Party I love, Noise I Don't

On the No Honking day, I was having coffee with one of my friend discussing, how effective the silence can be and how we as a society make a lot of noise that can be easily avoided. I don't know whether I said it wrong or what, but he did not like my idea. He singled out the instance of playing loud music during the festive season (may be because he had read my post on power of silence) and he was of feeling that it's very important for us as a society to get together and enjoy these festivals. He said the music is played out loud so that everyone gets to know that such a thing is going on and they should also join. He was also of opinion that if the majority of people are enjoying at a event they have every right to play loud music.

I am not denying that we need to come together as a society and enjoy all our festivals, that will surely make us more united. I am just saying that we should enjoy all this at a reasonable decibel level so that no one is getting affected because of it. I was recently watching Apocalypto and there is a scene in the movie where the whole group of villagers are sitting together and celebrating the good catch they had. They were playing music, they were dancing, they were enjoying and they were surely united. We can have our celebrations in similar style, keep the music to a level so that everyone at the celebration enjoys it and those who are not there are not getting bothered. May be then we will also get to hear some wise words. As for the points made by my friend that music is loud so that everyone knows about the party, foolish idea. Tell everyone about the party in advance if someone is not interested he will never come no matter how loud music you play. The later point that he made if majority at party are ok with loud music they have the right to do that. This is a rather bigger and difficult issue to tackle as this is a wrong way to think. Just because some/lot of people like it they should not compromise others comfort. This mentality has to change and we as a society need to start respecting others comforts and their personal space. I am not against getting together and having a party or celebration I love that but at the same time I would not like others to suffer because of that.

Tarun Chandel
Life, Learning and Technology
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falcon said...

I agree...
Talking about family get togethers... If you are invited to a small function..and everyone over there is a Non veg all except one.... what do they do? Ensure that there is atleast one Veg dish on the table.. However..if it's the reverse case..... there needn't be any Non Veg dish on the table...

So what's the point of this statement... I mean to say that even if there is a singe person who is averse to the idea of loud Music...his wish should be respected... becozit creates problem .. the reverse should not be necessarily true...

Everybody has a right to play loud music..but your musicc should bnot be audible to my ears.. play as loud music as you can.. but within chinese walls...

Manjari Rai said...

This reminds me of my Ma's comment ,that, Indians lack "civic sense" in general...the feeling of responsibility to one's community.

Ankesh Kothari said...

1. Noise pollution is a myth. No honking day is a political movement. It doesn't help the society at all. Because - noise doesn't linger on like dirt in air and water. Noise is played, it echoes, and then its gone forever.

2. The more the people, the louder the noise. You can't realistically expect the noise levels to be low in a city like Mumbai. With low noises, you can't really have festivities for 1000 people or so.

3. Noise does disturb people when it is played. But without noise, you can't have entertainment. The solution people think of first to solve the noise problem is bureaucratic (the one we have in Mumbai now - no noise after 10pm). Bureaucratic solutions are almost never efficient.

What can you do? Charge people to make noise? That'll only make a few corrupt officials richer without solving the problem.

4. An easier solution is: get soundproof windows. You don't like noise, soundproof your house and office and car.

Ankesh Kothari said...

@falcon: always going with the lowest denominator makes the whole world dumb.

Your non-veg analogy... if 1 person is veg and everyone else is non-veg - do the family members say we all should eat veg too?

So why if 1 person doesn't like noise should everyone else say we should stop playing loud music altogether?

According to your analogy - all that is required is to give ear muffs to that 1 person who hates noise.

@Manjari Rai: That is a very myopic view. The entire world is uncivic most of the times. The only reason Singapore is so clean is because they are punished if they dirty the streets. Its not that Singaporeans are civic. Remove the punishments and their streets will become as bad as Indian streets too.

All the humans have about the same psychology and mindset. The same emotional triggers. The only difference is incentives in different places.

Tarun Chandel said...

-->Falcon: Yes we need to respect others. I appreciate the efforts you have taken to read all my entries and comment on most of them good to have the 11th reader :)

-->Manjari: Just because some people lack civic sense it is not right to mark all Indians bad atleast we should not do it.

-->Ankesh: Noise pollution a myth, huh, may be you should check the wikipedia about the definition of pollution (unless you think that wikipedia is just lot of people making noise).
Its an easier excuse that because a lot of people are doing it so it is fine. And neither caught up in the traffic with horns blaring is entertainment nor the ringing ears at the end of the day.
Why should we do something only when we are charged/fined for not doing it? Why cant we do things that are right on our own?
Having sound proof surrounding is what we can do at individual level if we want to save our sanity from the noise but by that standard we should get our own streams of water from mountains, get our own oxygen cylinders right?
One should not look for incentives when it comes to Nature or humanity there are certain things that are not ours but are given to us free and we have no right to destroy it, at least that's what I think.
We need to change but the only thing I can change is me, hopefully more people will think this way!

Ankesh Kothari said...

Thanks Tarun.

>Why should we do something only when
>we are charged/fined for not doing
>it? Why cant we do things that are
>right on our own?

Yes - we should do it on our own. But we won't! (by we - I mean the generic we - the whole population).

You have to use carrots and sticks to change the masses. Thats what every revolutionary from Gandhi to Lincoln and yes even Hitler has taught us.

What is rewarded grows.

Rewards and punishments don't only have to be monetary in nature though. They can be emotional in nature too.

Why do people start smoking? Because the reward is: they'll seem cool among their older friends.

As for your other points... people who want clean water do get aquaguard or some other filter like that. People who want cleaner air get air purifiers and install ventilators.

Individual action is by far the most effective and quickest way to improve your standard of living. You can't change the world without carrots and sticks. But you can try changing your situation.

(Btw I checked wikipedia and it says that there are things like light pollution and heat pollution too :p! With their definition (pollution is something that creates instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the physical systems or living organisms), you can add pollution to any word at all. Whats next - News pollution?

I agree that loud noises can sometimes be a problem. But to call it pollution - that doesn't seem correct to me.)

Ranjan said...

Polution is something that is unharmonious in nature, that cause permanent disruption to an equillibrium.
I have doubts that too much sound can cause disruption to our existence. yes,Like any other thing in this world noise is definitely harmful, but calling it as another man influenced disaster like water polution, air polution... global warming will be injustice.

If a street is "noisey" you cant blame the individuals who are honking, there are other reasons for that... badly managed traffic, lack of infrastructre and definitely lack of punishment.

I think self restrain in required from the individuals part but there is no solution to it.
See it like this... creating noice is like anger... you know its bad...but how many times do you have control over it!!??

falcon said...

@ Ankesh

I had no probs with loud music... but I would like to see .. how u would react to loud music.. when u have an assignment to complete...or an exam to take.

Also I would like to know, as to how many people have you offered Ear muffs.

Your freedom to swing ur arms ends where my nose begin!!! If it makes the world Dumb so be it! ( chinese walls == sound proof rooms)

As for ur No Honking day? what's wrong abt it? What's the point of honking the horn if the car in front of u doesn't move? Sadistic pleasure???

If u are so hell bent on trashin' an initiative better come up with an alternative. That would indeed put weight to ur comments!

falcon said...


Well I have little else to do these days... so it's not much of an effort... And by the way I did promise to read ur posts at the Bar Camp. Didn't I?

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