Friday, August 10, 2007

TiLL mY lAsT bReAtH ....

I am deaf .As in not “deaf” deaf, like I can hear the clear water of Niagara Falls, the loud thumping stereo system, my grand mother’s morning prayers. its the cricket’s chirp, headlines kept at low volume and my dog chestnut’s whines are what I miss out. With my hearing aid that is.

To be quite honest, I kind of like my deafness, To be honest, It wasn't easy the first few years after the car accident but now it's become something that makes me special among my friends. By the time I lost my hearing, I'd already accumulated a fixed circle of people, and they mostly rushed to participate in the drama.

I love it when my friends introduce me to new people, although I never let on. I love the proud and honorable expression they wear when they say "This is Nandy- she's deaf", as if I were evidence of their benevolence. I also love the split-second shocked expression on the new people, the hasty smiles and their best imitations of what they think of as their "normal faces". If they do the ritual well enough I turn my head ever so slightly and tuck my hair behind one of my ears, whichever one's closer to them. They never fail to say something nice about my sleek hearing aids.

Hearing aids make better accessories than the usual earrings and necklace, to be truthful. I’ve got this whole collection of hearing aids.

Usually, when people form friends as a group, each member gets a name. Its not like its chosen or anything, it just clicks with the situation. Mine is Nandy-the deaf girl…no, no don’t wrinkle your brows! its not something that’s meant to be rude even though it kind of highlights the fact that god has deprived me of my sense of hearing, but no it’s a simple name I chose … It fits perfect, because iwas never and am not good in anything specifically. This name also makes me stand out, actually more than stand out, because quite a number of things wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for my scarlet and gold hearing aids.

For example, the thing with Arun.

I first met Arun in an apartment party held by one of my friends, Sana .He happened to be her neighbour.The usual intro, and we were friends.

We were searching for our share of coke, when Sana went to meet someone at the door. This
Was the part where we were alone for the first time...I mean of course, loud silence was there for company "Do you usually read lips like this? Or do you sign too?" he asked after a while.

"I mostly just read lips because it was easier to pick up than signing, although that's not the only reason I was staring at your lips," I told him.

That sharp cold piece of silence was shattered when we started laughing, Of course I couldn’t hear him. Just his lips and my silent assumption of his laughter.

We did the usual and exchanged numbers, and a week later Arun did the unthinkable and called. We went out, satisfied ourselves that the other person still looked good in sober daylight, and read more lips. Within two months Arun and I were dating.

Our first birthday was his 19th...I got him tickets for the JRO concert...”Are you sure you can enjoy it Nandy?” he asked, his eyes filled with concern. I actually felt sad for him, I mean he couldn’t have a normal happy life, just and only because of me.

I felt awkward and weirded out. Where was this leading us to?

“Yeah, if its loud enough Ar, and the concert being JRo...I trust it to be ear-splitting!”
that tiny little piece of silence melted into nothingness as we smiled at each other, knowingly.

How many more times of these loud silences? How many times will he sacrifice for me? How long will it last?

These were the questions that were tearing my head apart.

I couldn’t take it any longer… I didn’t want someone to suffer because of me …

So, I wrote this

That day I met you
My heart did something.
I’ll never forgive her

She made me yearn for you
To make you mine.
You figured.

Why do you care so much?
About this deaf dumb girl
So full of nothingness

Spread-eagled on your desk
Lies this letter of mine
Begging you to forget

And my deafness


I walked down the road leading to my house, away from his. He had been fast asleep when I went there. Guilt twisted my heart, for reasons I’m not aware of. I was just saving someone from sharing my misery, throughout his life. Sigh.

Things have never gone my way. Will they go now? The guilty part of me wanted it all back, back to the beginning, trying to learn from each other.

The other, full of happiness, reasons unknown.

Well, God does turns things the way you always wanted, but always scared to voice out. He came back

When I say your name
It brings me
Memories of you
Your beauty
Your ways

I cannot
Be without you.
Kill me, if you think
I will love you
Till my last breath

We are back together, forever.