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Happy Diwali

November 7, 2007


I won’t be posting for 4-5 days because I will be on holiday till Sunday night. I hope to post on Monday but most probably it will be on Tuesday.

Please do keep visiting to catch up on any post you might have missed. If a comment or two goes into moderation don’t mind it…I shall try and get that fixed from the place where I am going to.

In the meantime I am leaving you with some guidelines on firecrackers issued by the police based on the directives of the Supreme Court. These are actually commonsense restrictions but it’s amazing how many of us flout them!

  • Firecrackers cannot be burst on the roads, in public places, under residential buildings and on terraces.
  • Firecrackers can be burst only between 6 pm and 10 pm.
  • Firecrackers are totally banned in silence zones (hospitals, educational institutions, courts etc and surrounding areas up to 100 metres).
  • The production/sale/display of firecrackers that make a noise above 120 decibels are banned.
  • The production/sale/display of a chain of 50-100 firecrackers of above 105 decibels and above and all chains of 100 firecrackers and above is prohibited.

You can read about how much damage loud noise can cause to our ears here: [1] and [2]. Given below are decibels levels of some everyday sounds around us, which I got from

150 dB = loud rock music
140 dB = firearms, air raid siren, jet engine
130 dB = jackhammer
120 dB = jet plane taking-off, amplified rock music at 4-6 ft, car stereo, band practice
110 dB = rock music, model airplane
106 dB = timpani and bass drum rolls
100 dB = snowmobile, chain saw, pneumatic drill
90 dB = lawnmower, shop tools, truck traffic, subway
80 dB = alarm clock, busy street
70 dB = busy traffic, vacuum cleaner
60 dB = conversation, dishwasher

Warning Signs of Hazardous Noise
You must raise your voice to be heard
You can’t hear someone two feet away from you
Speech around you sounds muffled or dull after leaving a noise area
You have pain or ringing on your ears (tinnitus) after exposure to noise.

If you think you have “gotten used to” the noise you are routinely exposed to, then most likely you have already suffered damage and have acquired a permanent hearing loss. Don’t be fooled by thinking your ears are “tough” or that you have the ability to “tune it out”! Noise induced hearing loss is usually gradual and painless, but, unfortunately, permanent. Once destroyed, the hearing nerve and its sensory nerve cells do not regenerate!


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32 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2007 3:25 pm

    Interesting post Nita. Wishing you a very happy and prosperous Diwali.

  2. Bharath permalink
    November 7, 2007 3:30 pm

    Happy Diwali & happy holidays..

    Say “NO” to Firecrackers πŸ˜‰

  3. November 7, 2007 3:36 pm


    Interesting decibel-data from I wonder whether these are adjusted for background noise…

    One of the first things I notice when I make my annual pilgrimage to India is that there is an unavoidable background din which is persistent and omnipresent.

    In the first few days I find it hard to sleep. I also notice then that people tend to speak loudly to be heard above this din and then it becomes a habit with everyone. The aircraft’s noise on the flight back does not bother me and then I land, and Heathrow is noisy too.

    But then I get home and silence, nothing but silence.

    An occasional car rushes by, some children passing by talking loudly, trees rustling in the wind, and silence.

    It is amazing how acute one’s hearing becomes in silence. I suppose somewhere that amplifies noises too.

    I have been trying to finish a complicated post on the auditory cortex but I get distracted by my visual cortex πŸ˜‰

    Happy Diwali!

  4. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    November 7, 2007 4:16 pm


    I firmly believe in eschewing firecrackers, but when I see injunctions like this …

    //Firecrackers are totally banned in silence zones (… educational institutions, courts etc and surrounding areas up to 100 metres). //

    … I feel an irresistible urge to play Devil’s Advocate. How can educational buildings, courts etc. be affected one way or the other when they are on vacation?

    [Exit DA]

    … what about residential areas? Don’t we deserve peace and quiet for sleep, study, reading, or even to hear our own voices in domestic conversation? Not only crackers, even loudspeakers ought to be banned.

  5. November 7, 2007 4:49 pm

    happy diwali to you too πŸ™‚ lol i burst all my crackers on the street,for there is no space any where and besides everyone does it on streets,during diwali everyone waits and enjoys the crackers…even the traffic waits…LOL πŸ™‚ happy diwali!!!!

  6. wishtobeanon... permalink
    November 7, 2007 5:55 pm

    Wish you a safe and happy Diwali too!

    Maybe the bursting of fire crackers should be done as a community event in open areas away from buildings and roads. Each city/town/village would have just one huge Fireworks event. This is how its done in the US during their Independence Day celebrations. Whenever I mention US as a model to follow I hope no one is offended because I think some of their regulations are definitely worth emulating.

  7. November 7, 2007 6:02 pm

    Enjoy your holidays, Nita!

  8. November 7, 2007 6:31 pm

    Hope you have a great holiday, Nita!
    BTW, why don’t the Government just lay a simple rule for firecrackers:
    “No bursting of crackers on land or in mid-air. Water bodies, except those deemed to be natural heritages, may be used for the purpose.”

  9. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    November 7, 2007 7:31 pm


    I protest! Water bodies are habitats. You are advocating habitat destruction!

  10. Ramesh permalink
    November 7, 2007 7:40 pm

    Dear Nita,

    Wish you and your family a very happy Diwali.

    Best Regards,


  11. November 7, 2007 9:18 pm

    Happy Diwali, Nita. Hope you have a great time with your family and loved ones. πŸ™‚

  12. November 7, 2007 10:11 pm

    Nita, Wish you a very happy and prosperous Diwali πŸ™‚

    I wish I were in India. It would have been fun!

  13. xntricpundits permalink
    November 7, 2007 11:41 pm

    “Sound” advice for sound mind(s) πŸ™‚

    Happy Diwali, Nita.

  14. November 8, 2007 12:16 am

    happy noise free diwali nita
    i envy shefaly i live in one of the noisiest areas

    t will b hell with all those laxmi or rassi bombs goin off till

  15. November 8, 2007 12:19 pm

    Hey Nita,
    happyyyy diwali to you. And enjoy your break to the fullest. I am sure its a well-desrved one. With you posting these highly researched loooooong posts at unbelievably regular intervals, I am sure you must be exhausted.
    So don’t worry about India. Your wide angled view will be looked after by many like me.
    And yeah, don’t worry about crackers- certain laws in India are highly ignorant of the ground conditions. If we don’t burst crackers at all the places SC has written, I guess the only place left would be SC:P. Errr but SC has already denied it i believe.
    so, chill. just like Indians are immune to contaminated water, polluted air and filthy pani-puri, they r immune to crackers too upto a great extent.
    All of you have all the rights to disagree with me and hence i have written a post about it well in advance. That you may be concerned. But i am happily and purposefully ignorant in this case.
    Happy diwali to Nita and all the ‘wide anglers’ of India!

  16. November 8, 2007 4:48 pm

    Thanks to all for your good wishes and hope you are having a great time. I am!! In silence luckily. πŸ™‚ I never was a great fan of fire-crackers. Give me lights and food anyday!
    Just came back from seeing a buddhist temple, ruins actually which are almost 2000 years old…probably you can guess where in India I am!
    I have many thoughts in response to each of your comments and want to reply to all but my family is not allowing me! They too believe I need a break, but know what? I am not exhausted or tired, I could sit and work on a post right now and also want to answer all of your comments but to keep peace with those around me I shall refrain. πŸ˜‰

  17. November 8, 2007 6:23 pm

    Hey great post !
    Thats a nice way of wishing everyone diwali !

  18. wishtobeanon... permalink
    November 8, 2007 7:42 pm

    Lucky you Nita, you get to see historic places. Are you talking about Ajanta Ellora? I have never been there. I would love to see them one day.
    Enjoy your holidays!

  19. oemar permalink
    November 9, 2007 3:19 am

    Have a safe and happy Diwali everyone….

    Hey Doc,
    What about the civil right of firecrackers? What right do we have to blow them up? πŸ˜‰

  20. November 9, 2007 9:43 am

    Happy Diwali Nita and have a nice and noise free Vacation.

  21. Bharath permalink
    November 9, 2007 12:12 pm

    Hope to see a nice post of your Holiday travel. πŸ™‚

  22. November 9, 2007 5:44 pm

    Thanks Taju (and welcome to the blog), wishtobeanon, Oemar, Prerna and Bharath.
    You are right about ajanta ellora….!
    Bharath, I have already takne over 200 photos and haven’t even seen ellora yet! guess it will take time to sort out everything but yeah a post on that will happen next week sometime I guess.

  23. November 10, 2007 1:06 pm

    Wish you very happy Diwali and joyous new year.

  24. November 10, 2007 7:15 pm

    Thanks JV and the same to you.

  25. prax permalink
    November 11, 2007 2:51 am

    ajanta is pristene dont know now had been there 3 yrs ago
    even trekked to the top of the falls there

    verul is massive and huge but grand
    u can finish 2 rolls and a whole day just at kailash

  26. November 11, 2007 7:06 am

    β€œHappy Diwali” πŸ™‚

  27. November 11, 2007 8:13 am

    Timethief thanks for the wishes. πŸ™‚

  28. November 11, 2007 4:19 pm

    Prax the place is too beautiful to be believed. I can’t believe that I haven’t been here before, the inveterate traveler that I am! And right now I am sitting with a laptop in front on a beautiful hillside facing a lake. And as for ajanta and ellora, no words can describe it and therefore sometime this week I shall post pictures.

  29. November 12, 2007 1:18 am

    “//Firecrackers are totally banned in silence zones (… educational institutions, courts etc and surrounding areas up to 100 metres). //

    … I feel an irresistible urge to play Devil’s Advocate. How can educational buildings, courts etc. be affected one way or the other when they are on vacation?”

    I don’t know if anyone has already commented about what you have said, but firecrackers are fire hazards. Put 2 and 2 together.


    Perhaps the poor motorist has no choice. He can’t possibly run over you, though he ought to. It’s his right of way.

    Ah… the lack of consideration, almost makes me feel I am back home!

    Anyway, as for the festival itself, I am just happy to enjoy the sweets. This is the best diwali I have ever celebrated, probably thanks to being outside India. No more mid-night wake ups.

    And a tip to those that have been rudely awoken past the curfew times, or worse still, been unable to sleep. Call the ****ing cops. its their job. I have done it on more than one occasion. And if that doesnt work, keep some water baloons handy. You get the idea. An eye for an eye, fight fire with fire…

  30. November 12, 2007 5:23 pm

    @The Depressed Doormat:

    Hullo DD. welcome back. πŸ™‚
    I agree with you ofcourse, on firecrackers being fire hazards. But I think vivek too was playing the devil’s advocate…!
    I have a dreadful allergy for loud noise myelf and I guess it goes back to my school days when I lived in the heart of Pune city and had to suffer the ‘religious’ celebrations of people around during examinations. My 10th grade was a nightmare as a result. Recently I was talking to some people in Kothrud where we lived for a while recently (a very noisy area) and the residents were telling me that they too hate the noise but they dare not say a word because of the local goons. So actually I don’t believe that it’s the majority which does all these things. It’s because the silent majority is silent that this continues. Anyone with a small child/baby/elderly parents/sick people/students will prefer a silence after 10 p.m. and that does cover a large section of the population.

  31. November 14, 2007 1:07 am

    Hey Nita,

    For starters, I was hardly “away”, just not been commenting as much.

    I guess I hadn’t really considered the goons. But I still stand by my water balloon theory, wherever possible. Goons are part of our messed up social fabric and is far more deep-rooted and can’t really be considered under the limited purview of a Diwali weekend.

    Something OT: I am surprised that there was nothing about Nandigram on here. I usually find out a lot of the news from here, since the news sites out there just leave me fuming. The total lack of integrity in the major print houses as well as their lack of concern for details makes it an agonizing experience for me.

  32. November 14, 2007 8:12 am

    DD, I haven’t written about Nandigram because I am not sure what is going on there. But I have been thinking of it…trying to get some authentic news,

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