Thou shalt not shout

In sport, there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent, and that’s the aim for him, and Pat Cummins on the final-eve did it right for Australia, winning the Cricket World Cup 2023
Thou shalt not shout

Kamal Baruah


In sport, there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent, and that’s the aim for him, and Pat Cummins on the final-eve did it right for Australia, winning the Cricket World Cup 2023 crown from India’s soil, while 1.4 billion Indians saw an unforgettable tale of sorrows and heartbreaks. That was India’s only defeat in the cricket extravaganza, which came in the final. Despite the loss, 1.3 lakh fans dressed in blue cheered for cricket. Oh, sound doesn’t matter for him. The only thing that matters is that Australia made another milestone.

However, the critics go further and say that the Ahmedabad crowd has gone silent. If this were Wankhede, the stadium would have been charged, loud, and intimidating to the opponent. But the intensity of sound waves inside the stadium erupts at 127 db. From a citizen point of view on healthcare, a noise level chart shows sounds above 85 db are harmful. We encounter loud sounds in our everyday lives, while our ear has the remarkable ability to handle an enormous range of sound levels. Surprisingly, the sound levels of a gunshot or a siren go above 140 db. They are extremely loud, painful, and dangerous, and they could cause our eardrums to rupture. The sound of firing gunshots from.303 rifles is so loud that one could permanently damage hearing. This writer has experienced ringing in the ears from a tinnitus symptom after a heavy firing practice at the shooting range since his combatant days.

Over time, exposure to loud noise can damage hearing. Earplugs or earmuffs are necessary for aviation. A military jet at the time of takeoff makes so much noise that it becomes really tiresome and uncomfortable for aircrews on the tarmac. Service personnel travelling by MI helicopters or AN-32 transport must wear headsets to protect their hearing from the loud sound exposure. The inside cabin noise can be around 100 db. I’m also surprised to hear loudspeaker provocation by South Indian film fan followers in Tamil Nadu. Sound systems are generally legal as long as they do not impact the quiet environment of individuals' homes. Some people would say it violates their religious rights too.

Despite all this, we also make a lot of unnecessary noise, from blowing horns on the street to bursting firecrackers during Diwali and other festivals. Sometimes the VIP culture of beacon lights and sirens on vehicles concerning emergencies would hit other vehicles on the road in panic as city roads failed to ease congestion most of the time. That loudness from the PA system at cinemas and festivals worried us. As the saying goes, organizers can disband the local administration and rule by diktat. Those noises raise stress on the road.

The street cricket on Sundays in Mumbai was fascinating. The magic of cricket is woven all around India. The thrills of winning on the last ball of a cricket match are some of those heart-stopping moments of our childhood days. However, the noise support has a significant impact on all playing conditions. People always support their local team. Be it Lord’s Cricket Ground or iconic Eden Garden, it is a good way to witness such sports extravaganza. Back at the heart of English football, the impact of the fans on the EPL is absolutely enormous. Such deafening noise from a roaring crowd with blowing horns, vuvuzelas, trumpets, and beats of drums can only be heard inside a stadium.

It was another day of playing volleyball in Subroto Park, New Delhi, while our Signals Wing reached the final. Incidentally, I missed the last match for persistent wrist pain. As substitutes outside the court, we cheered for the win, sang the familiar volleyball chant, yelled at the opponent, and even booed the referee against illegal ball handling over net violations. At the end of the ceremony, I got our commander’s pat, praising ‘You shout well’ and also suggesting “You shalt not shout” again as he wished to make his Air Wing win the trophy next time.

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