Thank You For The Music

Dear Mr. Khattar,

(For the uninitiated, Mr. Manohar Lal Khattar is the Chief Minister of Haryana, the state where Gurgaon, where I live, lies)

Thank you for the music on the night of Friday, 18th August, extending into the wee hours of Saturday, 19th August. Yes last night.

Music that I neither asked for nor wanted.

Music that I understand is supposed to stop at 10 PM.

I realise the pains you have to go through to provide these little pleasures to your residents. Pleasures that residents of few leading cities in the world get to savour. Of free, unasked for music at unearthly hours. Not for nothing is Gurgaon known as the millennium city. After the destruction of overground vegetation and underground water reservoirs, this is perhaps a logical way forward for a modern, progressive city.

My last faint memory of the night is of purple lights blinking inside my head to the thumping of loud, remixed music. This must have been around 12.50 PM at night. But I could be mistaken. The only certain marker of time I have from last night is of the last call I received from the Sector 29 Police Station informing me that they will arrange for a Police Control Room (PCR) van to go to the establishment spreading the joy and ask them to switch off the music. That was around 12.40 AM.

My wife had initially called to complain (silly woman – complaining about a civic nuisance!) at about 11.25 PM. She had called the Sector 40 Police Station under whose jurisdiction our housing society falls.

Of course, till 12.30 AM nothing had been done. In fact, the music had grown louder and was belting out some foot-tapping scores.

Reluctantly I called the same Police Station again. After failing to connect with the PCR on “100”. The person answering the call expressed surprise that the music had not stopped despite him having done nothing about it. I offered that the music might be coming from across the road, from the eatery attached to the shiny new liquor vend that has come up near our building.

Though he might have expected the music to have stopped on its own, on hearing this he immediately said that that area is under the jurisdiction of the Sector 29 Police Station. The Doklam standoff between China and India may have nothing on this border dispute between the Police Stations of Sector 29 and Sector 40.

Notwithstanding the border dispute, he was kind enough to give me another number for reaching the PCR which, unfortunately, connected. The PCR might have conveyed the message to the Sector 29 Police Station which is perhaps why they called me.

I must stop here and apologise for my rudeness to the person who called. I asked him if they at the Police Station could not hear the music and why did they have to wait for a complaint. I also had the temerity to ask him about the punitive action that would be taken against the establishment. What was I thinking? If he gave a response I did not hear it. If you get a chance, please convey my sincere apologies to the person for asking inappropriate questions.

I am also extremely sorry I was not able to participate in the festivities longer than 12.50 AM. I have made a mental note to sleep through the day tomorrow so that I can enjoy the late night festivities you and your administration have arranged for unsuspecting and ungrateful residents like me.

I will also try to communicate the same to children who need to get up early for school and seniors living in our building to ensure that they also sleep through the day so that we can all enjoy this unexpected treat from the authorities together. It will hopefully bring us all together cutting across lines of age, gender, religion, occupation, etc. We cannot thank you enough.

Of course I understand. If we cannot stop rapes, molestations and murders in the city, what right do we have to expect such trifles to be prevented? How can the police be expected to know that an establishment in their vicinity is playing loud music beyond permitted hours and censure them? They can only know if a resident complains. Isn’t it?

On another note, I also thank you for the early practice, as the silly season begins in October when the weather turns for the better and outdoor merriment starts. It is good to get one’s ear accustomed to unauthorised late night music as HUDA Gymkhana Club and Kingdom of Dreams, both within a stone’s throw of our building, who have been the bellwethers of unauthorised late night music in our neck of the woods till last year, begin their respective acts.

Equally, it is wonderful to see that the administration, as behoves an administration in a market economy, is leaving no stone unturned to introduce greater competition in this area as well. After all, why should HUDA Gymkhana Club and Kingdom of Dreams have a free run on late night unauthorised music?

Would it be possible to publish a playlist for the night’s unauthorised music playing so that residents can be better prepared with the right accompaniments for the music being dished out? If not, can we introduce a system through which “requests” can be sent to the erring establishment so that the unauthorised music could be to the liking of the forced audience?

Even if the above requests cannot be entertained, please don’t fret. You are keeping us entertained, albeit against our wishes. Your good deeds will stand you well. Remind me again when the next elections are due.

If I sound distracted in writing this thank you note, I apologise. I am writing this at 2.30 AM, after waking from a fitful sleep with those purple lights still flashing inside my head. It seems the music has restarted. Thanks again. Apologies if my complaint caused the music to be shut down for a few minutes, or was it seconds. I realise that one should not look a gift horse in the mouth. Who knows, we may be condemned to live in a city with rule of law.

Sincerely,

An ungrateful resident.

29 thoughts on “Thank You For The Music

  1. Ah my Dear old Senior Citizen. There are still places here in Australia where Simon and Garfunkle’s “Sounds of Silence ring out loud and clear.
    And the strange person commenting is in fact an old friend in disguise.
    Regards and commiserations. John.

    • You are coming across loud and clear John! I may not answer to the technical definition of senior yet, but am fast getting there aided by increasing intolerance and selfishness that I see all around me. But, I remain hopeful…

    • I am hoping for the same. Since the possibility of using votes to usher in a civilised society where rules are relevant seems quite remote. I wonder if 80s rock would be acceptable as a playlist today??

  2. I am not a fan of Mr Khattar –in fact, you did well to remind me he was the Chief Mistreater of Haryana– what has he got to do with that heavenly music? Surely, such exalted social service is common to each state, UT and isle of this country.

  3. Most certainly, you are indeed an ungrateful resident. What will I not give to enjoy this free entertainment when even water, we have to pay and buy in bottles.
    Cheers!
    P/s Anyone for brand-name pollution-free bottled-air dispensed at the 24/7 foreign-owned outlet now sprouting up faster than corrupt politicians?

    • Do I detect a hint of envy? Can’t blame you. We were in Singapore three weeks back. We could see the bright lights of Clark Quay from our hotel room, but despite our best efforts, could not catch a single note from the many bands playing there at night. Hope things get better. As a start, you could allow Mr. Khattar to contest the next elections.

  4. Naturally these people don’t need to go to work in the morning (not because they are rich but because they are on welfare) and they actually think they are entertaining the neighborhood and that everyone should be appreciative.

  5. Dear Ankur, I take your comment section as an opportunity to tell how much I appreciated your kind words for my blog, all the more since I have not visited yours for quite some time. Something has gone wrong with my old laptop, where I receive my notifications about new posts of the bloggers I follow. So I missed quite a few of your most recent posts. The one above on noise pollution written with wit and a strong dosage of sarcasm and irony was a masterpiece and a delight for me to read this morning.

  6. GREAT GOING. Enjoyed reading the experience and then realised its nothing new in our mostly adapt adjust policy of life. The words have been amplified by giving them a Tweet Boost- as if that matters. Keep it up.

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