Tag Archives: Silence

In Moments of Silence

In moments of silence,
We question
What is it that makes us, Us.

When stripped of the things we thought we have control of:
The words, the choices, the senses, the memories.
What is left?

In moments of silence,
I question.

I have yet to arrive at an answer.
Maybe the silence is it.
Maybe it’s all I need, and all I want to be.



“It took me a while to realize that all the words in the world couldn’t keep my thoughts quiet, so I had to learn how to hush them and change them and make them feel comfortable. Silence is actually very wonderful if you let it be. In silence, you can close your eyes and listen to the hum and flow and beat of life, undisturbed by yourself.”

– Frankie Magazine, Issue 64

Of Ill-Fated Galleries And Booming Basses

On a sunny Saturday morning, I woke up at 6.30, determined to beat the crowds to the 107 art gallery in Redfern to catch their latest exhibition, only to reach at 9, and found out that they open at 12.

So. I hopped over to the Scouts‘, ordered the usual, and thought about silence.

“Human beings have a natural inclination to silence. It is a deep longing.” – From the book I was reading.

Sitting in a cafe with lovely wooden tables and fresh table plants, yet surrounded by loud booming bass lines, I sincerely wished at that moment that more of us know of and appreciate this natural inclination.

If that is our natural state, why has our notion of silence come attached with notions of emptiness and stagnancy? When really, the opposite is true – silence is full of all other sounds, amplified by their absence. Silence holds the potential of all possibilities possible in the world. Silence is filled with introspection. And from introspection comes meaning. Silence has an impenetrable depth which we can’t even begin to imagine, until we are immersed in it. Silence brings us back to our true nature.

But because we have been fed and bombarded with sounds motion from the moment of our birth (just look at the toys and games children grow up with today), we have been conditioned to turn away from the silence within. We spend our lives then looking for means to achieve the happiness we so desire, when really, it is within us all along. I now think that when the wise ones said “happiness comes from within”, or something along those lines, they were really referring to that wellspring of true silence within us. The deep longing for happiness might really be a longing for silence. Why else would we feel peaceful and relaxed when among the quiet mountains of Chiangmai, the slow-moving backwaters of Kerela, the vast ocean of the pacific, or when we simply sit within the peaceful tranquility of a library? The “natural inclination” refers to the potential we have to reach that silence, and hence true happiness.

As I was jotting down my thoughts, the girl seated opposite me at the communal table stole a few occasional glances at me. She was also alone and was reading the newspaper as she munched on her brunch. As she got up to leave, she leaned over to take a good look at the book. “I always like to look at what others are reading,” she smiled.

Unfortunately, because of the pumping bass, I only registered what she said AFTER she started walking away. I would have loved to pass her the book and let her flip through it, maybe share some thoughts and start a meaningful, memorable conversation which we both would have enjoyed or benefitted from. But nothing like that happened. She walked away and I, hearing and registering her words too late, continued to sip my latte, surrounded by the booming bass.


I’ve come to appreciate silence as one of the most precious things in this world.

Silence not only from external forces, distractions and temptations, assaulting us from every angle,

but also silence from within, the quelling of our inner desires and restless thoughts.

Sometimes I look up, and catch sight of a beautiful of silhouette of a tree against the vast sky,

Or perhaps a beautiful sunset, absorbing all the negativity in this world as the sun sinks into the horizon,

Or something as simple as wispy clouds floating unhurriedly by…

and I think, if Silence took on a form, this is what it might look like.

And this precious silence would make a great gift, any day 🙂

Beauty in the Forgotten

Sometimes, by a stroke of luck, you come across places so quiet, so seemingly forgotten, that you sigh in pity for the souls on this boisterous and overly-vibrant island who might never come to realise and appreciate such beauty.

But at the same time, you know that it is the very layer of silence and sense of abandonment which gives these places their essence of quaintness and charm. Too many footprints, and the grass will not grow anymore, the birds will leave their nests, and even the sunlight which bounces off our skin might have a different weight.

We are fickle after all.

Quiet Times – 1/20

Friends, if you’re wondering how am I able to update this blog from a remote Indian village (which, by the way, HAS internet access, except that there are only about 10 computers to be shared among thousands), I have scheduled posts 🙂

Over the next 20 days, posts which I have written over the past few weeks will appear on a daily basis (because I have scheduled them so).

Like the cat who sits on her owner’s blankets when her owner is away, you could come and sit on my blog if you miss me too much >.<


Because I have gone away to seek physical and mental silence, I thought the theme “Quiet Times” might be suitable for the next 20 days.

Pictures from Quaver the Golden Half camera.

Taken between October and November 2012, when I tried to seek silence on this urban island, and capture moments of it.



Somewhere I’d always rather be.