It was the early hours of the evening. I was seated on a comfortable chair, writing. Somehow this setting reminded me of my school days. Since I don’t write so much with pens and pencils these days, writing on paper took me back in time in a way.
The parting sun lit up my room in a particularly reminiscent hue. One that reminded me that I used be itching to go outside the house to play with my friends as a child at this time in the evening.
Then, all of sudden, I heard an evocative shout.
‘Did someone call out my name from the street outside my house?’ I wondered.
I looked out from the window with hope.
It was the ghost of my past.
He looked into my eyes lovingly and spoke,
‘Remember how you used to sit next to this window sill, waiting to hear your friends call out your name to play cricket in the evening?
Remember those inviting shouts that was once music to your ears?
And do you remember how over years, calls got more sophisticated? How the shouting was replaced by a short high pitched whistle, a clap in a familiar cadence, just to keep all questionable sneaking out discreet?
The sound of the screeching footsteps of a friend, suggesting his arrival from afar, and towards the end of teenage, the gasps of an old handed down Kinetic Honda, which you crashed into a lamppost on your friend’s birthday?
You must at least remember how you’d listen for your childhood crush’s voice that would filter through the songs of sparrows in the park?
Do you remember these sounds, my old friend?’ asked the harmless ghost.
His gentle whisper echoed in my heart all night long.
In that moment, I realised how deprived of these sounds my life had become.
These days, a friend would usually text me from outside my house or place a phone call. The hollering has disappeared.
Earphones keep me distanced from all those sounds my ears were so trained to decipher. My ears long for the high pitched blip of an Instant messenger notification, not for the dying horn of an old Kinetic Honda.
And in all these years, the battle of bandwidths has attenuated the life out of a little sparrow, the background music of my childhood.
As with the sparrow, the sounds of my childhood are also facing extinction.
Maybe, the next time I visit a friend, I am going to shout out for him, just how I used to back in the day.
Maybe, he will come out with a smile laced with surprise, and I’ll smile back, with an invitation back to where we belong.
I long for the release in that holler.
And maybe, in that act, a sparrow would find hope to resurrect, and bring back life and song to my silent little world.