Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Hearing Miracle

As a stay-home freshman at my home state university, I often hung out in the university lounge with hearing Indian friends with most of whom I grew up with. The university was only 10 minute-drive from my parents' home.

An avid lip-reader back then, I managed to get some of the conversations between my friends. If I did not understand, I would often ask for some repeats. Most of my friends were used to my voice and knew to tap my shoulder whenever they wanted to speak to me. They used some exaggerated lip-movements so that I could easily grasp of what were being said.

One afternoon, between break in my classes, I had ample time to relax and chat with my friends. One girl who I had known since middle school, Rita, invited me to visit a friend of hers at one of the dorms.

Cheerfully tagging along with Rita and her other friends who also followed, we walked about a mile to one of the dorms.

Rita's friend opened the door and was a bit surprised to see us all standing in the doorway. She immediately invited us in her dorm room. After brief introductions, for about an hour we chatted and had some tea. Then Rita looked at her watch and beckoned that it was time to leave.

Rita's friends quickly filed to the door with me as the last person to leave.

We were not yet a foot away from the door when Rita's dorm friend, who was sitting on the other side of her room by the window, called out to please close the door for her.

Not knowing that the friend had just called out, I suddenly thought it would be polite to close the door since I was the last person.

Upon closing the door, I turned around to find Rita and her gang, frozen in spot across from me, staring and gaping.

With a shock on her face, Rita gasped and suddenly grabbed my shoulder. Puzzled, I looked at her face while she moved her lips quickly.

"Nita, you can hear now?!"