Of morning walks, religion and sensitivity

Disclaimer: This post is largely a rant out of frustration. It contains my displeasure at certain things happening around me. There is no intention to deliberately hurt anyone.

Now, you might think what do morning walks, religion and sensitivity have in common. They do. I am about to tell you how.

First of all, a little background.

~ We stay in an apartment that happens to be located right on a little lane. We are not on a main road, but a lane that branches off from a main road. I mean, we do not have a proper ‘compound’, a courtyard kind of area into which you walk in after you enter the main gate and walk across to reach our block of flats. Since we do not have a compound area, that insulation against the sounds of the roadside is gone.

~ Our bedroom is at the end of our house, and it faces the lane. Naturally, sound levels are quite high in the house, especially in the bedroom. This holds true for all the 8 houses in our apartment – all of them are modelled on the same lines.

~ I have always been a light sleeper. I wake up at the slightest sound, and it takes me a lot of time before I can go back to sleep, once I am disturbed. Our home in Ahmedabad was very quiet, and I was, in fact, stunned by the level of sound here when I first came. I learnt to live with it, however.

You get the drift of where this post is going, right?

There are hordes of people who pass by the lane outside our house on their morning walk, from 5.30 AM onwards. Many of them carry a pocket radio or a cellphone playing the Suprabhaatam or other shlokas at full volume. Sometimes, when I stand in my balcony in the early morning, the sound from the radios and cellphones is the only sound I can hear.

Among these morning walkers are people who gossip about everything – from their displeasure over their son staying over at their DIL’s house to the latest Amitabh Bachchan ads to the new silk saree that their husband bought for them. All of this conversation is carried out at high volume, mind you. The noise level rises by a few decibels.

Then, there are people who call out to their friends in apartments on the way to join them for the walk. ‘Oye, XYZ? Coming for a walk? No-aa?,’Β  is a phrase that we so commonly hear.

No, the lane is not my father’s property. The radios and cellphones belong to the morning walkers, not me. I cannot control their behaviour, but I sure get frustrated by it often. Why can’t they be a bit more sensitive, I feel? Why can’t these people quit shouting? Why can’t they use earphones on their radios and cellphones? There are a lot of old people living in our locality – some of them sick, and sleep late into the morning. There are several call-centre employees in our apartment who return at 4 or 5 AM after a hard night’s work, and they need their sleep. Sometimes, I have had a late night and want to sleep in a bit, and do not want to get up at 5.30 AM, but am woken up by all the din. And then I move around the whole day with burning eyes, a throbbing headache, and behaviour like an angry bear. Yes, it is morning time, I agree, but you cannot expect that everyone should be up at YOUR time, right?

Then, there are the men who bring their ‘Boom boom maadu‘, typically on weekends. There are small drums beating and the nadaswaram playing and shouts of ‘Amma, Sir, basava bandhidhe, kaasu kodi‘ (Madam, Sir, the holy cow has come, give some money). This happens at about 6.30 AM. I do not have anything against people choosing any means to earn their livelihood, but if I am irritated by it, I am. Both the OH and I keep a hectic schedule during the week, and weekends are when we expect to lie in a bit in the mornings. Sometimes, we catch up with a movie and dinner out on Friday night and go to bed late – after all, it is a holiday the next day. But, the ‘Boom boom maadu’ men make lying in impossible on most weekends. OK, I understand, it is a religious symbol and people believe that it brings good to the apartment (though I don’t see how my giving someone alms can bring good to my apartment), but I am not very happy when I am jolted out of a dream on a weekend morning. Why do we believe in creating so much noise on religious occasions? I have nothing against people praying and offering salutations to God, but can’t it be done peacefully? I cannot even begin to imagine the sound level in the houses of people who live close to temples here.

I prefer my mornings – specially on weekends – to be quiet. After a good sleep, I want to savour the peace with a cup of chai and a discussion over the incidents covered in the morning newspaper with the OH. I want to get ready for a usually hectic day ahead – mentally and physically. Most days, that is not to be.

The OH being a sound sleeper, and being the OH, tells me to cool down and not take this to heart. When my frustration is at its peak, he offers me suggestions to go to bed wearing earplugs. Hmpfh!

**Rant over. I am feeling better already. **


38 thoughts on “Of morning walks, religion and sensitivity

  1. Oh dear ! I am a heavy sleeper. Nothing, nothing can wake me up. Sigh!
    Maybe you can think of sound proofing the windows aesthetically as well with some absorbent material-cushions and the like. I also read about something called Green glue that is used to sound proofing thin walls etc.

    I would have asked you to tire yourself out and then crash the bed, but then you are just going put your hands on your hips and give em the exasperated look, won’t you? You are already having hectic days and I ask you to do a workout that is nto even a near solution.
    My vote – aesthetic sound proofing. some are even DIY TGND. Have fun checking them out. let me know if you need help or find something I can ship to you! πŸ™‚


  2. oooops

    No problem this side TGND , I can sleep anywhere it can make as much noise .. I guess I am blessed.

    but saying that I hear my alarm and I get up immediately now that sounds I am weird πŸ™‚

    I hope things change and you get to sleep blissfully .. Take care


  3. Come and live in my area. It is so silent in the mornings that you wont even hear the birds πŸ™‚

    For an immediate solution, sound proof curtains and ear plugs sound plausible enough


      1. @Visha

        Oh, that. Of course, it would be blissful to sleep with no sound around.

        I misunderstood your earlier comment. I felt you were saying that there was so much noise in your area that you couldn’t even hear the birds. Sarcastically. That’s what I felt was scary.



  4. Unfortunately adjustments never work both ways. Neither residents wants to bend their ways nor the organizations. Easier said than done.
    May be if it is problem for everyone in the society, collectively all should do something about it. But if it is a personal comfort/discomfort issue, I will see what will work for me IMHO.


  5. I can totally totally relate to you TNGD!! I am a very light sleeper too. Even if S turns around, I can wake up. Our bedroom also faces the lane and I get to experience all of this.. The most irritating thing of all for me is the dog next door. which starts to bark at exactly 4.30 in the morning.. that too it chooses to come bark at the extreme left corner of that house which happens to be very very close to our bedroom window. There is not a single day I have slept peacefully 😦 Weekends are the worst!

    What a coincidence… S tells me the same! gah!

    hugs! hugs TNGD!


  6. I agree people need to be more sensitive but since they are not I don’t see a point getting worked up and ruining own health. Look for solutions. May be some extra window door that will make your room sound proof ? I have lived in places adjacent to theater and airport runway. Now can I tell them reduce noise levels ? πŸ™‚


    1. @Blue Mist

      I agree that there is no point in getting worked up, but I do get worked up. Will try not to. πŸ™‚

      Yes, I will try and find solutions, of course. We have been trying to find out which things will work, actually, but with little success. That said, I do wish people were more sensitive.


      1. @Blue Mist

        Also, I think every organisation – whether it is an airport, a temple, a church or an airport – should try and take steps to cause as little inconvenience to the residents around it as possible. Of course, not many follow it. In a perfect world, they would.


  7. Bad for you TGND..it’s the same when some festival comes and all these loudspeakers suddenly emerge out of no where belting out devotional and film songs..I mean who do you blame here..’Swalpa Adjust madi’ seems to be the easiest solution and like OH says, ear plugs are ideal IMO πŸ™‚


  8. actually frustrated!!!
    on a visit to Corbett national park. the driver told me that Indians hardly spot tigers because of their non-stop blabbering.
    the tiger can go in hiding but poor you…
    i ll think of a solution..:-)


    1. @Bhawna

      Ha ha. That’s true.

      I am almost scared of speaking in libraries, hospitals and places with pristine natural beauty. I think I should not disturb nature which is at its pristine best. Then there comes a group of people hollering loudly, shattering the peace. One of my pet peeves.


  9. aiyo poor you!! I am like OH, I can sleep through hailstorms and hurricanes…but I can so understand your frustration..

    I think the only solution is ear plugs..

    or wait, may be you can install an AC and sleep with EVERYTHING closed ?

    big hugs darling


    1. @R’s Mom

      Blessed are those who can sleep through hailstorms and hurricanes. Really.

      AC is ruled out, as the OH is prone to headaches and sinus infections even at low cooling. Sometimes even air from the ceiling fan gives him a headache. 😦

      I will try and think of some solution.


  10. Haven’t you heard, “Shor na machaya to mazzaa nahi aaya”. That ad actually reflects the indian sentiment. We can’t be quiet at any occasion.


  11. oh.. i completely understand yar.. this weekend sleep is a must for me.. i have not seen “boom boom madu” for quite some time in my life. generally i see then only before pongal.
    dont know waht to say, just close all door and windows and cover a blanket on ur face and put earplugs and sleep. as we cant do anything about ppl on roads..


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