Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, January 14, 2010

Let's get loud!

Compiled by Kazim Ibne Sadique

The technical definition…yes, we are perfectly aware these are the first words of the cover page of RS, but please, do bear with us, because it is necessary to explain the cacophony that shall follow. As we were saying, the technical definition of noise is anything that disrupts communications, be it actual and in-your-face sound energy such as the static from the radio or the car honking beside you while you are trying to talk on the phone, or the indirect distractions such as a crow pooping on your date and interrupting the sweet nothings under the shining blue sky. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, today's cover is about noise. And we shall see how the RS employees define noise.

"What? You mean to say Pappu got 0.75 marks more than my Gabbu?" She spat out a shriek and looked condemned.

"Yes, yes Bhabi. I'm telling you, his mother does his homework and flirts with the teachers," was the scandalized and equally loud reply. "The mystery is solved; I knew my Aabel is not that stupid!"

"My my, are you sure it's 0.75 more? I mean, my Gabbu has always been terrifically intelligent!"

"Of course, Bhabi! Aabel has been a shining star ever since he started going to school..."

And the babble continues across the tiny school courtyard as Pappu, Gabbu and Aabel run around the pitifully small space playing a game few adults would ever understand. The larger than life tones deal out marks, percentiles or tuition schedule while the guardians pick up the abandoned bags filled with useless texts. The children are oblivious to it. The noise of our education system halts at the gates of the world they have created for themselves.
Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

“There's a certain feelin' you get when you real and you spit…” - Eminem
The city of Dhaka is likable. There are so many vehicles, and it is a wonder the many ways they can honk and screech with their drivers yelling obscenities. It almost works like a lullaby. Suddenly the person sitting in front of me lets out a huge grumble, presumably in his throat. With a ferocious croak that signals the accumulation of 'something' in his mouth, he spits with an ethic-bursting sound. Hold on! He isn't finished yet! He raises two fingers to his nose; pressing down on one nostril, and blows. So much for my jam-induced slumber.
Jawad Mahmud

Broken Keys
She walked in, sneakers squeaking on the marble floor. The grand piano rose out of the middle of the room. Her fingers played over the keys, releasing soft melody into the room.
Resistance fading, she sat down and began to play. Music gushed between her fingers in torrents, seeping into every corner of the room.

Suddenly, the energy imploded. The door reopened to reveal a bunch of teenagers, all chattering and laughing vociferously.
The richness of the room evaporated, leaving white noise in its place in her head.
Tanzia Amreen Haq

Deaf ears
The initial silence of dusk is broken by the orchestral sound of a plate shattering into infinite number of pieces. This was succeeded by repeated slaps onto a face whose owner was supposed to go to school at this age. Almost inaudible whimpers and threats for more slaps followed. I rang the calling bell next door for them to stop what was happening, but found myself at the receiving end of a colourful array of words I had yet to learn the meanings of. I clenched my teeth, came back to my room, and turned up my music to block out the cacophony.
Sumaiya Ahmed

Metal Head
Crash, Bang, Screech, SCREAAAM.. the 'music' from my brothers room interrupts while I'm trying to watch E!News. Atleast, I think it's music, it sounds like a bunch of angry cats being thrown against the wall repeatedly. No, no way, it can't be music. There are no notes or melody, just random thrashing and screaming against a constant and loud drum beat. It's nothing but excruciating noise.
Musarrat Rahman

Music is noise…
Just about everyone listens to music. Whether it be Ke$ha, Metallica, or Tupac, the sight of headphones stuck in someone's ear is becoming more and more common. It goes even further. People are fond of all types of different beats, rhythms, screams, and shouts. Not just the conventional kind, either. If you ask a mom whose son is about to graduate, her favourite music would be the sounds her baby made as a child. If you ask a retired athlete, his favorite music would be the sound of a crowd cheering. Heck, there are probably people who like the sounds of cars honking and cows mooing. In a world filled with a plethora of sounds, it is up to us to turn what we hear into music. Once we learn to appreciate the beauty of everything around us, noise becomes nothing more than music in disguise.
Ihsan Kabir

…and noise is…
It's the hum of the A/C you can't live without. It's the graze of the loud electric guitars your neighbour spews when you wish it wasn't there. It's the beat of your heart when you want to be calm. It's the silence when you are alone, so alone that you can't hear even the words of your memories. It's the thing you miss, and the thing you notice, when it's not around.
S.N. Rasul

…the last line of this box
Noise is the tap-tap of a finger on a table. Noise is the clink of metal against metal. Noise is the drumming in your head. Noise is the symphony of your mind and heart. Noise is the streets. Noise is the world. Noise is the earth turning. Noise is the sun burning. Noise is the universe expanding. Noise is life.
SS Emil

It's scary how sound can be so unpleasant.
It's terrifying how words can be so ugly.
Loud fights over unimportant matters, angry curses, tears- and suddenly 'love' becomes the most ridiculous word ever, the two people in it perfect strangers.
“It sucks that children cannot choose their parents,” the child thinks.
“How I wish sound was non-existent on this planet.”
Raisa Rafique

Silence is golden…
The stillness of the winter midnight is shattered by the rumble of a truck approaching. It grinds to a stop, and a rusty, grating rattle and a loud bang announce the back being opened. This is followed by the clip-clop of bricks being unloaded, to the lusty shouts of encouragement or frustration from the workers at the construction site. Cocooned in my top-floor room in the apartment block, I can only guess at the emotions they want to convey. What I am feeling is a sense of resignation, the umpteenth tinny repeat of 'Roopbaan e nache komor dulaiya" from the wedding party three doors down having taken in all the irritation I felt some two hours ago. The party is winding down now, and they're down to some mellow, badly rendered Kailash Kher numbers. I burrow further into my blankets, trying to drown it all out and steal some sleep, but the silence of the phone is deafening.
Sabrina F Ahmad

And with that, we bid you adieu! And yes, Shakespeare is the king of noise…most of the time.



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