Jan 30, "Hey Ram!", 11 am, sounds of silence.

This morning the newspaper & I gently prompted the family to watch out for the 11 O'clock annual remembrance dedicated to martrys. Thanks to a local siren, the symbolic gesture of silence commenced. I paused even as I was setting the table for lunch. The elderly sat with bowed heads. Even the domestic help paused at mid-mop-swipe, albeit with a puzzled look.
The doorbell rang. The highway sounds heard through the window, unsubtle as they are, seemed harsher than usual.
After the call-off siren, I found a couple of power supply linesmen waiting patiently. I mildly enquired whether they had heard the sound of the siren and the reason for it. 'Remembering the Mahatma', they said, but followed that with 'we are responding to electrical emergencies'. They were on duty, after all...
I remember a short story based on the couple of minutes' silence observed on Armistice Day. At the dock in Dover, a customs official could finally place the law's hands on a slippery smuggler; merrily ticking watches, a few hundred of them making up the contraband tucked somewhere in a car, gave themselves away. (Doubtless, the ticking must have sounded loudest to our man's ears, during the public show of reverence to WWI martyrs).
I look forward to the day when all Indians come to a standstill for those couple of minutes whether they are in public places, lush offices, or at home. Would that I had a magic wand that waved everyone to stillness, including the traffic! Just a symbolic gesture?
Remember the GreatSoul, do...Picture sourced from The Hindu

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