Dialogue in the Dark

Tuesday, 4 June 2013 4 Comments

Switch off your sight. Switch on your insight. And see a brighter world. That’s what the ‘Dialogue in the dark’ India website says. It actually is a place where you are completely devoid of your sight but deeply enlightened by your insight. I was introduced to Dialogue in the dark, when I was in Hyderabad last year, with my cousin. It was he who insisted on visiting this place and strictly instructed me not to go through the website before actually experiencing it. I didn't had the slightest of the idea that what actually it was, not even upon reaching the Dialogue in the Dark which resides in Inorbit Mall, Hyderabad. 
We purchased the tickets and were being told that it’s an exhibition in the dark and we would be guided by a person. Completely unaware of the fact that what’s going to happen in the next sixty minutes we silently entered this black corridor. We were a group of four. We were gradually parting from the light and slowly entering into a dark area. It was not until reaching the area which was completely dark that we heard a lady’s voice that greeted us. She was Misha, our guide for the next sixty minutes. We couldn't see her but only hear her. Her voice was very gentle and polite. I somehow imagined her to be someone very beautiful who belonged to Assam, as her voice and pronunciation had a lot of resemblance to an Assamese friend.  I was already astounded and fascinated by the fact that how did these people made the area so pitch dark. The initial experiments that I tried upon reaching the place were opening and closing of my eyes repeatedly until I realized that it was one and the same thing. I was just shocked to see or I would say rather not see anything around myself. In fact I was not even able to see my hands, foot, nothing. Nothing!!!! It was completely dark. Now this was the first time in life that I was experiencing such kind of environment. Even in case of power cuts and failures during nights our eyes slowly adjust after a while but this seemed to be an infinite situation. It was a complete loss of sight.
The first fifteen minutes were filled with utter confusion and excitement. Misha directed us through some more corridors as we struggled to move by touching the wall with one hand while holding a stick in the other. Only her voice was the way out from there, everything else seemed obscure. Many a times we bumped into each other, sometimes we lost track from the group ,while the rest of the time was consumed in identifying the direction from where she was giving us instructions. She then took us to a place which she called a garden and made us touch some plants, smell some flowers and touch some water. Then she made us touch some pulses and fruits asked us to identify them. This became a herculean task for us as we were not able to differentiate one from another. This was the moment when I first felt the disability. I realized how hard it is to work without one of our senses. The colorful world suddenly turned black.
After crossing this area we entered into a noisy area, it sounded like as if there was waterfall or river nearby. There was a sudden drop in temperature. She made us sit in a boat and told us that we would be going for a boat ride. There was no other boat ride that I enjoyed as much as this one. The cool air was rubbing my face; splashes of water were wetting me, and we all sat quietly in peace. I was just completely into it and flowing with the mood of the surrounding. It was then I realized that if it wouldn't have been dark and if I were able to see everything around, it would have distracted me a lot and I would have been deprived of this bliss. I think when one of the senses is disabled the others become more alive.
Finally we landed up in section which was supposed to be a cafeteria. The situation became more complicated when we had to pay for our purchase in dark. It was difficult to differentiate a hundred rupee note from a fifty rupee note while a five hundred note was easily identifiable. And to my surprise the women standing on the other side of the counter quickly gave us the change with ease as if she was able to see everything around. I just felt paralyzed and helpless. I was becoming restless and wanted to move out of this place and see everything around me. It was then that Misha guided us towards another corridor and questioned us that whether we wanted to see her. It was pretty obvious and unanimous that everybody wanted to see this lady who dauntlessly mentored us through the exhibition. She was so acquainted by the place that for a moment during the tour I thought that did she had some special glasses through which she could see everything inside. I really wanted to unfold this mystery.
Slowly we were moving towards the illuminated area leaving behind the darker area. We all came out of that gloomy place, the exhibition was over. But then something happened which was beyond my imagination. Misha introduced herself. She was visually impaired. She was far more beautiful than I had imagined and belonged to Kerala, contrary to what I had thought earlier. There were a million thoughts running through my head.I was forced to rethink about my capabilities and my limitations when I saw her sheer confidence and strength.That day I took a lot of contemplation home.
Dialogue in the dark is an exhibition in total darkness led by visually impaired guides. The first exhibition was setup in Hamburg, Germany in 1988 by Andreas Heinecke. Since then it has made its presence in 30 countries. India has only one center that resides in Inorbit Mall, Hyderabad and I highly recommend everyone to visit this place at least once. It is altogether a very unique experience which takes you deep inside yourself. A place where you can feel your own presence and existence, explore and discover your limitations, more than anything else in this world. It made me realize the importance of things I possess, even the smallest of them and I thanked God for giving me such a wonderful life. It widened the dimensions of my thinking. It really was a Dialogue in the dark.



4 comments:

  1. At the time of reading, I was just into it.Even I have alreday heard about it.It was like pure concentration.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Truly Enjoyed ur post...I read it in an article and have kept that cutting for ages now...coz i havent got the chance til date to visit the same!! Good Going trekker!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks !!! Its a must visit Krati, take some time out for Hyderabad.

      Delete