Honk!

I’m beginning to think I should compose a piece of music based on the myriad of honking sounds produced by Bangalore.

Certainly something like this has already been done? But you have to understand… it’s not just lots of horns honking all at once, or back and forth. Each honk has a different pitch, a different timbre, a different length, a different attitude. Cars, buses, motorbikes, bicycles, trucks, autorickshaws. Layered on top are occasional sirens (similar to their US counterparts) and the most baffling variety of custom honks. Think ice cream truck meets “It’s a Small World” meets annoying ringtone… because a single pitch just isn’t good enough. Another layer of ever-present sound is bird calls thrown in the mix, most notably the Asian Koel.

Sometimes when I’m half asleep or not really paying attention, my brain twists the mishmash of noise into a television in the next room tuned to some sporting event. But really, it is always just traffic.

I’ve come to realize that Bangalore is a gentle but persistent assault on all of one’s senses. Vibrant colors, unexpected juxtapositions. The sounds mentioned above. A swarm of smells, both lovely and repulsive, but most certainly not subtle. The heavy and sticky humid air. And the flavors of delicious, though sometimes unexpected and overpowering, curries.

Honk to you too, Bangalore.

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One thought on “Honk!

  1. Thank you for this. I can just picture (hear) it. I especially liked the song of the bird clip because you can also hear the ever present “honk” of the human.

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