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Some people like to be where the action is, right in the middle of things. They thrive in noisy surroundings like exotic plants in greenhouses. Take them out of the hustle and bustle and stick them in a comparatively quiet place and they wilt.

Me? I am just the opposite.

It hit home rather forcefully when I happened to talk to a friend who had to move to a comparatively quieter neighborhood. I was amazed. What was she cribbing about? True, she would no longer hear the traffic and the incessant honking that goes with it. Was that it? But then tastes differ as I only know too well. Some love the bustling city and the constant onslaught of various sounds on their eardrums.

I stay in a really quiet neighborhood, and have most of my life, thankfully. The one exception was a house in Danapur, Bihar. The place itself wasn’t noisy in the sense it wasn’t in the middle of the city. But the house we stayed in was next to the highway. Days were okay. Well, not really. Listening to music was spoilt by the roar of the constant traffic. The nights, when the heavy vehicles plied, were really unbearable. I was afraid I’d become a nervous wreck by the time I left the place.

The neighborhood we stay in now is one of the quietest and I love it. My mother-in-law, whenever she visited, used to complain about the lack of any sort of activity. Her house was close to a busy junction. If she left the front door open, and she did so often enough, she could not just hear but see the traffic as well, and watch the constant stream of people going either way.

Then there were the First Born’s friends who used to come over to our house to study with him. The ‘eerie’ silence as they referred to it, bothered them very much. How do you study in this silence, they asked him. Yes, this really happened. Some people want silence to study (or write blogs!), like your truly, others like them are used to the noises from in and around. A blaring radio, television going full blast, or a speaker belting out Bollywood songs from somewhere, or all of them simultaneously with a few other noises thrown in help them concentrate better.

To each their own I suppose!

© Shail Mohan 2020