I’ve been to India 8 times in first 40+ years of life and 8 times in last 3 years now that I have a job that requires frequent travel to India. In all of those trips and now reinforced more than ever, it is the sound of India which is most embedded in my mind whether the 1980’s in Mumbai or 2016 in Hyderabad (picture from below – December 2016).
To me, India is:
- The distinct honking of rickshaws, trucks cars and now SUVs
- Elevators beeping
- Birds chirping
- People talking, yelling or arguing
- Mosque calls to prayer
- Shuffling in the streets
- Jack-hammering construction noise
- Accelerating motorcycle engines
- Joyful sounds of children laughing and playing
- Bhajans emenating from a Hindu temple
- Vendors yelling and selling tea, onions, or peanuts with their distinct carrying voice
- Whistles from traffic cops
- Air horn honks from buses
- Pounding rain
- Constant doorbells with friends, acquaintances, and household help coming in and out.
- Bollywood songs blaring from a smal restaurant
- Car engine backfiring
- A Hindu priest reciting prayers while barely taking a breath
India is the loudest place I’ve ever been, but those sounds– magic!