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The sounds of twilight

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One evening in the office, I heard the calls of a barbet on top of a banyan tree. The monotonous kot-roo ... kot-roo sounded a lot familiar. The sounds of a barbet were one of the things that described the twilight in our childhood days in the villages.

The experience of twilight then was a lot different from what is now under the deafening sounds of vehicles and TV and other electronic gadgets. It’s a different world altogether that we miss in the middle of all the buzz.

When the day begins to fade into darkness, the world on the other side awakens with its own vigour. As the birds settle back into their nests with raucous calls, a cauldron of bats begin to board their night flight.

The music of the night is never late to begin. The crickets, cicadas and katydids are waiting to rock the night! The cicadas are the first to sing and first to stop! The crickets and katydids start a bit late but stay long!

We had all the fascination to know how such such tiny insects create such high-frequency sounds. So that fascination would lead us to capture the crickets and secure them inside an empty match box. It was fun to hand the box to someone and the box starts making high-pitch terrifying sounds. The insects would start their rhythmic song like an alarm as we played on the ground unaware of the light dimming slowly. The noiseless surroundings were a wonderful stage for these insects, and all that we would listen outside after dark was their rhythmic buzz.

In addition to this, the howling foxes made a chorus not so far away from the paddy fields. All these were the signature sounds of the nights to begin with in life at villages.

Nowadays, the scenes have changed. The fields are far from the place we live in. Our living spaces are deprived of trees for birds or insects to make their homes. The sounds of twilight or the night are no different from those of dawn or noon. There is no difference between the natural worlds that revolve around day and night or between light and darkness.

Syncing with nature or the natural world is the best way to live our lives. It soothes, calms and brings in a feel of being an element of this universe.

ashokbbalakrishna@gmail.com


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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 4:58:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/the-sounds-of-twilight/article37136771.ece

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