Monday, 14 April 2008

The Traffic Symphony

The hostel room where I’m staying in Bombay directly overlooks Sir J. J. Road. This is one of the busiest and most important roads in Bombay - a kind of backbone of the city. All day and all night, huge numbers of vehicles pass underneath our windows. The noise is continuous, unrelenting.

Noise, did I say? Music would be a more apposite word. If I stick my head out of the window, close my eyes and wave my arms in the night air, I can almost imagine I am conducting an orchestra. Taxis, trucks, buses and motorbikes ply up and down, allegro con brio. Lorry engines rumble in bass; brakes squeal in falsetto. A pathbreaking avant-garde composition: The Traffic Symphony for a million taxis and trucks.

We are lulled to sleep by the music of the city; the same music greets our ears when we wake up. I have grown so used to it that when we went for a weekend trip to the seaside village of Nagaon, the silence at night was deafening. Even more unsettling were the occasional howls and cries from dogs, owls and other assorted Creatures of the Night. We stayed awake till 4.30 in the morning, chatting and telling ghost stories. After that, I did fall asleep, but by that time I was so sleepy I could have comfortably dozed off at a rock concert.

So much for the peace and quiet of the countryside. Gimme the bustling city any day. The sound of a million people noisily going about their business is the sound I want to fall asleep to.


Anonymous said...

Abhiroop said...
I agree totally... but I keep saying that Vadalaaa is NOT the countryside!! Cheers!

Rahul Saha said...
I hear you dude. I hear you.

Jayantika Ganguly said...
Oww!! While it doesn't affect my sleep much, I do so hate that about Bombay!! Do you really, really, really like it all the time?? Aren't quiet nights in the hostel with nothing more than a sporadic dog-howl enticing?

Sroyon said...
@abhiroop: It SO is the countryside

@rahul saha: I hear you too. You're my kinda guy :D

@jayantika: Yes, I just love it. In Bombay as in Calcutta. And whatever do you think about the boys' hostel? The nights there are anything but quiet.

Tapobrata said...

Well, Seva Niketan does have its moments.