One of the things you learn to live with in India is their love for noise. Any noise. As long as it’s loud. They are truly not content until whatever noise they are making is perforating ear drums within a 1km radius. In the cinema the walls, floors and seats vibrate with the sound. At temples, there are bells, drums and singers blaring out from 6am onwards.
Most of it you learn to deal with, for example I can almost sleep through the bells and drums coming from the temple opposite my apartment.
One of the other things you learn to live with is the frequent power cuts, which usually happen at the most inconvenient moments, like when you are taking a shower with water heated by the electric heater. Power cuts are a fact of life though, so you must put up with them.
This morning was different though. Not satisfied with musical instruments, the temple decided to rig up a PA system right outside my bedroom and start playing old tamil movie songs at full volume. The female singers in Tamil songs sing at a couple of octaves higher than a falsetto. I’m sure there have been occasions where the note goes so high pitch you lose it for a few seconds as is goes out of human hearing before coming back again. I’m sure this is beautiful music to people growing up listening to it but to the people sleeping peacefully at 6am it’s quite torturous.
So, this kind of ultra-sonic noise is blaring out at 7am on Sunday morning. Half of me was relieved I decided to have a quiet night in and didn’t have a hangover to nurse with this audible torture going on, the other half was praying to the Hindu Gods (anyone that was listening would do) for a power cut to stop this painful music.
Well, not one for believing in miracles, barely 5 minutes after I asked for a power cut, I was duly granted one and peace and harmony returned to the streets of Chennai. Peace and harmony that admittedly includes the constant sound of horns, drums, bells, children shouting, planes flying overhead, men shouting at one another, building works and goodness knows what else. But at least there weren’t any ladies singing.