Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seeking quiet...

Thought I'd enjoy cup of tea in peace and quiet in the evening . It was not meant to be . Someone in the neighborhood was hosting a party . How did I know that ? The Hindi film music blasting at high volume and the equally loud sound of a DJ . Weirdly , playing Hindi film music at a high volume seems to be the only idea of entertainment for most folks ( at least in Mumbai ) . Whether the event is a party hosted at someone's house or a get-together at a building , wedding etc . To a point where a pub , gym , party , wedding , festival celebration all sound alike. I have yet to fathom whether this is the spontaneous preference of so many individuals or is it the Emperor's New Clothes phenomenon where everyone thinks that this is the way they must celebrate. I guess it's also convenience . When you blast music at a high volume it saves the effort of actually having to converse with people . 

When we go out on the streets (of Mumbai ) the decibel levels due to vehicles is incredibly high .The visual clutter on the streets due to poor roads , garbage , unending hoardings of various sizes of political parties / politicians ( garbage of another kind ) sometimes exceeds the audio pollution. One would think that this would add to the appeal of a quieter , saner environment . But no . 'Louder is better' seems to be the mantra . All of this has made Mumbai a huge market for sound proof glass and air-conditioners . 

Blaise Pascal was accurate and prescient in saying that ' all of man's miseries arise from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone' . 

1 comment:

anand said...

stand still(silent)and know that i am your maker..a corollary would then be, dont stand still, and know not your maker!!!

noise unasked for is illegal..at best we can request silence or better still call up the Anti-Noise Pollution Committee or SOCLEEN(Society for Clean Environment).. both are active..

what is perhaps most important is that we share, speak up, enrol and seek support.. regardless of what the act of social evil it might be.. it reminds me of Martin Niemoeller, a pacifist who spoke out against nuclear weapons.

He is best known for his powerful statement about the failure of Germans to speak out against the Nazis:

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”