Friday, February 04, 2011

Neighborhood DJ

I returned from a tiring but welcomed trip to rural India last weekend. It was good to be reminded of the challenges of 75% of India's citizens. The classic moment was when we were told to detour by police at a checkpost. Apparently, some villagers were blocking the road ahead because they want the road improved so that it will be ranked as a national highway.

This morning the annual celebration for a local temple began. They hook up loudspeakers to electricity poles throughout the neighborhood and broadcast a live singing session from 7am-10pm. The chanting is interesting at first, although a bit loud. After a while it either becomes white noise or a grinding headache. It depends on the quality of the musicians and the volume that the guy at the sound board chooses. It lasts for a few days. I wonder how it will turn out this year?

Shashi Tharoor, former top UN official and now a politician inside India, often observes that religion is anything but private here. Here is my favorite article on the topic of general noise levels in India.

(originally posted on Friday, February 04, 2011 as "Neighborhood DJ" at