Thursday, March 8, 2018

Loud Louder Loudest

When I sat at the doctors clinic located at a residential layout slowly turning out into a commercial junction in Jayanagar, Bangalore, what I am bugged with was the unbearable noise, and those noises aren't supposed to be so loud in a semi-residential area like that.
The unending honking, the bullet sounds from the multiplying number of Royal Enfields, the unstoppable auto rickshaws, the impatient car drivers rising the accelerators, and the resonance these vehicles created literally shook the ground beneath me. I wanted to request a pair of earplugs unable to bear with the nuisance. Most annoying was the honking and the Royal Enfield's bustling noise. This noise has become a crazy trend in the last few years in Bangalore that every other chap would love to own one. I just hate that motorcycle for only reason that is its noise while many people love the way it has a noise. Why are we so obsessed with noise? Why are we thought to honk so much while rest of the worlds sees it as a nuisance? My first stint of driving began in the United States, and honking was the last thing to be done there but strangely here, honking at every other street turning is first basic. Why are we so immune to loudness? 
Our emotions, our celebrations, our happenings, our films, our politics, and our funerals too are so damn loud. Loudness is in our DNA. The funeral drums and processions are so loud that they can wake up the dead corpse at times. Rest in peace is something very unsuitable to our funerals, rise in beat is perhaps the better word to coin. 
Our emotions are no less in this order, be it any gathering, we love to explode our vocal cords.After every such event, most of us loose our voice because we have to talk at the highest of pitches. Weddings are the best example, be it the procession of the groom or the rituals of the wedding, everything should have ear deafening background music. Not to forget the fireworks that explode with loud noise. After all they must be heard by the next hundred street's residents.
Our prayers too are no exception, because we believe that God is high up in the space and for him to hear our prayers, we must have loudest of hymns. Here we Indians are so secular and equal that all the religions love to play their hymns and conduct prayers meetings in the loudest way possible. We are definitely better united in this matter.

I often think that our Gods must have slowly moved away from our planet unable to bear the loving loudest prayers. And we have planned mission to Mars too to not leave them in peace. What to say about the festival pandals which are a killer way to express our loudness. We believe the Ganesha in the pandal would incarnate to listen to the prayers but offlate I am sure he prefers to stay inside the temple shrine to keep away from the loudness. Pandals were more of a neighborhood gathering exchanging pleasantries and singing lord's hymns which now turned out into dance hubs which play latest film music, that too with fast dancing numbers and people cant wait to jump on the dais to dance to those tunes....needless to mention about the immersions of the idols...liquor floats like a river, fireworks explode like bombs, music is played in its highest decibels of sound and am sure thats when the lord Ganesh would decide to vanish to another universe unable to tolerate our chaos. 
Having studied in a christian missionary school, I remember our prayer halls were a place of calmness, we as students couldnt move an arm or leg or sneeze or cough which would be distinctly heard in the quite silent hall. Most of the Churches were indeed calm and peaceful back in 90s, but now I guess we realised that Jesus is also unable to hear our prayers from the crucifx, so we decided to increase the volume and frequency of it so that he would bless us better. I am sure even Jesus would also have planned on a mission to Mercury or Venus by now. I always think that we scare our Gods with our over loud devotional emotion. 
Last but very important louder people are our political representatives. Parliament is the place where our representatives sit and discuss our issues and how can we not expect some loud emotion when they after all are representing us. This is the best place to witness how our members relate so much to our noise and display the same there. Sometimes they even break the mics as they think their vocal cords can be louder than the so called mics there. How sincerely do these folks represent us is something that we all should agree.
I could go on and on and on with examples of our Loudness which is disturbing and debilitating to our eardrums. Even in the age of smart phones, we did not chose to reduce the volume but increase it and bring it closer to our ears.
If only our schools insisted on the 'Noise Pollution' lesson, we would have been saved partially. I conclude this while I am sitting in my porch hearing the little bird chirpings and soothing breeze.

Cheers

Jyostna

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My Brawl with the Sprawl

HAPPY NEW YEAR Folks

While a new year kicked in, I sit here with so many thoughts boggling in my mind and not being able to pen down at least a few. Where do I start and what do I prioritize and what do I omit and what all to include is like a brain fogging question. 
Rewinding the past year, I just want to do a small round up of what happened around me. One major change that had happened last year was that which stands pale and tall and lifeless, which was left after scrapping off the green cover. Just to build those worthless concrete structures not being home for any but to stand proofs as display of the wealth, many trees were uprooted. Though it seems so trivial and common observation in our neighborhoods these days, this seemed a big concern for me.
I used to wake up to a beautiful green cover on all sides of my community, but just to satisfy some peoples investment needs and developers greed, most of it is scrapped off. And I wish at least, they let it out instead of leaving empty flats. I know I have already ranted enough in a previous post about this issue, but this isnt enough to vent out how much I feel for those lost trees. And you may ask, what about the place I live in which once might have been home for many trees. Yes, I do agree and I would like to defend saying that at least my community has planted many trees around and I guess we are one of those few communities in the city who have got a good amount landscaped area. Lucky isnt it?
What to say about the greedy developers?, a developer recently started building up in an empty lot which was long been abandoned. There is a graveyard just beside the property which was the reason why it was abandoned. This developer perhaps saw a great opportunity to turn that lot into a land of gold. The marketing strategies were like, erecting this life size hoardings that said, the property was close to a theatre, close to a famous temple etc, but the fact is above all it is close to a graveyard, where one may hear devil sing a lullaby or one  may wake up to witness a funeral ceremony.  And the esteemed buyers wouldnt want to peep to the lot beside before investing. There is another prestigious builder who uprooted almost thousands of trees to build a commercial and residential structure. They could still have saved some trees if they just went for residential structure but the greed has no end, they wanted more and more.
Not just the cluster of apartment blocks, but even most of the individual homes are also crammed. Sad that these homes that are built in individual lots have no setbacks left whatsoever, all four sides are caged with iron grills as if they self imprisoned themselves, and not even a single plant at times. I would say they just built a beautiful grave not a house, I guess at least a grave would have one small plant over it. One cant breathe the concrete, one only get oxygen from trees and plants not the concrete mass. Recently, there's this lady who shared a photo album on one of the forums I follow, she thought that was the best work of an architect and everyone else poured in appreciations for a design that lacked basic ventilation, breathing space and no setback. I was wondering what sort of an architect one would be if he cant think of ventilating the home with natural lighting but solely depend on power?, and who can't think of giving room for people to walk around but tightly pack with chunks of wood and pop? and lastly who cannot even leave basic setbacks around the house? If you think that, in today's day and age designing for crammed spaces is definitely a skill, I would undoubtedly agree if there is some skill shown but not if its a no brainer job.
Offlate, I have been on a house hunt to rent and some facts I found were so appalling. In the community I live which is of some 500 odd flats, I never thought finding a house for rent would be so difficult when there are so many empty flats. However, I was proven wrong. Many of the landlords arent ready to let, nor even bother to let. They bought and they never cared to look back at it. Either the flat becomes home for beehives or pegion nests or monkey shelters or turns out into a spooky den for Halloween. We snatch the animal shelters and build them a nice concrete shelter and let them live, how compassionate of us? This has been the case in many many communities in this city. And we still build more? 
Its painful to see so many unoccupied homes in these endless communities just adding up to the sprawl. Being in this industry, and understanding the system from inside, I can vouch for one thing...investing in a concrete structure is the worsest option in the current scenario. You are doing nothing but contributing to more deforestation and hike in price by creating unnecessary demand. You are just fueling the developers greed to build maximum no.of flats in a crammed space and make millions out of it. They could still build even if those just for the sake buyers dont buy, but less no.of flats and lesser profit margins. 
I seriously wonder how people are not thinking at all before investing their hard earned bucks, forget about those buyers who buy only for the sake of spending. I can only advise and make you buyers aware that please, please, please look around before you buy, do your thorough research, ask questions, and lastly buy only if it is necessary. And to those individual home owners, please make a breathable home, dont simply build a grave. Do approach a proper architect or engineer before you build a dream house.

Hope you all have a great year ahead.

Cheers

Jyostna