The true spirit of festive times ought to be excavated from layers of noise and more noise………
Uneasy is the head that suffers sanity defying sounds. The after effects of Diwali seem to be lingering on…. The impact has been so great that I think I can still hear the 120+ db power bombs echoing in my ears. Have I been imagining this or is it a reverberation of the original or that my neighbours are still not done. With their fascination -BOMBS!
Just this morning I heard melodious godly notes being hummed by a procession (prabhat pheri). Even as I was enjoying the mellow, I was rudely brought back to reality by ear shattering sounds of these little monsters in their full glory. My sense of acquired peace-shattered. Really, was that crescendo even required? Weren’t the harmonious notes of the mellifluous chorus a good enough ending to a synchronic, early morning procession? Hadn’t the group done beyond its bit by waking up early, assembling together at point A and then slow walking to point B- their destination? Considering some of us cosily tucked in our beds stirred at the honeyed sounds, the unexpected change proved to be a horrid contrast. What had been a welcome early morning waking up had become jarring. The quietude lost and left me wondering -Could this religious ritual have called for an irreligious end? And then, hadn’t we gotten done with Diwali last Sunday itself?
A re-entry. No way! Uncalled for, uninvited. But folks still seem in great earnest, uncaring. They seem to have saved fire crackers and our lighting them in installments! Unbelievable. Drum bursting noise in emi or shall I say edi’s (easy daily installments) at any point of time in the day appears unreasonable, if not irrational? Whatever for? A slow and steady erosion of one’s own ear drum or to see one’s own lungs gasping for a whiff of air. Can we hear them call out in desperation, ‘Some pure air, puhleeeze? Toxin free!’ Well no, who is paying heed anyway! Joy has taken on a meaning louder that most of us can handle. All the shopping for giftsing self and loved ones and not so loved ones, not enough? Surfing portals, spoilt for choice, acting the pivot of a million portals that are clambering over each other so we buy something from them- insufficient. Consumer is the king shriek these websites. And happily, we explore to relish the thrill of shopping from the comforts of our couch. This and meeting family and friends should brighten our Diwali beyond the brightness of any fire crackers. It’s what we would all love.
Contrarily, religiously noisy and raucous is how we have opted to remain during celebratory times. The louder the nerve-wrecking sound, the better, as if we are in competition of another kind-whose fire crackers have the best bet of busting ears or again scaring the animals to the point they may go down on their knees begging our Maker for a parallel world with no access to their friendly foe-us! A foe-friend to ourselves too, we have chosen this cacophonous style for every occasion. Birthday blasts are literal, weddings have boom box that blow heads off in tandem with the fire crackers, creating a horrendous unison of explosive sounds. And blaring loud speakers compete with each other in decibel intensity during most festivals which seem to have become a celebration of noise. Harmony in disharmony sis the sacred motto of every celebration. The only one exempt so far is the festival of colours. In some measure excessively loud music and songs from Bollywood do form a part of Holi too, but it’s for a shorter and more endurable duration. Should more clamour become a part of Holi, it will be a take away from its resplendent colours. Let Holi remain holy, devoid of the madness we are all succumbing to.
It’s time we revert to tranquil festivals that give joy in their sanctity and togetherness, with people for company. Then Delhi will breathe and Mumbai will become mellow; the elderly will participate and children will view a bright future. Then our co-inhabitants, the animals will breathe easy. Unhappy news about little pups dying of shock, birds dropping from the sky or trees, humans getting injured or places catching fire would be replaced by pictures of joyous festivities. C’mon, let’s take a call before we cease to hear them. Let all festivals brighten our day.