Ooh the pollution in India. You may think that I will now write about air quality and dirt and garbage (which really really need to be written about), but I will leave that to others.
I will write about noise. Holy smokes it is noisy here. IT'S NOISY!!
First comes traffic. We have all seen images of traffic in India flowing from exotically disorganized to fully chaotic manner - when it moves. Back home we are conditioned to use the horn when there is danger. Well, here you use the horn to indicate that you are here. It is an existential tool. So everyone honks! Bikes, rickshaws, cars, trucks, buses - they ALL honk when anything that moves is nearby. And that is pretty much all the time. Bizarrely, some trucks even paint 'Sound Horn' on their backs - as if anyone really needed any encouragement to do so.
The second issue is the amplified music. I will just call it Hindu muzak. In Auroville it starts at about 05:00 hrs am. And it is LOUD. Again, this must be some exhilarating exercise for the lone DJ in the middle of a field somewhere with speakers on top of a huge pole. The sound carries for miles. Miles. I am being told the music actually is from a temple but this makes no sense to me as it clearly is what I would call 'party music'.
The religious calls for prayer or scripture readings are a different thing. Absolutely. They only start at about 05:05 hrs am, and blend with the aforementioned muzak. This of course is Hindu-Muslim unity in one sense so we are grateful for that.
Another powerful factor are the dogs. Did I mention that there are tons of dogs here? Like hundreds. The Auroville animal shelter is full of dogs - all seventy five spots filled, all the time. The 'kept' dogs are generally watchdogs so they bark at anything that moves, especially all night long. And when one starts to bark the others join in with a big howl. If you can remember the scene from 101 Dalmatians where all the stray dogs are barking in a chain across the county to warn all existence that Cruella de Vil is on the loose, you will know what I mean. Indian dogs are good, solid howlers.
It's of course Ok to have all this life around us. It's great. Why it can be an issue is that people here do not have windows - they have holes in the wall (if there are walls at all). Sometimes with mosquito netting. And we don't even have walls as you will know if you have read my posts about the treehouse 'capsule' where we are staying.
So what to do? Well, you just go to sleep early, because you *will* wake up at five.