Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cough syrup please!

Upon graduation from high school in the mid-80's, I only had two choices of college: my state university or Gallaudet College (it was called college that time). My dream of attending another, but private, college, four hours away, dashed when my father refused to send me far away, not to mention not being able to afford such fees.

Not ready to mingle with the deafies and immerse into "Deaf culture" yet, I chose to attend my state university which was only 30 minutes away.

This university only had one other deaf student, besides me. Hence, I mostly mingled with other hearing Indian students which some of them I had grown up with.

Since many of us Indians lived close by, we lived at our parents' home, to save money, instead of dorms. So, in order to mingle with each other, we gathered in the university library lounge every afternoons.

There was this guy who was from Pakistan, I believe, who eventually joined our crowd. I barely talked to him but I am sure he did hear my conversations with others. (I could speak but not well enough to sound like a hearing person though.)

The whole year went by without this guy and I talking to each other personally except to say a brief "hi" when passing by.

Near at the end of the spring semester, he asked one of my friends why I talked "funny". She replied that I was deaf.

Stunned, he told her, "I had no idea she was deaf the whole time! I thought she had largynitis."