Sunday, July 12, 2009

Does God love noise?

Noise...unadulterated noise...cacophony rules. What is it about Indians and their need to pray to God at deafening volumes? Isn't it unfortunate that although we have laws in place for noise pollution, they are just there on paper- never enforced. In Chennai, the cops are a bunch of ineffective morons. You can call them and complain about noise pollution and they just sit back and do nothing.

The church next door to home has been assaulting us with their rock-music volume outdoor services accompanied by one of the most tuneless choirs one can have the misfortune to hear. The choir, with women singing flat and sharp in screechy high-pitched voices and men hollering, can test the patience of a saint. Poor God must be covering his ears! Then you have the preachers who believe that they must bellow into the microphone in order to spread the word of the Lord.

Surprisingly, Christian charity and loving thy neighbour has no place in this cacophonous display of religiosity. Even after we've requested them politely, our soft entreaties fell on deaf ears. (Could be they've turned deaf thanks to the deafening volume they subject themselves and others too!). So, we turned to the courts and got a court order from none other than the Chief Justice. Did that help? Oh no! They continued blasting their prayers with impunity knowing full well that the cops are toothless tigers and they can always play their miserable trump carde - 'the minorities being brutalised by the police and the public'. In no civilised country can a church disturb the peace of the neighbourhood in this way but here, in Chennai, they can.

Take Sundays for instance - a day when most people like to sleep in late and spend a quiet, relaxed day. Well, Saint Vincent's Church in Chennai beleives that they have divine rights to wake up the entire neighbourhood at 6am by blasting their service. Do they think their parishioners are deaf? Or that God can only appreciate the fervour of their piety if they shout it out? From 6 to 9.30am, we are subjected to service after painful service of shouting, screeching, cacophonous singing and complete and utter disregard to the plight of people around who just want some well-deserved peace and quiet. This is the holier-than-thou-art principle at work. We are so pious and religious and therefore superior to you so we have the RIGHT to make noise - to hell with those who have a problem.

Strange isn't it? There they are extorting people to follow the laws of the Bible but they don't believe in following the laws of the land. Well, maybe they think they are superior to the laws of the land. Coupled with an inefficient, rude, boorish police force, many of whom are ignorant about the laws regarding noise pollution, the rest of us continue to suffer...and suffer...and suffer.


  1. LoL! after all the drama, it still continues????

  2. One Sunday, over five years ago, I happened upon a church during a Sunday Service. The church was filled to the brim and I was struck by the fact that no cup this, but a church runneth over...

    Loudspeakers brought the Service out to the outstanding parishioners and so I heard the sermon. The priest said that in this day and age, praying loudly is not quite a sign of devotion but a sign of insensitivity. I agree.

    I haven't gone back to a church since, I hear God a lot better without the noise.

  3. Omigod! the Omnipresent is omnipresent!

  4. The omnipresent is forced to become omnipresent! And yeah, I too hear God better without the noise...too much distravtion otherwise!
    And Avi, sob, the damn drama continues but thankfully not on a daily basis!