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  • Writer's pictureLopa Shah

2G - Grit and Gamble!

A view from the valley of consistent disruption. Above all the sounds I hear in the air today, the ones that matter are the ones that seldom see the light of the day. These are of restlessness twirling in the gut of a fully grown woman in her 30s, snailing her way through applications, dying to leave the state of affairs around her and make a new life for herself; a life that is fulfilling, fearless and free. Troubled by the snake trying to catch its tail for several minutes before she could land on a page, she kicks her table, picks up her phone and tries distracting herself with updates on news, and like every other time, loses her grip over the task on hand. These sounds are of children playing in the park in exchange for a tiring attempt to attend a web-class, in vain. These are of the many small businesses, withering piece by piece in the friction of planning and troubleshooting. These sounds are of the charring of many hopes, plans, dreams, along with the trash that burns the air each day. In the time I was denied internet service, I redid my room and added a table to it in anticipation of a time when I’d be able to work from it seamlessly. Now sitting on it, with my phone constantly buzzing with the hoard of messages running on it, I’m wondering where to start from. It’s been 4 days. How do I catch up on so much and also cover the work that suffered? These are sounds of wonder, fatigue and confusion. He stares at the confirmation request for a national level workshop selection. He is not sure if he would have internet to access anything. And he would never know. These are sounds of uncertainty oozing from the choices of young minds. “I’ve recognised a pattern”, she says, “now I know the juggad for hosting a zoom class without losing participants due to low network.” She was determined she would not let anything stop her. These are sounds of stride from the most humble situations; these are sounds of pride of having fought and won a small battle that mattered. I am sitting on the edge trying to get as much done as possible, because I can hear the sound of silenced streets, phone beeping CASO*, and I know I’m going to lose internet anytime now. These are sounds of panting, of racing against time, of competition with what you know is much larger than you. *caso: Cordon and search operation, carried out by Indian armed forces to track militants. They were thrilled to have met after a long time and a long communication blockade. They decided to netflix and chill. And a 2 hour film lasted 4. They fell asleep by the end of it, perhaps in the time they shut their eyes to rest, while the film was loading, again! These are sounds of innocence dashing against simple desires; of moments losing their element. The little one had just learned how to say 'Masi', and the video call kept continuously dropping. These are sounds of dying pleasures; of rattling relationships. These and many more like them - sounds that are small and perhaps insignificant in the eyes of THE larger scheme. Yet, these are the sounds that make for what we hear today. And what we are today. People of an entire valley are silenced. It’s your turn. 2G - Gagged and Grieving

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