Differently Abled - contd..
by Dr.Subhash Chandra
Back to page 1 of the Short story
Handing over the prescription, he said “Here, take this antibiotic morning, night for seven days. Don’t stop midway, or interrupt the cycle or else you will develop immunity against this salt. Take steam inhalations regularly, avoid too cold and too hot stuff.”
Then with a triumphant look in his eyes and a smirking smile he said, “And keep your mouth shut!”
Over the year, consultations with other ENT specialists and treatments went on. There was a little improvement. But I had been advised strict precautions: not to speak loudly, never to speak against any noise, sip water every half an hour to keep the throat moist, observe silence in the evening everyday and complete voice rest once a week. I decided to keep mauna vrata on Sundays, as maximum pressure to speak was on this day.
So far I had been taken as a deaf-mute. But what happened in the Sunday haat bazaar (the weekly itinerant market that moves across Rohini in different sectors) took the cake. I wanted to buy pumpkin. I put my thumb under the index finger and flicked an imaginary coin in the air -- this works as a sign for money -- and pointed to the pumpkin.
“Thirty rupees a kilo.”
I raised the left hand index finger and ran the right hand index finger like a saw in the middle of it.
As he cut a piece and started weighing it, I frantically pointed to the fibrous tuft with seeds on the piece and moved my hand in a chopping sign. The practice in the vegetable market is that the fibrous portion with seeds is removed before weighing a piece of pumpkin.
He smiled, complied with my instruction and while weighing, leaned towards his neighbour on the left and said, “Look at the deaf-mute. Saala, understands everything.”
To the world, now I was mentally retarded, too! ***