Sunday, 6 January 2008

Noisy Neighbourhood

This Saturday introduced me to a big change in the neighborhood. The building next-door is going in for reconstruction (preceded by demolition of the existing edifice.) The owner has involved a team of noisy people (who chatter louder than the work they do and become a nuisance day and night) to complete the demolition. I have been facing a sudden change in ambient noise level and dust level. They have yet to construct a partition between the houses that would at least serve as a barrier for the dust.

To add to the adventure, there was another group of people taking down nature's edifice, the tallest tree in the neighborhood. It was heavy and it was taken down in heavy intermediate modules. One of them knocked off part of a barbed wire fence on my house's compound wall while being "safely" taken down. The enormity of the tree and the way it was taken down gave quite a few people a good scare of what could happen if nature came crashing down. This made me more worried than the man made edifice generating noise and dust plumes for now on another side of the house. The task took almost after sundown to complete. Recapitulating, a branch from this tree had damaged a window in my house during a storm.

The noise change did have an impact on my sleep. I was so annoyed by the "new" noise that I decided to try and sleep off earlier, which actually didn't work straight forward. It took much longer than that. I used to live in a flat off one of Pune's most noisy highways. At that time nothing in the morning 8:00am rush could take me off my bed as I was so used to it. But a change in the noise levels when I moved to a new silent neighborhood in Pune made me extremely sensitive to noise. I have begun to understand that our brain tunes itself on the basis of ambient noise available near our habitat and our workplace to help filter out the excess and remove any stress related to that. This process is however not instantaneous and takes a bit of time (something like subconscious learning.) Until that is done, I will be extremely aware of this new level of noise in the neighborhood.