Every day around the time I start writing this column, I hear a loud sound like rolling thunder. The first day I thought the army was sending tanks after me, about something I’d written, and shook with fear, till my wife said it was okay, and it was just our neighbour’s son with his motorbike!

“That’s the boy who’s bought himself a Harley-Davidson,” I said, “why has he fiddled with the silencer, to create such a loud sound?”

“Because he felt nobody was noticing him!” said the wife wisely.

The next time I heard the cacophony I ran to the window to look and sure enough it was the same lad, sitting on one of the best bikes in India, revving up his engine, so everybody would notice.

I pondered on this as I came back to my writing, why did this young man with the best bike in town need to show off? I can imagine owners of small cars and bikes getting themselves loud horns and taking the muffler off their silencers because they feel insignificant, but why with a big good looking bike?

I see this with many so-called leaders! They feel they are not being seen. They feel insignificant and try to make up with ‘loud’ sounds! In Trump’s obnoxious behavior two years ago I didn’t see a billionaire who had all the money in the world, but a little boy screaming to be noticed. What was his loud sound? Rude and nasty behavior which brought attention to himself, just like the loud, disturbing Harley-Davidson noise!

I remember many years ago, being visited by quite a handsome young fellow. He spent the evening with my wife and myself, and later his uncle called me, “How do you find my nephew?”

“It’s strange,” I said, “For such a good looking lad, all he did was talk about himself, as if he was convincing me he was good looking!” His uncle laughed on the phone, “Bob, he’s just gone through plastic surgery! He was quite an ugly fellow, but the surgeons have done wonders with his face!”

“So,” I said, “he still thinks he’s ugly! His mind hasn’t caught up with his looks!”

Trump's billions hadn’t caught up with Trump.

The costly bike hasn’t caught up with the rider.

Which brings me to another thought: People who don’t need loud talk, crude jokes or loud behavior; what kind of people are they? You’ll never see them needing to drive a Mercedes or Harley-Davidson, confident people even as they sit in their Maruti 800s and 100 cc bikes, and definitely never needing to open their silencers and let the sound out.

Their stillness, their silence make others listen..!

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