Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Horny Mess - Part 1


"There is no ambient noise here: no radio, no TV, no airplanes, no passing cars. In the Twentieth century we are so accustomed to hearing sound all the time, the silence feel creepy" (from Timeline by Michael Crichton)


Source: www.actionfornature.org
Hi Everyone,

Ever thought what silence sounds like. You must me thinking "silence sounds" is an oxymoron but even the silence has a sound to it. But a question to everybody when was the last time they felt the complete silence around them. I think for this generation, and many generations before us the answer would be never. The above lines are from a scene where a group of historians do time travel to 14th century and when they land there they don’t find any ambient noise and it creeps the hell out of them. Why? Because they are used to noise. And aren't we used to noise too? Think on it.

I started writing this article when I was in traffic going to my sister's place for some work. I was stuck in traffic and there was a guy on a motorcycle who was blowing the horn again and again even though it was red light and traffic was stalled. Some people even asked him to stop doing that because the noise of the horn was very irritating and very loud. Do you know that the Indian government has a regulation on how loud the noise from the horns can be. The limit is 55 decibels near residential areas and 60-65 decibels in open areas. Well thorn of that biker was well above 100 decibels as it felt drilling holes in my head.

Having said this and with no offense to anybody, many of us do have a nasty habit of using vehicle horns without any concern for the others or without any need. Some people blow horns just for fun to show they have got loud horns, some people blow horns as if by doing that the traffic will move on its own and some people do because they are in a hurry and feel that others will understand that by hearing their blowing horns. What a chaotic and horny mess we have created for ourselves and for our future generation. Feels it isn't enough for us that there are already so many noises that are beyond our control and we add our own noises in the mess. 

And I will tell you that in many foreign countries using vehicle horns is actually considered rude and an insult. My brother who is currently in Zurich told me that if anyone has to use vehicle horns then its an insult to you. Why people don't need horns there? Three simple reasons - less population meaning less traffic, secondly willingness to follow traffic rules and thirdly people don’t take out their vehicles for every single errand. In India we do exactly opposite of last two reasons sadly and these two simple ways will considerably reduce the noise pollution in India.

When I was class 12th there was a chapter in our book titled "Sannata" meaning Silence. The chapter was about what Silence sounds like. I don’t think people will be able to experience that anytime in the future. My native place is a village and trust me whenever I visit my place I welcome the peace and reduced noise level that comes with it. Over time noise level has increased there also and now I can understand what the author was talking about in "Sannata"

Some days I desire to be surrounded by nothing but silence and enjoy the sound of silence. Please do your part. Don’t push that horn button unnecessarily and contribute towards solution. Keep your vehicle horns decibel levels below the acceptable limits. It's not that difficult.

Thanks,
Genie Signing off
email: arunesh.genie@gmail.com