Voice…..As long as I can remember my voice has singularly been my most unique identity. It was a way to assert myself, to implore, to influence and to reach out to people whom I wanted to share a part of me with and weave those imprints into my social tapestry.
I never knew what the absence of voice meant till I saw my first blue and black wound skillfully covered up in make-up. The need to explore the complexity of being voiceless or being pushed towards voicelessness arose from the silence of a stunningly beautiful, vivacious and intelligent woman. And suddenly I could hear a lot of these silences, the more I tuned myself to listen the more I saw them everywhere around me.
Irrespective of social status, education and modernity masks it was there….echoing loud. The need to understand and explore these silences led me to meeting the most fascinatingly diverse set of people especially women whom I’d never ever known, heard, seen, let alone imagined. Women who wore their silences gracefully, stoically, courageously, painfully, hysterically, rebelliously, hopelessly….. and in these silences rose a sound…. the inaudibly deafening sound of forced silence. The boundless energy of this silence threatening to destroy and disempower. But to my utmost surprise and the delight of my unrelentingly optimistic heart the silence was not going unheard. Evidencing the core of what we humans stand for was a group of catalysts silently carrying on their task of igniting the ray of hope…the hope of an active voice. There was a need to transform the boundless energy of silence and let it out in the world to manifest into powerful change and transformation.
For all those who could hear the silence there was a need to be that stone which would set a million ripples free to find the unbound resonance of one’s innermost voice with ones unclaimed long forgotten dreams. This resonance is what could make ‘the sound of silence’ an energy that rises and wells up to truly bring about lasting change. The move from hidden dark silences to liberating inclusive sounds. From silence to sound…..from ‘Mauna’ to ‘Dhwani’….the genesis of The Mauna Dhwani Foundation. A heartfelt purposeful attempt to enable disenfranchised women groups to regain their identity, livelihood, dignity and power, through their personal and collective voice.