"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." .. Isaiah 41:10
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Translator

I have been seeing the husband and wife running a stationary and book shop across the street since two years. I am their regular customer. I still remember the day I first went there to purchase something. They had opened the shop newly that time. They didn't seem to notice me initially nor responded to my calls. Later on the lady saw me and came to me. I told her to get me a ball-point pen. She was looking at me as if i have asked an elephant egg. She went and called her husband with a worried face. As he was coming towards me I was telling to myself - "Oh my God!!! What did I do???". I felt something wrong and was ready to flee from there. But he came with a paper and a pencil and asked me to write down what I wanted. Both of them could neither hear nor talk.

The little boy... The soul and happiness of those two bodies who had nothing else in life. The voice of those poor people who cannot hear and talk. I saw him for the first time during one of the summer vacation. I went to their shop to buy something. As I normally do, I tend to write the thing down in a paper kept in the reception. But that day there was no paper on the reception table. I stared at the woman who was smiling at me and signaled to give me a piece of paper and pen to write down what I wanted. But she didn't move from her place. Instead a head came up from under the reception table asking me what I wanted. I told him what I wanted and he communicated it to his mother with a simple gesture. Yes he is the one, the TRANSLATOR in their world. 

I have always been wondering what they were doing with a mobile phone. I have seen their mobile ringing on the reception table many times when I went to their shop. Neither can they hear it ringing nor speak even if they attend it. I thought they use it for SMS communication until one day we went for a picnic together. The picnic was organised by the shops and establishments society of that street for the owners, employees and their families of the shops in that street. The little family was always together, the boy situated in between the couple so that he can communicate with both. He was having the mobile phone with him. He attended the calls and acted as the interface between the outer world and his parents. Such a close relationship with heart the boy had with his mother that he would let her understand things with an expression of his face or 2-3 symbols in his fingers and she would nod yes or no to that. He would reply accordingly to the peer over the mobile. 

The same mobile phone marked the end to the laughter of the family. The boy while talking on phone, unknowingly stepped on to the road where a speeding bus ran him over. The lady was never seen again. It was heard that she was mentally affected. The man who was normally always smiling and pleasant, was seen gloomy and grieved ever after. His life was also over, with his boy become dear to God and his woman living as half dead. Later on now, after 8 years the street is known in the boys name. APPU MEMORIAL INSTITUTE FOR SPEECH AND HEARING. In the name of an institute which creates a number of TRANSLATORS. 

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