Sunday, September 5, 2010


Since 5 p.m. last evening I have been silent. My overused and abused vocal chords desired some rest and since they found that I was not heeding their request, they decided to go on strike and shut down operations until they got some rest. I have not been able to get a squeak (maybe a squeak once in a while) since. I am watching this new experience quietly.

The cell phone rings, and I let it because I cannot answer it. I go to the shop and take a pen and paper along with me to indicate what I want. I notice the receptionist at the nursing home suppress her laughter as she tries to figure out what I am saying. I am generally to myself, smiling, laughing, gesturing and doing everything else except speak. The one thing I do wish when people talk to me - could you please word it in a way that I can say Yes or No so i can communicate back to you. Especially since you know my current predicament.

Anjali, my two year old (almost three actually) seems to understand the best. After a few futile attempts to get me to read to her, she figured that my trouble was for real. And she just stopped asking questions that require long answers. Once in a while she reaches out, touches my throat and sympathises with whoever is nearest. And of course, she gives me her famous one-handed hugs when she thinks I need them. And her equally famous kisses on demand, promptly wiping away her lips post-kiss!

From the looks of it, I guess I am in quiet zone for a little while longer. Progress is slow but its there. Am enjoying this quiet spell. I remember two periods in my life when I was in this silent zone - once by choice and once before because the vocal chords protested. That was during some cultural festival or something where we shouted down our opposition so bad that my throat went for a toss for a few days. That was really bad I recall now. Then there was Vipassana, the Buddhist meditation course where one has to remain silent for the duration of the course which was 10 days. I found that concept interesting and decided to do the course after I quit my job with IDBI. Being quiet for 10 days was not difficult at all I found though meditating for 10 hours in a day was.

And I watch and observe and hear and respond physically, feeling how it is to be deprived of the use of anything more than a whisper - I have to be almost a foot from the other person to even catch their attention!

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