Music is in footsteps eager to reach you, the bell ring, the sound of whispers in ear, of knuckles unknuckling lazily, the swish of clothes, of laughter, and the name being called out. Again and again.

Music is windows rattling, wind knocking, thunder, rain, the splashing in pools of muddy water, the gurgle of drains, of gumboots plodding, the towel drying wet hair.

Music is opera, the gut-wrenching cry of unspeakable sadness, of stories that never die about people who always do.

Music is the church choir, stiff collars scraping necks, throats belting out hymns in sync, the uniformity of consent, of community, of togetherness.

Music is the huge temple bell rung just once to announce arrival and once more to depart, an offering to an idol created by the cadence of hands.

Music is the azaan, the call of the muezzin, especially at dusk, intoned like the sun cooling off, like air trapped in the hollow of cheeks that breaks free and escapes into the sky.

Music is the symphony of an orchestra where hands seem to quiver. Of the soloist at a pop concert who has to match voice with attitude, timbre.

Music is the turning of the pages of a book, of scratching out words with a pen, of sketching on rice paper, of the fan blowing into face, of lips puckering to blow away the strands of hair.

Music is distant traffic at night, of the phone on silent and a call with a name so familiar you divert it to voice mail so that you can listen to the sigh.


© Farzana Versey