A25. You Give Me a Better Voice!

On Tuesday, I’d to board a train from Borivali Railway Station in Mumbai to return to my hometown. After 1 in the afternoon, I boarded, from Andheri, the infamous Mumbai local train that was heading towards Borivali. In the local train, during the journey, I was observing people around me when I caught the sight of an old man who was smiling at me. He looked poor. He was short and skinny, had white hair, a towel-like cloth was tied around his waist to cover his thin legs and a not-very-clean shirt covered his chest. With the appearance that he had, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a beggar. Seconds after I looked at him, he started saying something to me. I could not understand what he was saying but I could hear some words of the English language. The confidence and fluency with which he spoke, he seemed accustomed to the English language. When he kept talking for a long time, I told him that I could barely hear him.

He smiled at me. He discontinued speaking in English and instead started to utter Hindi words. I still could barely hear what he was saying but I didn’t want him to feel unheard and thus, I kept nodding my head and smiling. When he realized that I could not understand him, he started to use body gestures along with his words. He told me that he has had a few attacks, probably heart attacks, and thus, he cannot speak properly. He also told me that he was a relative, properly the nephew, of someone who either worked or owned the Bombay Dyeing company.

As the train reached Borivali station, I had to bid him farewell. During my conversation with him, I kept nodding and smiling. He knew that I could not understand much of the things that he was telling me. Yet, he kept talking and smiling at me.

He behaved like a person who’d lost his way in a desert, had been thirsty for almost a day and had finally come across an oasis! Maybe his voice was given attention after a long period of time. Maybe I was one of the few people who cared to try to listen to him. And maybe that’s why he kept talking despite being aware that I could understand very little of what he was saying.

As I will get older, my voice will get thinner. Someday, I’ll utter words in an unclear manner. People will find it difficult to hear what I say. Then, I shall cherish the attention of every individual like a drought land cherishes every drop of water. But today, I want to enjoy the luxury of being heard by numerous people. As the followers of my blog are increasing, my voice is getting thicker. As the readers of my blog posts are increasing, my voice is getting sharper. And thus, until I keep blogging, I shall never feel unheard.

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Thank you for your attention. Without it, I would feel voiceless. Without it, I would feel ignored.

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