Issue Date: Sep 30, 2011
Ask Priyabrata Kanjilal, a grocery store owner in one of the bylanes of south Kolkata, for a Vim washing bar. Chances are he will produce an egg (dim in Bengali), for he cannot distinguish between the two words. Twenty years at the store has taken a toll on his hearing ability. During his eight hours at the store it’s not the good old radio that he listens to, but the steady groan of traffic on the 4.5-metre alley. Impatient honks and noise of trucks, buses, autorickshaws, cars and bikes are a constant. The 50-year-old is also a captive listener of the many religious, social and political processions that often pass through the road, all expressing their emotions through blaring loudspeakers.