Waking up in India is always accompanied by a cacophony of sound, It is something of a ritual for me and I look forward to it every day. It is somewhat of a warning that the beast is about to get up! (the beast being the city and not me!!)

The calls of the birds start before the rest. There are sparrows and crows and pigeons for sure, yet likely many other types that I am not familiar with. These begin to call out intermittently and it is a soft awakening of sorts.

I still am not certain that they are in need of using their horns or that it is simply a habit of years having done so, however beeping of the autos as they hurry down the street begins to fill the air. People are going places early and the city is waking up.

As the sounds increase in frequency and pitch, you can make out the beginnings of the people activities: sweeping sounds along streets and sidewalks below, calls of the street vendors in India they are called pheriwallas or hawkers) selling their fruits and veg, clinking cooking utensils in the homes around, people calling out.

The competition is now on and each begins to trill louder, beep more often, and more footfall. The combined sounds begin to rise in intensity and soon you have an orchestra of noise. It is something to hear for sure! And the pity of it is that the threat to these decades old cultural experiences is fading away. With the way that the huge cities in India are growing, these pheriwallas are being pushed out to create space for malls and high rises.

So, while here, I absorb it all! Yes, it can be overwhelming, maybe even irritating, when listening from your balcony nine floors up, but when you stop and truly listen, you can pick out the distinct sounds of each contributor and appreciate the chaotic symphony.

And then you get out of bed and make tea!


Typical autos in India

Rumi waking up!

Street view from above: zoom in to see the birds.

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