Sunday, 29 April 2012

Do You Have The Right To Sleep Peacefully?


In India, it seems that there is a certain tradition of creating noise, in the rapture of happiness, to show it off to your neighbors. It's not intentionally done to hurt children and senior citizen and sensitive people but it anyway ends up hurting them miserably. This noise is created in extravagant marriages, by drum-beats, crackers and songs on loud-speakers; in election-campaigns and most vehemently in religious festivals. It's such a core part of The Great Indian Culture now that I find myself an alien when I cannot sleep because of the disturbances.


Is there a certain fraction of mass, in marriages, in election campaigns, in religious ceremonies, which thinks about the right of peaceful sleep of others? Is it too much to ask for a good night's sleep in an independent democracy? I am sure that there is a law which prohibits creating sounds of intensity beyond a decibel limit after a certain time in night, in order to let people retire to their beds, peacefully, so that they may work normally and function efficiently on the next day. But this is, like many other laws a paper-tiger. Nobody seems to abide by it in India.


Marriages, birthday parties, festivals and elections might all be occasions to be happy and to spread your words, but why do you have to be a sado-masochistic-fanatic hurting others in your ecstasy? Just observe people dancing on the drum-beat on such occasions-- a rare rapture takes over them. Religious festivals make them dance all night in such rapture, but why these drum-beats have to be so high in volume? 


Why loud-speakers need to haunt you with cacophonies throughout the night, just because some people are too devoted to some deities and need to show-it-all-off?


In northern part of India, there are various festivals celebrated with enthusiasm and in some of them, some people host reading of scriptures. This is considered to be a very holy thing do because of two reasons: Reading holy scriptures will give you heaven after death, or at least a very good birth and spreading this holy word on cacophonous loud-speakers in your entire colony is even more virtuous and humanitarian a thing to do. More you haunt students preparing for their final examinations, more punya you gain and better your prospects of getting a seat in assembly of heaven besides Indra-the-king-of-Gods. Similarly, hurt senior citizens and infants for seven days incessantly, without stop and you are a candidate for heaven. It has immediate gains as well: Your social stature also increases significantly because people in your neighbourhood are supposed to consider you a religious, righteous and pious person.


Meditative, tranquil, sedative, soothing, harmonious, peaceful, gentle are all words which make no sense for people who are accustomed to these perennial cacophonies. Calm is dead in their opinion. If you're lively and you're a devotee--you must show it, else something is lacking in you--why, life has to be vibrant and vibrant is always loud in their dictionaries. It’s inculcated and ingrained into their consciousness right from their childhood to worship words like mega, loud, highlighted, hard, showing and religious.


I cannot sleep when they're on, I cannot share their religious, cultural or festive trance, I cannot shut myself off from their loud, beat-hell-out-of-the-drum band and ever killing crackers and all that choking smoke. I am a common man, I am not a religious devotee, I am not a fanatic and I love peace. I don't disturb others even with the music as I use head-phones as a rule, I don't even talk loudly and my bike's silencer works remarkably well and I assure you that I am not dead and as vibrant as anyone ever gets.


Be it north or south, east or west in India, it's your right to disturb those trying to meditate. They cannot raise their voice because they're lonely and you are 'the mob.' Haunt students preparing for their exams, senior citizens trying to sleep, choke infants with the gun-powder you stuff into the air and waste money on useless show; nobody is going to stop you because you're a group and you love to show things off.