Noise is Good

by Vimala Ramu
(Bangalore)

Why do advertisers make such a big issue of SILENT gadgets?


I for one prefer to have a washing machine that rattles like an old lady, a ‘frig’ that purrs on the louder side, a grinder that shakes the whole kitchen. Otherwise, sitting on the couch in the drawing room with the TV on, how else would we know whether the power is on or the UPS is being unduly strained?

Silence or noiselessness signifies death. My husband loves my habit of dropping things in the kitchen with a noisy clatter every once in a while, because he says that it tells him that his old lady is “OK” and “in working order” without his having to get up from his laz-y-boy to check.

Just imagine having a noiseless garbage collection van. Though the stink tells you that it is there, its noisy approach warns you well in advance. Similarly I love the creaking sound that our gate makes warning us of any one entering our domain.

I feel, in fact, that noiselessness is downright calamitous some times, like it happened with one of our relatives. The lady of the house had gone out leaving the house in charge of her husband, with the servant maid still working inside. The master of the house was engrossed in reading the newspaper when the servant maid came silently, took the keys silently, opened the steel cupboard silently, helped herself to all the jewellery silently, locked the cupboard silently, restored the key to its place silently and walked out of the house, bidding a noisy ‘bye’ to the master!

The neighbor’s barking dog may be a nuisance, generally. But, in the silent night, its startled bark when it senses someone strange is certainly welcome. In US, pet dogs are neutered to make them less aggressive. So, instead of a decisive roaring bark, they only offer a meek apologetic protest.

In fact, that’s what made me miss India whenever we were abroad. The deafening silence__ the only sound you hear on roads is that of the efficient, powerful cars speeding by, the sound of which is also muted when all the window glasses of one’s own car are raised.

My son- in- law once told me that they were discreetly asked to pipe down when they had a good laugh over a joke on a road in Moscow.

What people need is inner silence (to quote a guru) and not a muted world. I would rather go for rattling gadgets, whistling cookers, chatty maids, noisy doors and door bells, extra-loud vendors, varied sounds on streets etc or to go poetic, for the chirping of birds, gurgling of the streams, the frantic cooing of koels etc etc,in other words, a vibrant world.

Total silence would kill me. Yaaaahhoooo!



Mr. Advertiser, keep your noiseless washing machines to yourself and give me one that announces its vibrant, bouncy presence (though I know that there is a dissipation of energy in the form of noise and vibration!)

Comments for Noise is Good

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Mar 20, 2011
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Thanks
by: vimala ramu

I know that most of the true Indians agree with me. Those who want silence can always go to Himalayas. Give us our daily noise !!

Mar 19, 2011
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A WONDERFUL POST
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

I absolutely second your views. While I would not like to spend the night next to a busy highway, I would also go crazy if the block where I resided, the children did not shout and create an uproar on frivolous issues, the vendors did not clamour, the rickshaw puller did not make his usual noise, the neighbours did not yell out to each other (though I do not prefer fights and brawls, once in a while who bhi chalta hai just to add spice to mediocre, mundane living), the maid did not rattle my furniture while dusting or mopping etc. etc.

I really enjoy your posts!!!! They make the myriad routines of life seem so sensible and enjoyable. Reinforces faith in our day to day monotonous and boring life styles!!!!!!!

Oct 29, 2010
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noise
by: vimala ramu

Thank you Eva for justifying my opinion with a fitting anecdote.

Oct 28, 2010
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Noise is good.
by: Eva Bell

A delightful read, Vimala.
I think most Indians love noise. Silence scares us.
When I was working at Chichester years ago, someone tapped on my door in the middle of the night. I was wary of opening the door as sometimes there were drunk doctors on the prowl. But the tapping acquired such an urgency that I had to peep out. I found a timid Indian girl clad in a sari standing there. She barged in.
"I'm really sorry to bother you," she said,"This place is so silent - just like a grave yard. No loud music, no honking of cars -no voices. Please may I sit here for a while. I just arrived from Bombay this morning,and this place gives me the creeps."

Oct 25, 2010
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by: vimala ramu

Thank you, Padmaja. I do agree that anything in excess is bad.

Oct 25, 2010
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noise
by: padmaja

Hi that was an interesting post. u r right noise is welcome but too much is deafening!

Oct 25, 2010
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Interesting
by: Sonal Shree

PLEASE SEE- THIS COMMENT WAS POSTED BY ME. FORGOT TO PUT IN MY NAME.

Oct 23, 2010
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Interesting
by: Anonymous

Interesting point of view. My parents, after returning from London, exclaimed- 'how much we missed the car horns and laughing aloud there!'

You are right Vimala



Oct 24, 2010
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by: vimala ramu

Thank you, Sneha,Punita and my friends for your reading my article and commenting on it. Keep them coming.

Oct 24, 2010
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Noise is Good
by: Sneha

Well, Vimala, nice one again. I can relate to your article, but somehow I'm one of those people who loves solitude and calmness. I dislike the tinkling sounds of the vessels and some sound in regular intervals is all right, but I'd rather prefer silence :-)
Talk about individual preferences!

Oct 23, 2010
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Well Stated!
by: Punita

Yup - Another reason I love living in the city!
Noise is the sound of progress!

:)

Oct 23, 2010
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Interesting
by: Anonymous

Interesting point of view. My parents, after returning from London, exclaimed- 'how much we missed the car horns and laughing aloud there!'

You are right Vimala.

Oct 23, 2010
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How true, but.........
by: Anonymous

This reminds of an actual happening going back some eons. Back in my native place the rich folk got this brilliant idea of making a trip to Germany to seek entries and investments in Industry, an off-shoot of that happens to be shining and thriving one right in Bangalore. But I digress. This group landed in Germany and took up rooms in a hotel As is the practice of the folks of that age the early morning ritual of brushing teeth was followed by vigorous tongue-cleaning which usually accompanied the guttural noise mostly sounding violent to the uninitiated in this practice.You can imagine what followed next. There were knocks on the door of the noise-maker and for people thought that some one was being either tortured and required help or was sick !

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