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Monday, August 29, 2005

The Religion of Noise


The night is yet to be over, the morning just on the coast. A banshee cry screeches through the silent dawn. Neither an Irish folklore nor an urban legend, but an invocation of the gods where we ordinary mortals are the collateral damage. The portly aging priest of the neighbourhood temple unleashing his croaking vocals over the loudspeakers (only treble, no bass), followed by religious remixes of item numbers making any effort of early morning sleep an extremely difficult proposition.

Last Saturday the Hindu world celebrated the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. Every lane in my locality in a show of one-upmanship made it a point to host individual celebrations. My midnight the area was one cacophonous cauldron. Even Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's lilting voice on the headphones could not come to my rescue.

Religion as I understand it is a very personal thing - a relation between a mortal and the power supreme. Religious occasions act as social get-togethers and used to be solemn affairs. But now entertainment has adulterated it (like so many other aspects of our lives). This obscene display of religiosity gives the noble thought and practice a bad name.

There are laws in place restricting the decibels in public ceremonies. But religion is a force more potent than manmade laws; after all it is the votes in the name of religion that send the lawmakers to the legislatures.

And I believe heaven has excellent soundproofing.

18 Comments:

Sandeep said...

very profound.. keep writing.

Greta said...

Reminds me of our western "húllumhæ" every year, beginning earlier each year, nowadays as early as October,surrounding the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the so called X-mas, that has been turned into The Feast of the Heaven of Merchants!

dwaipayan said...

i\m not going to comment.coz i dnt my link to my blog in the blogs u visit

Soumyadip said...

Your Meaningless Crap has been added to my Blogs of Honour. Happy?

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dwaipayan said...

well i'm happy, but y u saying it like that. amar kintu mood off hoyeb jabe.

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Abaniko said...
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Abaniko said...

Very well said.

While it's okay with me for people to observe religious commemorations (solemn or not), I still believe that faith in God is manifested not through elaborate religious festivities but through godly actions like kindness, compassion, honesty, etc.

choclosteve said...

I like those religious festivities that remind me of the virtues. I like Carnival or Mardi Gra. Guess it won't be so great in the Big Easy or the Gulf States this year.

choclosteve said...

Never been to New Orleans. Went through
Carnival this year in Bolivia and Peru. Also been to Candelabra, Ekeko, and El Senor Milagro fesivals dowb there. Much dancing and drinking, and in some places a lot of water and shaving cream for Carnival. No dancing for Ekeko that I saw- I mostly saw lots of miniature stuff. I got my Ekeko blessed with incence and bought him some small $50 bills to go with the bolivianos that were part of his basic load of the necessitiues. I seem to have enough of each when I really need them, so He is doing hes stuff. He has a nice spot in my house. Also been to
Day of the Dead at an Aymara cemetery in El Alto, above La Paz. No dancing there either, but some drinks from large plastic soft drink bottles and lots of bread and pictures of those being remembered. Crossed myself alot. asked Julie if I was doing it right. Gave our collected bread to some likely poor. Xmas and thanksgiving there are familly get togethers in my familly.