TODAY -

Sound as it communicates!

James Khangenbam *

 Sound as it communicates!



When you clang on an electric post for 30 seconds, 100 people will gather near the electric post. It is a socially adopted mode of communication in the localities of Manipur. It is like an ambulance on the road and calls for an emergency gathering.

During the Yaoshang or Holi festival, a loud speaker communicates the locality. An announcer will update on the series of sporting, literary and fun events taking place during the five days celebration. People sitting at their homes will get to know what is taking place during the Yaoshang festival. For every 200 homes, there is a local club and each club has a loud speaker.

Thabal Chongba a traditional event for the youth takes place in the night during Yaoshang and Cheiraoba (New Year). A series of bright tube light installation and loud music is one trademark for Thabal Chongba.

The musical beat for the event is the same everywhere and it is amplified in loud speakers. Sound and light are a message sent to the neighborhood for Thabal Chongba event. It serves as an invitation.

When it comes to hearing health, the sound system and the speaker seem casually arranged as the events are self-funded and voluntarily organized at the local level. When exposed to the venue for an hour or two, the pressure at the nerves inside the ear must be at its maxim point.

Beyond traditional practices, loud music communication from the garbage truck is already a phenomenon in the localities of Manipur. The volume is regulated by the garbage collector; they want people to come out with their garbage in time and to avoid any misinformation. So, a loud sound communication is becoming a social norm.

The mike campaign by volunteers for medical camps and other social welfare gatherings are as intolerable as it gets nearer to our homes. The announcer seems desperate to inform everyone in the locality. But yes, even if the sound is intolerable, you can close your ears for few seconds. Perhaps that is how everyone tolerates inside their homes.

If you beat a drum and leave a note at the electric post people would have come to read the notice. It would have been classic too. Dung dung the drum goes and a notice at the leikai corner.

In Imphal City, the night is the best time for the ears to rest. Mechanical noise from vehicles plying on the road or the construction works keep rocking the neigbourhood. Besides the diesel auto sound. Early morning is a pleasant time with chirruping birds.

On a brighter note, advance mike and portable sound system had enabled some local clubs to carry out public campaign effectively in two wheelers with pleasant audio volume. Softly spoken or loudly spoken the message is the same. Pleasant sound brings joy to life. We need not panic if we are not heard.

If loudness is a thrill. Manipur police is arresting young boys for modifying their bikes with loud silencers. If Thabal Chongba music is moderately played with no amplified sound, it would have been a very graceful traditional dance. It has the potential to rock the world as it takes place in many places at a same time.

Tourists will flock the town during Yaoshang festival. Green ground open space, everyone dancing in colourful traditional attire. Forget about tourists, people will love to be around the venue with pleasant acoustic sound music and dance. One can even contemporize the music a bit to add to the happy youthful moments.


* James Khangenbam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be reached at jameskhangenbam7(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on 25 April 2023

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