The din around us is deafening. We live in a world full of thousands of sounds, a chaotic medley of every strain imaginable.
Most often we just ignore them and go about our daily routine — we have adapted ourselves to the noise around us. But if you were asked for a moment to reflect on the ch­ords that strike your eardrums, what would you possibly answer? Traffic, of course — honking of horns and roaring of engines, sometimes even screeching of brakes.
There might be sounds of tools if there’s construction going on nearby, which is often the case in our cities. If you’re inside an office you would hear the clicking of computer keys and the low drone of printers. If you’re in your home it would probably be the clink of utensils, the squeaking of doors, the whirring of household appliances and in the quiet of the night, the ticking of the clock.
These are the sounds that would spring foremost to mind. We live in a mechanised world and our lives are charactersied by the ‘voices’ of talking machines. But there are other sounds that fill up our lives, ones that we don’t recall as easily. They are human sounds — the voices of people talking around you, the sneezes, the coughs and the laughs of them.
If you would rewind your life and go back to your childhood, there would be less mechanical sounds and more human ones: the sound of the teacher’s voice in the classroom, your classmates and you laughing and shrieking in the playground, your siblings crying and fighting at home, your parents talking or scolding.
A child is more aware of her surroundings because she is still new to the world, everything is surprising, awe-inspiring and worth paying attention to. As an adult, we become used to life, used to the presence of things ar­ound us and everything lo­ses its novelty.
Amid all the sounds we just recounted, the sounds of nature don’t figure at all. One, because life in cities gets so distanced from nature that you hardly get to hear its echoes. And even when you do, rare is the moment when you pause to really listen.
The sounds of nature were meant to fill our lives with harmony from dawn to dusk: the cries of peacocks before dawn, the song of early birds at daybreak, the swishing of leaves in the wind, the hooting of owls at a silent night.
The orchestra of raindrops on a monsoon day and the chorus of frogs thereafter… and not so very long ago, nights would be filled with the incessant and too-loud chirruping of excited crickets, a recurring extravaganza.
When we say that music heals, it’s not so much about the sounds produced mechanically by man-made instruments, it’s about the power contained in the symphony of life, made available anytime to anyone that needs to be healed. There is therapy in the voice of a loved one; there is the gift of health in the bubbling glee of an adored child. The music of shared laughter with friends and family is soothing to the nerves. When reeling under the strain of machines, you only have to take time off and recline with the ocean and its rhythmic waves to know what kind of music really heals.

(The witer loves to write)
Zehra Naqvi