Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Dazzling Headlights

Empathy (noun) ​ /ˈem.pə.θi/

"The ability to share someone else's feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person's situation"

One of the key capability that enabled human evolution is our ability to empathise. Some people go to an extent of calling it the basis of human civilisation. But it seems like this innate  quality  instilled in humans through centuries of evolution could be easily uprooted by the clutches of religion ..

I might not be in full agreement with the story or message conveyed in Ramayana, but still I admire it as a great work of literature. Hence the idea of dedicating a month towards learning it through early morning recitation doesn't seem such a bad ritual, especially considering numerous other meaningless and ridiculous practices that religion forces on you... But nothing can justify playing a recorded version of its poem publicly through loud speakers in full volume and that too at 4:30 AM in the morning

Just think about how small is the segment  of people it actually addresses .. it excludes,

  1. A good percentage among people from other faith and non-believers who naturally don't appreciate it enough
  2. People who are believers but don't quite appreciate or understands poetry that much
  3. People who are believers and even appreciates poetry but at 4:30 AM, any sound beyond a whisper  is nothing but an irritating alarm for them

What is left could be a bunch of people not exceeding 10% of population within that acoustic range. In this age of technology isn't there a better way of dealing with it. For instance donate a ear phone to each of those 10% and setup a conference bridge where those folks can call-in using a toll free #. Instead of a mere recorded poem you can actually give them a live customised recitation, a win-win for all parties involved and of course the ones who are not involved ..

Now looking at the bright side, in a place where a fall of leaf can cause religious conflict, these disturbance didn't really escalate to such an issue till now. But I don't think it is merely due to the big heart shown by the other party. I once read an essay by an English writer about dazzling headlights.  It talks about the author's experience during his evening highway rides where he gets irritated by the high beam from approaching cars and how he thought about combating the issue by planting a bigger headlight for his own car. The deafening loud speakers here are like those dazzling headlights and the other party might already be thinking the same way that author did. They also have a similar month at their disposal and I bet the volume level of early morning special prayers during their sacred month will be one notch higher next year.

End of the day the only section that gets screwed from both sides are the one who is not a part of any of these circuses and who don't give a damn about whose headlight is stronger. All they care about is to get some peace especially at 4:30 AM in the morning ... and yes, I represent them !