You’d be forgiven for looking at this stunning photography by Shradha Jain and thinking that we’d found ourselves in idyllic surroundings full of the sounds of nature in their purest state. Would that it were true. We rose at 5am to drive to Sultanpur, arriving at 7.15, just after the park opened. This spot was supposed to be the place I would be able to record nature in its timeless essence, without the sounds of modern mechanical life, in particular traffic noise and honking.
Instead of the calming effect of unadulterated wildlife sounds, our morning was full of frustration as it slowly dawned upon us that it was going to be be impossible to escape the constant drone of the high-geared trucks on the nearby road. The lack of hills or undulations, trees or other undergrowth meant little to no sound pollution was absorbed before spilling into the bird sanctuary and ruining an otherwise beautiful setting. Looking on the bright side though, this is the perfect example of what we’re trying to raise awareness of: that oases of tranquility essential to human rest and recuperation are being obliterated by sound pollution from traffic and other sources of unwanted noise—OK, there are still some places on earth where the roar of traffic does not penetrate, but they’re increasingly hard to find and seemingly completely absent around Delhi.