Sound of Bells and the Sounds of Hope

  • 31 Jul 2023
  • Read 4 mins read

‘tis that time of the year

Bells denote the start of something positive. But did you know that bells have varied connotations in English language. “Who will bell the cat” is the eternal question of every sceptic. Similarly, “Bells and Whistles” refer to the frivolous embellishments that hardly add value to the core. When something is vaguely familiar, it “rings a bell”, but when the cloud is gone, “it is as clear as a bell”. In a worst case scenario, when something bad is going to happen, “alarm bells start to ring”. But as we approach Christmas and a New Year, bells are all about hope and optimism.


Sound of bells from the hands of celebrities

Both the Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Vidya Balan and Kajol have rung the ceremonial bell at the BSE. Glamour in India is also about cricket. From the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, to star players like Rohit Sharma, Ricky Ponting and Shreyas Iyer have rung the bell at the BSE. Not to forget, the Stars of Cricket comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden and Wasim Akram also rang the ceremonial bell at the NYSE.

BSE had its share of political personalities too. Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Odisha; Yogi Adityanath and Navin Patnaik rang the bell at the BSE as did Nitin Gadkari and Shivraj Singh Chauhan. Even relatively apolitical personalities like the high profile Sadhguru and the loquacious Arnab Goswami have rung the bell at the BSE.

Sound of bells and the sounds of hope

Be it the Christmas bells tolling, the bells of the church or the sound of bells at the stock exchange; they have one thing in common. They signify hope. It is said that life has never been kind to most people in the world and yet, for large swathes of the population, there is hope. Christmas and New Year bells herald hope of a better year. The church bells remind us that amidst the million evils on earth, there is hope that the good lord will prevail. Of course, the stock exchange bell heralds the hope that the next year will be more favourable to investors.

For whom the bells toll?

But the gist of bells was best captured by Ernest Hemmingway in his celebrated 1940 book, “For whom the bells toll”. Describing the Spanish war eloquently; Hemmingway concludes, “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. Therefore, never send to know for whom the bells toll; for they toll for thee”. In a world racked by war and strife, this is perhaps the most important thing we must remember about bells.