Wednesday, September 14, 2016

DJ wale Babu zara volume badhaa do!

We Indians love noise as much as we love our gais and demonstrate our dogged devotion to both by driving others mad. Why, we are even ready to kill if someone refuses to share our fervour for our object of affection with the same passion! Wasn’t it in Vasant Kunj where a gym owner killed his neighbour because he complained of the loud music playing at his gym?

One man’s headache maybe another man’s music but how dare he point that out and spoil the fun!

Well, I’ve often felt like killing myself at the gym instead of waiting for some irate Jaat to do the honours. Especially when I’ve heard ‘clap your hands now, you motherfucker’! at least 5 times during my workout interspersed with grunts from the hulk next to me trying to lift weights double his own. Thanks to this elevating experience, I’ve mastered my Nagin look, the same one that Sridevi gave Amrish Puri.
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But only after I’ve whined about the limited, unimaginative playlist to the management. They as usual have no clue as to what I’m talking about. I’m often brushed off as a pesky fly.

The scary bit is that the same playlist is shared by the world and its aunt. So, you get to hear Honey Singh woo his kudi namkeenaa, ambraan di queenaa, at the Pub, club, blaring from the water-park in the vicinity, neighbourhood shaadi sharing their joy via loudspeakers, and the party hosted by a dear friend. Sometimes I get so confused that I actually jiggle my hips in a drunken stupor at the gym and try to do push-ups at the hottest new brewery playing stale hits. By the end of the year, I’ve intimate knowledge of Mr Singh’s weird notion of romance that entails meeting kudi namkeena’s daddy so that his future son-in-law can tell him ‘Bas jitna aapki beti ek mahine mein udati hai, ek hafte me meri gaadi utna tel khaati hai!’ (keep your daughter away from me because I’m an asshole) Wow, how can any woman resist this charmer!

But isn’t that the beauty of music that catches the public’s fancy. It’s not a superhit till it drives you to the brink of lunacy. The first time you hear it, you nod your head with approval, much like a Kathakali dancer. The next few times you enjoy it and even try humming along with it. But when it starts stalking you wherever you go, whatever you do, you scream nahiiiin like a Bollywood Mom of yore who has lost her sons at a mela.
Google images




A musical hit is like bad karma that follows you birth after birth till you start begging God to have you reborn as a lizard with no ears.

Look what they did to Rang Barse! Your Holi celebration is incomplete till you’ve gone into a trance hearing Big B turn Gori’s hubby to cinders by regaling him with her yaar’s antics, in a loop. Or tried drowning yourself in the nearest pothole when you saw a drunk uncle swaying to Anu Mallik’s ‘Do me a favour, let’s play Holeyyy! Are you even a true patriot if you don’t shed the same amount of tears on hearing Mahendra Kapoor sing mere desh ke dhartee eeee eeee eeee, all through your childhood, teens and adulthood?

And just as a festive occasion is of no consequence till Myntra and Jabong offer never before discounts on their entire range yet again, no celebration is complete till we’ve played music so loud that all neighbouring eardrums convulse like Baba Ramdev’s abs. If we manage to shoot a guest or two at the wedding party, even better. The joy in our celebrations can be measured in decibel levels. The happier we are, the louder the music is.

No wonder restaurants these days prefer playing music at levels so high, it is impossible to have an intelligent conversation. After talking for hours in sign language, imagining the lively conversation and laughing at jokes we could not hear, we go back with a throbbing head and an illusion of an evening well-spent. These days I’m terrified of walking into a restaurant so silent that I’ll be forced to actually have a conversation, share my views on politics, all things sundry AND sound funny and intelligent. Who wants that pressure!

Funnily, the ones who prefer music at window shattering levels care little about melody. Maybe the noise prevents them from the torturous chore of thinking. Or they are afraid that the silence will unmute their inner voice that sounds eerily like their nagging Mom! What if they’ve turned deaf and don’t know it yet! Or maybe the problem is you because it’s only effing you that has a problem with loud music!

Funnier thing happens when you move to a new country. At first you can’t stop marvelling at the quietness that surrounds you, cinemagoers who can actually watch a movie without conversing loudly on their phone. You want to run up to drivers and kiss them for not using the horn as a weapon of mass destruction. You sigh to the sounds of swishing winds and the river splashing nearby. A few weeks later the same quietness starts sounding like death. You wonder if you have neighbours because you’ve yet to hear them. You start craving the chaos, sounds of laughter, babies crying and seek crowded spaces to feel alive. The noise starts making its presence felt through its absence. And then one day you pump up the volume of your music player because you can’t bear it anymore and pray that your neighbours don’t complain.

The only thing missing is a gai to love and kill for. Damn it, have they eaten them all!


25 comments:

  1. It's impossible to strike a conversation at restaurants. True, looks like higher the decibel happier the folks are.
    Baby ko Noise pasand hai. And I can quite identify with that Asha Parikh face.

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    1. One baby's noise is another lady's headache

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  2. This post is so apt! It reminds me that the wedding playlist is yet to be made. Maybe I should borrow it from the neighbourhood gym, Baby ko bass pasand hai and the rest.

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    1. Hahaha..Please upload the video of you thumkaoing to the beats.

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  3. Ah,noise!You haven't heard anything if you have not come to Kota.Wedding celebrations are a menace.Maybe the hosts want us to run off after delivering the mandatory envelope.Come marriage season or any auspicious puja day,we are forced to call up police head office for relief.

    I have run out of superlatives for your humor Purba,therefore saying nothing on that score.You infuse a feeling of cheer in me.

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    1. Your appreciation means a lot, Indu

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  4. Yo have got to be the Virat Kohli of satires (I'm trying to go Desi with my metaphors)! Recently, I happened to be the unfortunate invitee to a 'cultural evening' where the DJ Wale Babu ruled the roost and just as you said, my eardrum tried their best to imitate the belly-dance of Baba Ramdev. My favourite lines from the post: "A musical hit is like bad karma that follows you birth after birth till you start begging God to have you reborn as a lizard with no ears. Devastating, to the say the least.

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    1. If we all have a problem with loud music, why the eff do they play it at ear-drum shattering volume!

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  5. Going to parties is something I try to avoid most of the time for the noise is a dampener for conversation that loses with huge pollution. Enjoyed reading this post. The huge decibel during festive seasons and you lose your sleep, in particular, if you stay near a basti whose residents sway to Honey Singh or turn into Sallu, putting tee that doesn't fit them, thinking to be some six packs swimming to attract the ladies' gaze:)

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    1. Maybe it's a ploy to keep sane people with perfect hearing from partying.

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  6. The last time I visited big bazaar which was easy 8 years ago, they were actually promoting buy 2 get 3 free as if it was not a store but a mela. So I get pretty annoyed with noise. I would not miss all the noise, the gai and the dog tales if I ever have to stay in a different geography.
    Enjoyed your post, Purba!

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    1. My husband refuses to go to stores that play loud music.

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  7. Haha, this is so much fun to read. Living right in front of the open stage at beach for the past seven years, loud music has become a part of my daily life. I enjoy it too, there is always this festive mood even though we're not always a part of it. it's funny to think what you've written is kind of true! :D
    P.s. good one on restaurant talks, music would definitely be a savour! :P

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    1. Thanks for reading. Darshana :-)

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  8. The cacophony at public places is a nuisance but we seldom pay heed to it

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    1. No one pays heed to our discomfort!

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  9. Thank god I am in UK , we dont get this much of a HALLA GULLA.. although at weddings I bet the next door always have a problem ..

    Bikram's

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  10. I am just so fed up of the noisy 'music' that we have to suffer on a daily basis. And those atrocious sounds masquerading as bhajans make me want to kill myself. It is such nuisance. Well written!

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    1. And I feel we are the only ones complaining!

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  11. I am just so fed up of the noisy 'music' that we have to suffer on a daily basis. And those atrocious sounds masquerading as bhajans make me want to kill myself. It is such nuisance. Well written!

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  12. An excellent take on a very common cultural issue. Living in the UK and visiting India regularly I have been on both sides of this picture. During one visit I had a young boy in a shop opposite my parental house who liked the song "Main tera boyfriend, tu meri girlfriend, tu mainu kehndi na na na na" a little too much. He put it in a loop and played it at top volume morning, noon, evening, non-stop. Normally, I am a "live and let live" kind of guy but that did get my proverbial goat. Finally, I went there and told him "Dude, change the song or reduce the volume! Or else!" It worked for a while! Ah, India!

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    1. Despite our rich heritage, we continue to be obnoxious with little regard for others.

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  13. The ending was masterly ! Ear blasting music in pubs, well that's one reason i shy away from them, it just doesnt allow one to enjoy a leisurely drink. We Indians, definitely have a thing about sound.

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  14. What a brilliant article. Agreed with everything you said except for the gym part coz that's one place I really prefer loud music (Ok, I'm outta here :-D ) But what a fantastic ending to the post. You truly miss something only when its taken away from you :-D including eating gais (ok , I hope gau rakshaks don't read your comments section!)

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