Noise is Good
by Vimala Ramu
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!)