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today I am grateful for having learned to live in silence,

I was once wary of the quiet… i thought i needed the buzz of a radio, the traffic, a mother in law…

even with two boys, my home here is an oasis of calm (provided the mmmim is travelling — he still needs the buzz of TV, traffic or a mother in law)

today, firstborn is working out what eight times seven is and baby param is having a two-car race on the sofa, and only the whirl of the fan fills the air.

and i feel blessed that the silences have slowly acquired beauty…for me.

I miss it when i am in india,

I miss the still morn when i can hear the first of the birds waking up. i wake happy in the knowledge that my thoughts aren’t loud enough to drown out the chirping.

I miss the dreamy blue afternoons: when baby param is napping and firstborn is not back from school, and the home is a peaceful hush.

and the silent nights, after firstborn has slept and so has his brother, I sit on the floor and face the moonlight and see if the stars will come out and watch maybe a plane go by.

I want to remember that I have embraced these silences, very happily. not interrupted by a handphone call, or a book or a friend or the www.

That the peaceful stillness was a part of my life as much as my children and husband. And it is a part of Malaysian culture… that i have absorbed neatly.

The attitude to NOT take yourself too seriously, the big laughs, the unique concept of the “never mind lah” , the idea that a crowd can be 100 per cent no-fidget in a minute of prayer, that there is such a thing as patient waiting…

I was very impressed about a tribe from Kelantan here in Malaysia: they never argue… If they are embarrassed by a questioner, they avoid conflict by quietly leaving. Their code of behaviour is strict: ‘Never talk to your mother-in-law; never shoot poison darts at humans; and don’t laugh at butterflies’.

I am afraid the silences won’t seek me out in my new life in chennai. the impatient world is already pounding at the frontdoor of our new chennai home, and we haven’t even moved in.

But I want to remember that for four years, I never laughed at a butterfly.

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11 responses »

  1. To not laugh at a butterfly … if only we could make a thought like this our defining motto.

    I went to a birthday party recently where it was okay, in 38 degrees, for a man to be dressed in a furry costume that was probably washed and aired a century ago, and it was “fun” for children to push, punch and pull this giant stuffed toy.
    To not laugh at a butterfly is so far removed from the world we live in, at least in bby, hope that it is not as bad in chennai.

    • *sigh* the parents of the birthday kid need to be certified, or wickeder still spend an hour in that costume.

      i need to work on creating a KL in chennai, sur; then we’ll invite the butterflies…:-)

  2. Sigh, we regularly kill moths. So not laughing at butterflies and all is not going to happen.
    Well, if you are fresh off the boat (see, how the tables have turned?!), you are lucky if ppl don’t laugh at you and your ‘fashion before 5 yrs’ wardrobe!

    • they can laugh at my before fashion, but they’ll have sari blouse-envy… i am getting a year’s supply stitched here.

  3. MiM, maybe you’ll be able to teach people to not laugh at butterflies. Change happens slowly but is inevitable. If DD can teach her terrified of dogs grand dad to love them and play with them, 60 years into his life, I am confident you and fb and baby param will make a convincing case for quiet and no laughing at butterflies.

  4. Lovely! To never laugh at a butterfly…that’s such a profound thought!
    I hope you get your quiet moments in Chennai too..and thanks for visiting my space.

  5. Lovely……takes me back to the days when my own sons were toddlers……enjoy the quiet when you can…..and then the sounds when they come in!Life is 90% what we make of it….right?

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