Pistols at dawn

 | 2 min

We live in a pretty quiet part of Hyderabad. We’re in such a rural area that frogs in the nearby rice paddies are the biggest source of noise at night. One night a buffalo mooed the whole night, but that was just a one-off. This complex is still only partly populated so it’s pretty quiet most of the time. There is still a bit of construction noise, but nothing too bad. The biggest sources of noise here are fighter jets and gunfire.

We are in the middle of a fairy military area. Here is a map:


It is roughly 4 or 5km from our place to Hakimpet Air Force Station in the northwest. Most of the land between is military land (pretty much everything that isn’t densely populated is military area). Every single Air Force officer in India has to come here for their training and obviously they have to practice flying. So we have regular flyovers by fighter jets. They’re pretty loud – when I’ve been on Skype calls people hear the noise and wonder what the hell it is.

You can also see to the right of our house is and area that has 4 stripes that I’ve marked with a red error icon (since Google maps inexplicably doesn’t include a gun icon in its range). That’s a firing range where all of the new recruits learn how to shoot (and probably the more experienced soldiers also practice). They used to only start at around 9am and there would be intermittent volleys of shots throughout the day. But now, probably because of the heat, they are starting as early as 6:30am and usually stopping by lunchtime.

It is kinda interesting, because you can hear the differences in the guns they shoot. There used to be a pattern of progression during a week. On Mondays they would be relatively quiet single-shots. Tuesday to Thursday would be getting progressively louder (as they presumably moved to higher calibre weapons). And then on Friday, they would be firing fully automatic weapons (which fire a lot more rounds but aren’t actually as loud).

I took an audio recording this morning, which is embedded below. This is pretty typical: medium loudness, a whole group of recruits firing a small number of single shots each. I just wish they wouldn’t start quite so early in the morning!