Some have blamed the sound of azaan for ruining their sleep, as evidenced by a Bollywood singer’s recent tweet, but Kalki Koechlin doesn’t quite share in this aversion. At a time when people are debating whether loudspeakers should be banned at religious places, the actress feels that such sounds are intrinsic to our society.
“I used to live in a noisy neighbourhood… we live in a noisy country,” she says in a recently launched video that explores and celebrates a world full of noise.
The popular actress has turned into a slam poetess for the video, released by the Culture Machine’s digital channel, ‘Blush’.
Koechlin was inspired by the noises in her neighbourhood at Yari road in Mumbai. “The azaan, the sound from the nearby mandir, bustling of the fisherwomen, traffic… mornings would be full of so many noises,” she says. But, for her, it is also important to have silence at times. “Sometimes you need to listen to your own voice, switch off your phone,” she says.
Nowadays of course, there is another kind of noise that we get to hear everyday. The noise of social media.
“Pick up my phone and scroll through my trolls. You have such big teeth, get lost ugly… how many blow jobs did it take to get your lips… I will rape you bitch,” she reads out Twitter notifications.
Koechlin says that in a world so full of noise, no one’s listening. “Everyone wants to be heard,” she adds.
Asked if she gets bothered by the Twitter trolls, she replies, “I love the freedom that social media gives us, but it comes with a lot of negative stuff — there’s fake news and trolling.” However, Koechlin feels people should use their freedom responsibly on social media.
“I take my time before putting out an opinion. Instead of just thwarting out an opinion, we need think before just typing words,” she explains.
Responding to the controversy around the banning of loudspeakers, she observes, “I don’t believe in censorship. If azaan is to be banned, we need to ban club music too and TV shows where guests and anchors scream at each other.” Koechlin said that it’s our “self restraint” that can give us peace in a noisy world. “We need to stop screaming,” she concludes.