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  • Writer's pictureVedashree Khambete Sharma

Sleepless in Mumbai

This morning I woke up a little early by my usual Sunday standards. I didn’t have a choice. A private dargah down the road had begun to air religious songs. Live. At full blast. Over a loudspeaker*. At 4:30 in the freakin’ morning.

The thing about 4:30 in the morning is that there are no other sounds to distract you. Because at 4:30 in the morning, the rest of the world is doing things like, oh I don’t know, sleeping maybe? Milkmen dream cow dreams, newsboys dream of the afternoon edition, even dogs freakin’ dream of bones at 4:30.

So there was basically nothing to stop me from hearing at full blast, the sounds of religion coming from next door. For a full half hour, I tossed and turned and swore and cursed. I even tried to wear my close-fit Sony hands-free to cut off the noise. Nothing much happened, except that my brother woke up and we performed a cussing duet.

And then, because the night hadn’t been just perfect, the power got cut.

(I can now tell from first-hand experience that the current temperature in Bombay is just over 40 degrees centigrade at night. Just right, in fact, if you want a brief preview of Hell.)

At about 5 o’clock, I ran out of abuses and patience, and called the cops. Half an hour later, the songs stopped.

(Oh, and in case I didn’t mention, my bathroom is being re-tiled. So I had the never-before experienced joy (?) of taking a shower at my neighbour’s house.)

You know, suddenly I’m not so sure that weekends are actually better than the work-week.

* There is a ban on loudspeaker use post-10 p.m. in Bombay. Religious functions, private parties, concerts, pubs, wherever there is sound in public, it is shut off by 10. Obviously, someone didn’t get the memo.

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