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I hate religion!

Perhaps hate is too strong a word.

My father taught me to question everything and my mother taught to me to follow rituals blindly every Thursday in name of the Goddess Laxmi. I grew up with a begrudging respect for the quietude and solace faith can offer. However, I still ask, why is there a need to shout one’s faith from the rooftops, alleyways, temples, backyards and street corners?

Why the singing and the drumming late into the night? Why the constant Facebook posts, complete with images glorifying a name I choose not to take? I wish the world were quieter.

Calcutta is rejoicing and I can’t block out the sounds of a hyped up, amplified euphoria. The window panes shake and my head reverberates with at least three different songs coming from at least three different directions, all at once, converging in my bedroom, my living room, my tiny little flat in a corner of the city no one really comes to.

The noise is louder when I am alone, when the children have fallen asleep and my husband is away. It’s as if it waits to attack me at me at my most relaxed.

I miss the politically correct, always considerate of your neighbours approach to life. The one where decibels are managed and time limits enforced. The one where you have a phone number to dial if things get too inconvenient for you. The one where someone will come and investigate and assures you that you can rest in the knowledge that it won’t happen again, so you should just put the kettle on and settle into that good book, you finally have the peace to enjoy.

There’s no point to this post except to say, that on days like these, when I am tired and my eyes long to close, when my body stretches in anticipation of a soft bed and my mind craves for the nothingness that only sleep can provide, I hate this city!