘baby’ forced me to stop and reconsider. Is any of this important?

“You think too much” is what she said. That’s what everyone says. I reach into the right pocket of my dark blue jeans, trying to find the packet of fennel seeds. My left hand tightens its grip on the blue handle. The bus suddenly stops and I almost lose my grip. I glance at the driver without knowing it, re-adjust the heavy guitar on my back, and resume hanging on to the handle. Forget the fennel. I’ll have it later.

These buses look just like everything else the airline owns. You are met again and again with the same colours, the same uniforms, and the same smile. It deceives you into thinking all these services are not many but one efficient and flawless whole. But it isn’t. Oh, you thought it was about the aesthetics huh? I did too. Until today, when my contact with the colour blue and babies on airport shuttles for the hundredth time made me aware of my surroundings. That’s what got me thinking in the first place.

“You think too much”. Pah! I almost say it out loud. The woman looks at me. She’s sizing me up. But she’s also sizing up everyone else on the shuttle. That’s her fennel. That’s her way of taking a break on a holiday. She’s sitting down while she’s asleep. All of these people are. I can feel it. Because there’s nothing else to do other than to hang on to the blue handles on this blue bus. If only I could chew on some fennel.

We get down by the plane. I see what I’ve seen before even when it’s different. So I decide not to look at all; at the tires of the plane or the marks that heavy tools made under the wing. I just ‘proceed’ like they ask you to in those announcements. The word reeks of organised movement, lacking any curiosity whatsoever.

Once on the plane, I settle down by the window on row 27 or 28. That’s where the seats are mostly empty. I immediately produce a packet of fennel seeds from my pocket and pop a few seeds into my mouth, aiming for my tongue. I close my eyes for a moment.

I open and close the blinds again and again until we take off. Repetition is key. I like to think some staff on the ground sees the plane blinking when they look up. Or winking perhaps, considering how not many would oblige the way I do.

Once in the air, I treat myself to more fennel. There’s something about feasting on these tiny grains of exotic flavour while looking out the window on row 27 or 28, guiding them around in my mouth into the delicate blades of my incisors. It’s a calming process, one that compliments the view which casts the illusion that I’m moving at the pace of an electric scooter when in reality I’m a lot closer to the speed of light than I think.

Why do I talk of light? Because they say time stops at the speed of light. That’s when you’ll feel the slowest. The fennel makes me appreciate everything that’s slow. It perhaps works very much like tea or coffee does for some people. It makes me more of a photon. That’s when I feel the slowest.

Author’s note:

This is part of a series called ‘Mumbo is Jumbo’. In this series, I will talk about seemingly irrelevant things in my life that I think I’ve not been able to communicate efficiently with other people. I believe this will be a very special project. I request your support and I hope you enjoy it.

Philosophy Of Life

Silence Is A Perfect Sound

Shhh…..

Silence. In some cases, we strive in our efforts to push it out of the picture. But in others, we love it, are amused by it and find solace and comfort in it.

It’s morning. The sun just peek-a-booed into the sky. The tree leaves moved gracefully in the wind. The branch of a crooked coconut tree  was  somehow serving as an  eyebrow to the sun. The face of the earth was dipped in yellow. A yellow that smelled of novelty, hope, victory and simply colour. It was raining too. But the skies were clear. It always confused me when that happened.

There is a silence in my room. I shift inside my blankets to try and sleep some more but end up just lying there, my eyes squinting into the sunrise. The silence is loud. Outside  the window of my room, the signs of life are so evident, it’s loud. It’s waiting to enter the silence in my room and break it. Not that it is evil. The loudness outside is very beautiful, extremely calming too, ironically. But letting it in, would mean giving up the silence. I would be giving  up a  perspective of reality inside the boundaries of my room. One that I was starting to enjoy.

Silence seems to add an iridescent beauty to all movement. It does so by just existing in a world of inactivity. The only thing that let’s us know it’s there, is time. But when it takes over, it lets you know that it is not brining about a cessation to activity, but rather adding meaning to it. In other words, it is a pause. And I find that so beautiful. If you follow this blog, you would know how much I love playing the guitar. A good musician has to know when to let his instrument speak and when to keep it silent. I would spend hours and hours, honing my skill of knowing when to allow silence to take over.  When silence takes over in the middle of a song, it’s definitely not a cessation of activity. On the contrary, it feels incredibly similar to standing still while your heart is beating like it’s on a rollercoaster. It is according to me, the best example of inertia, but one on an abstract level. And that silence, I find to be an ephemeral display of amazing.

Almost everything I have has some kind of cartoon or doodle. If you look at my laptop, among all the crazy things I’ve drawn on it, you’ll see this:   Silence is a Perfect Sound.  And I hope that today, I have given the world, a muddled up, arcane reason why it’s there. And if you didn’t understand this post, don’t worry. I’m still learning how to put silence in the right places.

 

award

Blogger Recognition Award

 


Hi, guys!

It’s another reason for celebration. I just got nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award. 🙂

Now when I say, I, you guys know I also mean ‘you’. Because whatever this blog has achieved, it’s because of you guys who choose to take the time to read this blog, share your ideas and encourage me. So, guys, thank you.

I would like to thank an absolutely amazing person for making this post a possibility. Warren, over at https://wcr281.com/ nominated me for this Award. Thank you so much, Warren! I am honoured! 🙂

Let’s get into it then, shall we?

Here are the rules:

1.Write a post to show your award.
2.Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
3.Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4.Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
5.Select other bloggers you want to give this award to.
6.Nominate 2-3 bloggers who you believe deserve to be recognized. Comment on their blogs, to let the nominees know they have been nominated.

The Story of how my blog started……..

Long, long ago, in a land where all teenagers cared about was writing blogs, there lived a boy…….. nah, this won’t work. I am going to stick with the normal way of doing this. 😊

As most of you guys know, I’m Stefan, a 17 year old, who loves to write. There are a lot of things that made me open my laptop, and open up who I am to the world. I am a dreamer. I live in a story of my own, a story in which I believe that the future’s going to be great for me. I believe God has my back. I am just a person like you, imperfect. But I like to think of my life as something great and amazing because I believe God made all of us to soar.

When I started this blog, I never thought it would grow this fast, but I must confess, I did believe that one day, I will reach millions. It might not happen, it may happen. I don’t worry myself about that. What I care about, is whether I dare to dream big. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in believing what you do will reach the greatest level you can imagine. And that dream, as impossible as it may seem, I believe, is what drives this blog.

I decided to blog because of a lot of reasons. I’ve always loved to write. I was always excited about the beauty around me. And language helped me share that excitement with other people. I don’t do a lot of social media. So, instead of starting a new facebook account, I decided to google ‘how to become a blogger’.

Owning your own website sounded special and I wanted to feel it. Also, there was the perk of introducing yourself as a blogger. Of course you can’t just walk around giving shake hands with a placard hanging from you neck that says: ‘hi, I’m a blogger’. But it does sound cool sometimes.

Of course, there was the fear of whether I would always have the right material. But there was an excitement I felt when I considered facing that challenge. And that I believe is the sign of passion. So, I jumped right in.

Over time, I learned about blogging by reading other people’s blogs. I loved the blogging community and it loved me back. And I absolutely loved all this love. And so, I was hooked!

It’s been over a year now since I googled ‘how to become a blogger’. Through my posts, I’ve tried to share with my reader’s, the world I see. I try to go beyond what I see, I try to knock them about in my mind, adding a little flavor of art and meaning to it. Perspective is a very beautiful thing. It’s like a Rubik’s cube for which every combination means ‘solved’. And this blog shares with you my perspective.

It’s been a great journey, but I am believing for more. 😊

My two pieces of advice:

1. Connect with people: Yes, this is a known way of increasing your traffic. But that must never be why you connect. You should connect to learn. You can just drop a like on every post you see or you can read every post you see and then drop a like on them. Connecting with the right people is also important. Find people who share your interests and enjoy what you do. Learn from them and connect with them. Connect with the people on their blogs. This not just connects you to people, it connects you to people who will enjoy what you do. This is why reading is important. Building your own community brings life to your blog.

2. The first part I think wraps it up. But tagging your posts, adding a picture, asking questions, all help. 🙂

My nominees:

 

 

1.Teen Meet God :- https://teenmeetgod.wordpress.com/

2.Something To Stu Over :- https://stubaby777.wordpress.com/

3.Grief to Life :- https://grieftolife.com/

 

I hope you guys have a great week. Keep smiling and remember to look around you and reach out and touch life, once in a while. 🙂

God bless you all! 🙂