Why sounds of India?
In 2013 I created a sound blog. It was this really fun potato and onion seller that motivated me to start because, really, India wouldn’t be as incredible without its incredible sounds!
It’s great to show visual pictures of India to my friends and family, but I thought it would also be really fun to show them auditory images. I really liked the idea of just recording sounds (as opposed to making videos) so that people would pay their full attention to sounds without being distracted by the images that went with them. I decided to provide just one picture with each track though, to attach a context to the sounds.
This Sounds of India section might be a bit off topic on a mama’s blog, but I have decided to include it here because above all I am an India-lover, and I think my blog will not only interest Western mamas living in India! I hope it will attract many other India-lovers, may they be female, male, non-Indian or Indian!
What recording has done to me
A few months into the sound adventure, I was amazed about how it had opened my ears, literally. Not only did it revive my alertness to sounds, it also helped me accept those noises against which I would normally complain. For example, traffic decibels became fun, and the running train became a rhythmic song that gave way to snoring men when it slowed down. Recording Indian sounds has offered me opportunities to be creative in novel ways, and most of all it has made me more patient and less judgemental about my life in India…
From 2013 to 2015 I used a Sony UX523F Digital Voice Recorder to make my recordings. This product is now of date and it has been replaced by the Sony UX560F Digital Voice Recorder. I really love this device, because its recording quality is great but at the same time it is really small, so I could carry it everywhere with me. I often even hid it inside my bra, and when I covered my chest with a dupatta (shawl) no-one would ever have guessed that it was there! It has a 4GB memory and you can add a micro SD card as well, so you get plenty of storage. I also love the fact that you can plug it directly into a USB port on your computer to charge it. By the way, in the name of full transparency, please be aware that the above links are affiliate, and any purchase made through them will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).
I didn’t record anything after 2015 for about four years, because I felt I had recorded everything I could think of recording and then I became a mama! In August 2018 I resumed the sound adventure, and I have since been recording with my (second-hand) iPhone 5.
Sounds of India section on this blog
I have recorded all sorts of Indian sounds. Trains and crazy Indian traffic; really funny ambulant sellers shouting what they sell in a loud, nasal voice; people talking different languages; daily life sounds; the monsoon; music and Indian weddings; priests chanting and festivals; animals and kids playing; etc. etc…
You can browse the Sounds of India (tag) index on the right-hand sidebar to navigate and let your tastes carry you. I recommend listening with headphones in order to immerse yourself within the situation completely. You can look at the picture and then close your eyes while you listen, or you can listen while you do something else and it will give you a fun background soundscape…
Some of my favourites…
If you don’t know where to start, these are some of my favourites!
- Ambulant seller mix (a compilation!)
- “Chai! Coffee!” (if you miss Indian train!)
- Morning chai on Assi Ghat (that one really makes me miss my life in Varanasi!)
- These amazing chants in the Golden Temple, Amritsar
- People bathing in the river Ganges, Varanasi
- 105-year-old Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan singing at the Sankat Mochan Festival, Varanasi
- This carnatic singer at Subah-e-Banaras (not to be missed every morning on Assi Ghat at sunrise in Varanasi!)
- Under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya…