Tuesday, November 01, 2005
What does noise communicate?
November 2005. Diwali is a bit more silent than usual this year. Maybe it is those explosions that rocked Delhi three days back. Maybe it is the bomb threats that so many of our public places and temples and mosques have been receiving from a lot of crazy terrorist organisations.
A friend who dropped by on Sunday evening, remarked how at the Siddhi Vinayak temple, there were more policemen around than devotees. Policemen presumably with rifles and sten guns and all the rest. Of course, this lady told us, (we are not temple goers so all this information is interesting for us) that even under normal circumstances, a visit to a temple like Siddhi Vinayak where the main shrine is down some steep steps, is quite an adventure. If there are no policemen to give you a sense of thrill there are always aggressive bulky women in the queue to push you aside, who in their attempt to advance forward themselves, almost succeed in knocking you down the stairs – presumably all the way to heaven.
Or maybe Diwali is more quiet this year because people no longer want to splurge on fireworks. I don’t know. I certainly DO NOT find the thought of the bomb threats very pleasant - but the thought of a quiet Diwali is soooo welcoming. Is this the price one pays for a quiet celebration?
Festivals and celebrations seem to have lost their significance altogether, in the past decades. Ganesh Chaturti, Dassehra or Diwali. They seem to give rise to a certain frequency of madness which you have to tune into yourself, in order to even vaguely enjoy the celebration, whatever it might be, even something as simple as a birthday party.
Noise. Why are Indians so fond of it? Or is it the world? I hate parties for this very reason. Most parties make me feel the madness of our world very intensely. The music (when there is music) is so deafening that all I manage to see the whole evening is the way in which human beings cover up their basic loneliness. Not being able to genuinely face one another, not being able to communicate. And so, having nothing to say to each other, we hide the fact with deafening sounds that blare from huge loudspeakers. And that is supposed to be fun. Ok. It is only my opinion, that this is NOT fun. Maybe plenty of others who have succeeded in tuning in to the general spirit of fun (my euphemism for madness) will tell me at this point how enjoyable such noisy evenings are, and I will keep my mouth shut. Because as I said in my last post, I don’t wish to argue any more!
But if there is anyone apart from me – anyone who appreciates a little silence and wants to, and is able to communicate without the aid of loudspeakers or inane chatter, please please get in touch! Let’s see what comes of our acquaintance!
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