Saturday, April 19, 2008

Intrusive Us

To even mildly religious people, the post may sound blasphemous. So please proceed with an open mind.

I have just recovered from a long session of Bhajans and Kirtans carried out at our neighbour's place with the loud speaker turned on to its full volume. And the singers were so hoarse that they sounded like a pride of wild cats fighting. I tried my best to shut the noise off but ultimately gave up and the chaos became a part of the background noise. And I do mind that because otherwise the background noise often comprises of the sweet song of a koel that lives on a mango tree behind our house.

Considering the regular occurance of such events, it surprized me that this was the first time I asked my self why? Why do we shout at the top of our voices to let the rest of the world know that we are praying? Why do we assume that everyone else would want to hear us pray? and Why do we decide that listening to us pray is good for everyone living around us?

More than praying for our peace of mind, we pray to live up to a pious image that we imagine will earn us a good reputation in the society. We don't live for ourselves or even our families. We live for the society. Hypocrisy is the most hazardous disease that this fear of society imposes.

And after all this, do we feel an inch closer to God? I bet not. On the contrary, all this noise is sure to drive God away. When we think of God, the first thing that comes to our mind is peace. But a lot of tuneless loud singers singing devotional songs hardly sounds like "peace".

I resent this intrusion into my private space. I resent that I am being forced to pray in a way that one of my neighbours thinks is right. I resent that I am being denied a right to shut off your voice that echoes around in my brain long after you have stopped singing.

After all this ruckus, I don't feel uplifted at all. I feel resentful and that definitely does not make me a better human being, which I suppose was the intention behind installing the loudspeaker facing outwards in your balcony. Please stop assuming things for me and the rest of your neighbours and leave us with a choice to listen to the koel's song that gives me a doze of instant peace and makes me thank God for the bliss.

2 comments:

  1. Take it easy.

    Few hundred years back, Sant Kabir said the same thing
    "kaankar pathar jod ke, liye minar banwaye
    ta chhad mulla bang de, kya bahira bhay khuday"

    In some ways, things are improving by ways of having a ban on these things after 11 PM. Also, our generation is little more sensitive towards this.

    But I can't disagree with what you are saying.

    by the way, did you try approaching them and telling them that if they would mind lowering the volume ?

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  2. Excellent writing indeed as usual dear:-). I wish i could go and talk to such ppl to not to cause so much of noise pollution. This happens around my place too and it is very disturbing especially during the night time when you feel like going out and shouting at them too to lower down the volumes.

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