Saturday, November 25, 2006


I hate noise. I can't stand it when people talk loudly and constantly interrupt me but I really hit the roof when people use their car horns. And God help me, if a bus or a truck is hooting away. I burst an artery. And when those bloody ambasadors - that symbol of power in India, comes along honking away with impunity, I just want to shed tears - shed tears at his stupidity and his arrogance and my own pathetic helplessness. What can I do to make people shut the F *** up? I feel so helpless.

(Even as I type this, some jackass on a bike has gone tooting down my road. May he run into a pole.Oh god! And now Onyx is here. What their workers do to keep the city clean is negated completely by the noise and air pollution their trucks release.)

There is a vast army of half-witted, insentient noise-polluters who have invaded the roads rendering common sense a rare and priceless commodity in India.

Thats why, when we first landed at the Billund airport (below) in Denmark, we could've easily assumed that the country was in a state of Emergency and all residents had been told to stay indoors and shut up. Everything was so lovely and quiet and empty. (Look at the last snap of the arrival lounge. Not a soul in sight!) Thats how it always is. I had a feeling things were going to go well. They did. I didn't see or hear a rude driver for 40 days and I will need a separate blog to start writing about how I was glowing with good health.

But seriously, what can we do, to make people aware that there is such a thing as noise pollution? That people use their horns ridiculously more than they need to. I have a good track record on the road having avoided dogs, cows, goats, cyclists and pedestrians deftly for nearly 10 years now and all this with only the gentle nudge of the horn in the rarest of rare circumstances. So why can't everybody else shut up??????!!!!!!! Waaaaaaaaah... Waaaah.


Sathej said...

Great sight, the Billund airport.Such a difference from Meenambakkam.Noise pollution abounds here.One way to possibly educate people is to have a doctor(ENT and we have some of the best ones here) write or speak(maybe,in NDTV) about it.It is a fact that several people,atleast here in Chennai,are health conscious.More so,of late.So,talking about the medical consequences like hearing impairment and hypertension could help.And looking at the pictures,it is not just the noise,there is yet another significant difference.The clean surroundings.Looks like the much heralded concept of 'Singara Chennai' is out of the window.

Revanta said...

I wonder what it would take to replace the signs behind the trucks (lorries), with "Shut up OK Please", rather than "Horn OK Please".

rajesh said...

I know how helpless one feels (esp while embarking on something emotional, creative work) when the people arnd aren't sensitive enough. I don't think we can do a thing to 'change them', though we can change our perspective and focus on what we want to do.

Sriganesh said...


I went to UK twice, last year. I was so happy to see people driving and commuting without having to produce noise. Not exactly true for London, though. You can hear loud noise of police patrol cars beeping 24 hours a day.

For sometime, I too hated India.

But then, I think these European countries are so dead. On the contrary, look here, we have so much life. The airport pics on your blog are devoid of life. Look at any street in India. Its full of lovely colorful people.

After a point, the silence that you experience there can become deafening. You feel you are in the company of dead.

Well, that's how I feel.

gopal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alaphia Zoyab said...

Sathej - Singara Chennai died even before it began.

Good point Revanta - how are you anyway?

Yes Rajesh - the only thing we can do is suffer fools gladly or patiently atleast.

Hi Sriganesh - you're right that everything is so perfect it can get boring. But its a pleasant contrast to the Indian 'chalta hai'. I have never lived abroad so when I'm on holiday I see it only with appreciation.

Gopal - I'm glad you deleted the comment on your own. I read it anyway and had a fairly sharp reply ready.