When my voice-box just ‘sat down’ and struck work, like Bangalore’s cable TV operators…

The cable TV operator’s strike (tools down) resulted in lesser noise levels in the house. All of a sudden, my voice box packed up, too. I had felt the onset of a sore throat the previous night, but took precautionary measures against continued soreness. Monday morn saw me unable to even squeak out a good morning. That was when the silence really announced itself. No shouting at the son to get ready for school, no yelling out instructions to the maid, and best of all, no phone calls to answer! The doctor wrote ‘laryngitis’ after politely enquiring whether I had attempted to yodel. All I had done was consume lozenges and have a go at vocal music classes. (Perhaps it was neighbour- invoked blessings?)

Through the day my co-sister answered the phone. Whenever there was a call, I picked up the extension line, and if it was for me, I whispered replies which she very kindly conveyed to the listener. That happened with a friend and an uncle.
I had to answer one call when the good Samaritan was away for a brief while. (I could have ignored it, but I knew some important calls were expected). I started off by first whispering to the caller that my voice was gone, and could they call 10 minutes later? The caller’s ear must have attuned itself to higher decibels over time, for she continued to insist that I speak louder. I finally got through to her, and to her credit, she sounded apologetic thereafter, but for some reason, could not control her giggles, and hung up on me. The phone rang almost immediately; it was the same caller, (had she already got addicted to my voice, I wondered?). This time she conveyed to me that she was so-and-so calling from such-and-such bank and would I please consider a personal loan on offer? I conveyed my regrets; the frivolous marketer thanked me and closed the call but not before giggling out ‘madam, you speak very well’.

When I whisper to the kids they whisper back, not knowing why, of course. And it’s good that the adults reply to me in muted tones.

My green, green campus is always at least 2 degrees cooler than the bustling city outside; my home is at least 20 decibels ‘quieter’ (no, I mean less noisier) than the outside. Let it last long, really long...

I wonder whether the cable TV fellows or my throat will play spoilsport....Do wait with bated breath for an update.

As of 4 pm local time, Cable TV operations have resumed...Yeah! I won!

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