Can you hear a pin drop?

What is the meaning of pin drop silence?

Following are some instances when silence could speak louder than voice.

Take 1:

Field Marshal Sam Bahadur Maneckshaw once started addressing a public
meeting at Ahmedabad in English.

The crowd started chanting, "Speak in Gujarati.

We will hear you only if you speak in Gujarati."
Field Marshal Sam Bahadur Maneckshaw stopped.
Swept the audience with a hard stare and replied,

"Friends, I have fought many a battle in my long career.
I have learned Punjabi from men of the Sikh Regiment;
Marathi from the Maratha Regiment;
Tamil from the men of the Madras Sappers;
Bengali from the men of the Bengal Sappers,
Hindi from the Bihar Regiment; and
Even Nepali from the Gurkha Regiment.

Unfortunately there was no soldier from Gujarat from whom I could have
learned Gujarati."...

You could have heard a pin drop

Take 2:

Robert Whiting,
an elderly US gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.

At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his
carry on.

"You have been to France before, Monsieur ?", the Customs officer asked

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."

The American said,
"The last time I was here,
I didn't have to show it."

Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !", the
Customs officer sneered.

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long, hard look.

Then he quietly explained

"Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach,
at 4:40am, on D-Day in 1944, to help liberate your country, I couldn't find
a single Frenchman to show a passport to.... "

You could have heard a pin drop

Take 3:

Soon after getting freedom from British rule in 1947, the de-facto prime
minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru called a meeting of senior Army
Officers to select the first General of the Indian army.

Nehru proposed, "I think we should appoint a British officer as a General
of The Indian Army, as we don't have enough experience to lead the same."
Having learned under the British, only to serve and rarely to lead, all the
civilians and men in uniform present nodded their heads in agreement.

However one senior officer, Nathu Singh Rathore, asked for permission to

Nehru was a bit taken aback by the independent streak of the officer,
though, he asked him to speak freely.

Rathore said, "You see, sir, we don't have enough experience to lead a
nation too, so shouldn't we appoint a British person as the first Prime
Minister of India?"

You could hear a pin drop.

After a pregnant pause, Nehru asked Rathore,
"Are you ready to be the first General of The Indian Army?"..

Rathore declined the offer saying "Sir, we have a very talented army
officer, my senior, Gen. Cariappa, who is the most deserving among us."

This is how the brilliant Gen. Cariappa became the first General and
Rathore the first ever Lt. General of the Indian Army.

(Many thanks to Lt. Gen Niranjan Malik PVSM (Retd) for this article.)

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