“Apparently you could make friends easily, Uncle Salvatore. Listening to you, I sense that you felt in India as comfortable as in your own country.”
“Benedetto, my country is the world. My hometown is the place where I am at the moment. In other words, if I am in New York, my hometown is New York, if I am in Moscow, my hometown is Moscow, if I am in Addis Ababa, my hometown is Addis Ababa, and so on.”
“I think you were lucky to find a piano academy in India. They play other instruments in Indian music such as sitar or harmonium.”
“Yes, I was lucky. But the academy was different from that in Isola. As soon as I entered there, I saw several musical instruments in one room. I couldn’t expect that they gave lessons for the violin, guitar, keyboard, and piano simultaneously. When I went to the academy for my first lesson two days later, two students were playing the violin, one the guitar, two the piano, and one the drums in the adjacent room. All those sounds didn’t annoy me. On the contrary, there was a delightful harmony of noisy sounds.
“The teacher was a young woman called Swara. She was quite fat, with long wavy black hair down to her shoulders. If she had been less fat, she would have been a beautiful woman, but her fatness made her body look like a wine bag. “I sat down at a black upright piano and started playing by reading the score on the piano. Now and then, the teacher came and checked my practice. If my playing was acceptable, she turned the page of the piano book to a new page.
“At that time, I wondered whether this was useless work. I was too old to learn a musical instrument. But I felt that playing the piano was like a kind of meditation that made me a less cerebral person.
“After I finished the piano lesson at the music academy, I went to Ravi’s home. He showed me his favorite musical instrument, the sitar. ‘The sitar is an Indian string musical instrument used in classical music. The sound box is made from a pumpkin. The strings are supported by two ivory bridges. Sometimes in the cheaper sitars, they use bones of a camel as bridges. The number of the strings ranges from eighteen to nineteen. There are two rows of strings, seven on the upper part of the sitar and twelve on the lower part,’ Ravi explained like a teacher.”
“Uncle Salvatore, it seems that the sitar is similar to the viola d’amore. You’ve already talked about this musical instrument when you met the lawyer Bruno.”
“They are not similar, Benedetto. The viola d’amore looks like a violin or a cello. The sitar looks like a guitar. However, the common thing of these musical instruments is that some strings vibrate though they are untouched. It was the first time that I saw a sitar.
“Ravi went on, ‘When two strings are tuned in the same frequency, it doesn’t matter if the string is in the upper part or in the lower part, whenever you pluck one of them, the other string vibrates.’ ‘Some time ago I heard about vibrations from a friend of mine in my hometown. He said that everything vibrates in the universe. Do you agree with him?’ ‘Yes, I do. Everything in the universe has its own frequency. The frequencies are measured in hertz. For instance, if the frequency of the glass I am holding in my hand now is x hertz, when you produce the sound of x hertz, both frequencies are the same and the glass vibrates. Everything vibrates, both organic and inorganic matter, both material and immaterial. That’s why when beautiful music is played, our whole body vibrates. Our bodies are made of many particles that react to the various sounds.’ ‘Do you believe in the existence of the soul, Ravi? If yes, I want to know whether the soul can vibrate as well,’ I asked Ravi.”
“Uncle Salvatore, I want to know whether you believe in the soul or not.”
“I don’t know, Benedetto. I’m not sure about that.
“Ravi said, ‘The world is made of energy. When a musical instrument is played and you feel well, it happens because the sound contains positive energy. On the contrary, when you hear the noise of the cars and horns in the street, you are stressed. There are two kinds of energy. One is good, and the other is bad. The world is ruled by two opposite energies. Everything is energy, and Einstein proved it by the well-known formula, E=mc2. It means that energy can change into matter and matter into energy.’ ‘Is the soul energy?’ I asked.
“Ravi lit a candle. Then he went on. ‘The human body and the soul are similar to a candle. When the human candle is burned out, it can’t contain the soul, which leaves the body. Stones are also energy, for they are not dead. There are souls in the universe when an embryo enters the womb. It attracts a soul with the same frequency. When you work under pressure or have pain, your body loses its natural positive frequency. That’s why you need good music to harmonize your body. The soul can feel vibrations as well. Body and soul are connected, and both vibrate. Words and thoughts have vibrations, too. If we say something or think of something, our words or thoughts create vibrations. Do you know why we met? It happened because we have the same frequencies. We both love music. If we had had different frequencies, our meeting wouldn’t have been possible. People attract one another according to their frequencies. Among millions of people in the world, you can attract your soul mate who has a frequency similar to yours. It is like playing the sitar. The string that vibrates in resonance must have the same frequency as the string you pluck.’ ‘What is the difference between frequency and vibration?’ ‘Frequency is the number of vibrations in a second. It is measured in hertz. Hertz are the number of vibrations. In other words, one hertz is one vibration, two hertz are two vibrations, and so on.’
This is an excerpt from The Vibrations of Words: second edition by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind