Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Anoop and me travelled to Adalaj, a small town 20 kms from Ahmedabad. It has vav or stepwell built in the 16th century. It's believed to be an architectural wonder, which goes 8 stories below ground level.
As we started going down it started getting cooler and more importantly, quieter. As we went down this lack of connection from the upper world made the vav calmer. Another thing which worked in our favour was that Anoop and me were not talking to each other. We were quietly clicking pictures. We were left with ourselves and the vav.
We reached the base, the best point of the structure. Immensely positive with a very cool and silent ambience. The only thing which we could hear was the sound of pigeons flying in and out of the step well. We thought of sitting there quietly for sometime. After about 2o minutes a bunch of irritating local tourists entered. There were about 15-20 youngsters. They were constantly talking, but it all got worse when they started shouting. Their shouts and screams echoed and the pigeons of the structure panicked. Within a few minutes this place had changed from a serene place to a chaotic 'tourist site'!
Anoop and I came to this resolution that we would go out only after we experience the silence again. More bunches of equally 'loud' people came in, checked their echo levels and both of us kept sitting to fulfill our selfish motives- of 'experiencing' silence again.
We kept sitting for around 2 and a half hours. And suddenly, there was no one. No human being except the both of us. It was SILENT again. The structure somehow suddenly displayed so much of power.
We got up, took a deep breath and walked out.
I feel sorry for those tourists who missed this power.
I entered this lake which was a part of Nalsarovar bird sanctuary. Fortunately for us, we entered the lake at the time of the sunset. We kept talking about how beautiful it was. With the boatman telling us about various species of the sanctuary, we moved ahead. He went on and on and got tired. for a split second, there was silence. No words... Sounds of birds flying over our heads, people (on some other boat)laughing at a distance and the boat being rowed.
Before I could register these sounds, the bhaiyya started talking again. It was his job to inform us afterall. Minutes later, we stopped at a mini-island. We got down admiring the beauty of the lake and the sunset. We posed for pictures, clicked some (including the one I have displayed here!) and continued talking about the beauty surrounding us. Trying to get a closer view of a bird I moved out of the group, may be to get a closer look. It was sitting there quietly. The voices of my friends faded out as I walked towards it and by the time I reached the bird, it was silent.
No talking, no noises... just nature. Sounds of the gentle breeze, the birds and of course, the calm water. The bird flew away, but by then it had done its job. It showed me how to listen to nature. I took a deep breath. This is what we lack.
It's called PEACE!
When I compare both the POINTS, I realise that we, human beings have grown so selfish, so full of ourselves. We can listen only when we stop talking. We can grow only when we listen. We talk of worl peace and shit like that, but when it comes to respecting peace at a historical site or at a lake, do we care?
We always miss the serene silence...