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Values & Education

Why The Noise Mamma?

One of the things we didn’t realise when we bought our home and shifted in here a month back was, the kind of background noise change we would have. While earlier we lived on the highway that connects Mumbai to Goa (that has always been a boon for us in the way that we just have to dump the stuff in the car and drive out – perks!!) and there was always the 24*7 hum of traffic that would drift up somehow to the 23rd floor, this new house is a lane away from the main highway and doesn’t have the noise.

Why the noise mamma? - Effect of noise on kids

While we were in a way getting ready to enjoy the noise-less nights, one thing we didn’t realise was the other noise that was slowly getting ready to crop up on us.

For about a little more than a week now, there has been a massive infiltration of noise in the house, especially of a kind that I absolutely cannot tolerate. Though we did see the little temple at the lane next to our home (I realise now it’s not as little as it really looks from the 16th floor!) I had no idea it could be the source of so much noise. One fine day, about 8-10 days back, as I was getting cosy in the early evening with a book I was enjoying, there was this sudden blast of speakers and a frenetic jangling of drums and kartaals and what-not! I couldn’t imagine what the entire noise was all about. While I turned this way and that on my bed to enjoy my book in peace, the noise only grew and grew. My daughter, who was sitting by my side and reciting her poems from school, looked up at me and perked her nose, “What’s the noise mamma? It’s disturbing me!” I told her not to bother and that it would pass soon. That was at 4 in the evening.

By 8 pm, she was ready to finish her dinner and tidy up for sleep time, but, hugely unexpected, the clacking from that particular building continued, with all loudspeakers shouting in the noise inside every home within a 3 km radius, and only increasing in frenzy as the evening gave way to night and more and more people joined in.

It was really really annoying, especially for us as we are not into all the religious show-sha…Okay, so I’m an atheist, and my hubby isn’t really a believer, and our daughter believes in the power of nature, not someone sitting up there. So it was that as each afternoon glided into evening, our irritation levels would start increasing.

At first I didn’t understand what had happened in the last few days that caused such massive frenzy. Then my hubby realised that it’s nearing shivratri, and a friend told us that the temple in question happens to be, guess what – a shiv temple! So not much guessing left there for us after that.

While I tried to drown out the noise by focusing on work, my books and other things, my daughter couldn’t stop asking one question of me each day –  “why all the noise”? I told her, there was some kind of a pooja going on and that they were celebrating. “So they can celebrate no? But why do they have to disturb us? I don’t disturb them when I’m having my birthday party“. Good point! But what do I say?

I’m all for each one to his/her beliefs, but what I really do not understand and can’t explain to my little one is the fact that in India, you can shut off everyone else and levy laws and fines on those who exceed the noise limit, but you dare not mention anything about a certain group that will continue annoying you, irrespective of whether a baby is getting disturbed, whether a kid wants to sleep and can’t, whether a child is studying for exams and getting disturbed, or whether someone else just doesn’t want to listen to that noise every single day but has no choice. No, in India at least, you can’t raise these questions. But I was just wondering, if a 05-year old can understand the basic logic behind noise control, why can’t these so-called wise grown-ups??

Debolina Raja Gupta loves being a mommy and best friend to her 5-year old princess. A working mom, voracious reader, social activist, photographer, poet, travel freak, beauty writer and an everything-of-sorts. Best fun is story time and our fashionista time together. My blogs: The Book WormA Few Thoughts Here And ThereMy Little One And MeBeauty Makeup And More.