Horn NOT OK Please

What does India sound like?
You may be thinking of a cacophony of horns. It’s something you get used to, stop noticing and, over time, miss when it’s gone. The sound of traffic becomes comforting and silence begins to feel eerily disconcerting.

That is, until you have a small baby who isn’t happy when he doesn’t have enough sleep.

The slogans “BLOW HORN”, “HORN OK PLEASE” and “AWAZ DO” are blazoned on the back of every truck, goods carrier and auto rickshaw. Driving in India requires your eyes and ears in equal measure.

A humble horn from a regular car on the road below goes unnoticed as baby contently floats in his dreamworld. The traffic is already part of the soundtrack to Rohan’s life. I imagine the constant drone could be quiet soothing seeing as not long ago he was being lulled by the sound of my heart beat and digestive system.


However, some of these huge, and often beautifully decorated, trucks have horns which could startle a statue. Long, melodious horns, twice the desible of a car horn. Baby’s eyes flash open, he wakes up grumpy and confused.

This is when horns are not OK, please! A couple of days before Diwali, we are bracing ourselves for the “festival of noise”. I hope we can fit in some naps, somehow!

I feel both excited and apprehensive about baby’s first Diwali. We’ve bought him some baby ear protectors so, let’s hope they work. If they are a success, I wonder if Rohan will want to wear them every nap time.


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  1. When im back to Poland i miss horns so much because its for me one of sounds of India, but when im in New Delhi and im super tired horns are so annoying sometimes! I can imagine how hard it must be for kid taking nap…poor thing!
    Happy Dhanteras Lauren!


  2. That’s one thing we don’t have here in Nepal. We live on a tiny one lane dirt road surrounded by farm land for the most part. We hear children playing, birs singing, and the occasional buffalo, cow, dog, or chickens but that’s about it. We’re 3kms from the main road and only 3-5 vehicles may go past our house all day.
    When I go back to the US for a visit the constant 24hr drone of traffic bothers me – I never noticed it until I left the US.


  3. As someone described, horns are a way of telling each other on road, where one is. We are so used to horns that it seems a unusual not to press it. It is our understanding that if we do not press the horn, the other person is not going to do what he is supposed to do like move when the light turns green. We have serious doubts while driving, so we use the horn to talk to each other. We are used to this noise but for a child indeed it as disturbance.


  4. Those horns can be obnoxious! Hopefully Rohan will tolerate the ear protectors. He will look adorable! 🙂


  5. Not much you can do about it unfortunately ..Attitudes take generations to change..Hope the baby’s earplugs work for you


  6. Yeah Horns are so annoying here but I don’t think that we can help with it anymore. People have a tendency to horn so its somewhat impossible to shut them down. And yeah welcome to the Nagpur’s Traffic. In my personal experience, if you are able to drive in India (with traffic) then one can drive anywhere in the world😂. Don’t worry Rohan will be used to that as all other kids…chill


  7. Growing up around festivals (both Indian ones and UK music festivals) Saira has developed a fantastic resilience to noise. In fact I find she sleeps better when there are voices and laughter and noise going on in the house and especially if there is music. She also has ear protectors for those loud concerts – I remember someone being amazed once at glastonbury festival as she drifted peacefully off to sleep in her buggy with her ear defenders on to the sound of The Smashing Pumpkins! Kids are amazing with their ability to adapt to their environments – I bet Rohan is doing so fantastically horns and crackers and all! 🙂


    • These ear defenders are fantastic aren’t they!! I thought Rohan would be trying to pull them off but he loved it! We even attended Kali puja with them on!
      Aww I can just imagine Saira at Glasto! She is a better rocker than I, I went to Glastonbury festival once and had to leave early :O


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