Try this: Sit in your comfortable work space with nice background music or coffee, and get busy in your zone of work. Then, interrupt yourself with loud noises near you. You have to wonder: How do people of this world respond when the decibel levels go up high. Would it make you more edgy ?  Would it make you irritable or distracted ?  Would it provoke you to make louder noises in response ?  Or would you zone out yourself ?  Noise pollution arrives uninvited and stays till you put up a fight or try to cushion yourself from it. A recent experience was the Ganesh Chathurthi festivals. Some of the local bands went on well after midnight, showing their might with speakers, some as big as small shops !  The noise levels were so high that after closing the windows and drawing thick curtains, stuffing cotton earplugs and adding a cushion to protect the precious brain, one could still hear the noise. Helpless residents resigned to the fact that this will all be over tomorrow. The interesting noise came at midnight. The music stopped, allowing a sigh of relief ! But there was still some small persistent noise ?!  After a few seconds, we realized it was fire crackers bursting! Imagine how much our temporary hearing loss was, when the usually loud firecrackers sounded mild and soothing compared to the speakers noise.

The youth went on with renewed head-banging music after the crackers break. I wonder if Lord Ganesha approves of remixed industrial music, the head-banging versions of dhoom, ek do teen char, lungi dance etc. Finally, when the speakers went off, the unwavering energy of the local youth led them to ride around their streets, with much horn honking and throttle roaring of their bikes. In the end, when it felt like they had satisfactorily proclaimed their territory, we all drifted into fitful sleep with occasional nightmares of somebody hitting on the head with a hammer. The next morning was one of the most blissful – it was silent !  We all understand the next season will begin soon with the early morning Bhajans – you guessed it ! …. with loud speakers. The singer drifts off-beat regularly, a more jarring wake up to the entire neighborhood, than a prayer to his deity.

One wonders again, while the discipline and devotion is appreciated, did the Gods ask you to hook up your song to the largest possible speakers in the market ?  Would it not be a sin to disturb people’s sleep early in the morning ?  Intermittent sleep causes disturbances to deep sleep patterns, thus resulting in fatigue the next day. Loud music at late hours and early morning, break the routine for young children and their study hours. It doesn’t allow tired office goers or senior citizens to rest well. Sometimes, in this busy world, the few minutes of quiet time early in the morning or late in evening is the only peace we may get. One prays that some sense be knocked into the loud speakers mania of today. Let the senselessness be replaced with some devotion, let the noise be replaced with melody. Sometimes, it works if you make a protest! So, the next time you are affected make some noise !! … errr…. post your comments below…… Debates are welcome. Happy blogging !

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