It became increasingly evident to me that something is wrong with my ear.


 

How it Started?

We are now back to my childhood days, with me less than a decade old. In those days, the mighty and luxurious telephone reigned supreme, when it came to long term communication. Luxurious, owing to the fact that few people in our alleyway could afford a telephone, so sometimes our neighbours used to visit us for receiving a call or even making a call to their relatives.

Speaking of telephone and calls, whenever I picked the phone to dial or receive a call, I automatically (or intuitively) used my left hand and left ear for the task. I was consciously or unconsciously aware of this pattern and kind of knew that something just doesn’t feel right. Nobody was yet aware about my flaw, not even my parents; maybe except for me.   

So next time, I dialed a number and put the receiver on my right ear, and boy! my suspicions were confirmed, I could only hear a faint ringing sound from the other side. Then, I tried receiving a call with my right ear, “Hello, I said”, and I could not hear from the opposite side, so I quickly shifted the receiver to my left ear and proceeded with the conversation.

Afterwards, this really got me thinking about my hearing ability, random thoughts and conclusions began to come up in my mind which included –

Maybe my hearing ability will increase as I grow up,

Or this is just limited to talking on the phone.

 

Next up was the incident in my friend’s house (if my memory serves me right). Barely a 10 second run from my house, our group of friends used to gather outside his house, situated at the midway through the alley. On that day, the group decided to have a time-pass singing competition in the adjacent house.

With my singing ability🎤 like that of a cracked bamboo (फटा बांस) 📣😂, i quickly excused myself from the competition, citing my lack of know-how in singing. So, the decision was made to appoint me as a judge and award points to everyone for their singing. After the singing competition, came the judgement time; while i was giving points, a friend came close and whispered something in my right ear, i could listen to the sound, yet the contents were incomprehensible; so i asked him to say in my left ear, then everything was clear.

There is another incident in the same house as we were playing a different game this time. This game involved sitting in one row, the first person in the row would speak a phrase to the second person and second person to third one till it reaches the last person. So this time my friend spoke a phrase in my right ear and again the result was same as above.

I was now sure that there is a hearing problem in my right ear and i frankly don’t know why I didn’t disclosed it to my parents earlier. It was only was in 8th standard, when i I finally revealed it.

A visit to ENT specialist was arranged and then, following an audiogram and tympanogram test, it was finally clear that there is indeed a moderate to severe hearing loss in my right ear. I do have little hearing ability in the right ear (it massively depends on external conditions), but generally it is not good enough for daily conversations.

 

How it is Going Now?

I have learnt to use my flaw (hearing loss in right ear) as a strength.

The Two Biggest Advantages of this Flaw

  • Need to shut off random little annoying sounds (specially crickets) that hinders me to fall asleep, this flaw has got my back. I usually sleep on the left side, so that my left ear will be blocked by pillow and the external sound’s intensity will be minimized, thereby allowing me to fall sleep easily more often than not. I do try to sleep on the right side to maintain the balance. This flaw is truly a sleep savior. 😂😴🛌
  • What would it be like if you can avoid people’s BS? Yes, my right ear comes in handy in these situations too. Once my friend was continuously blabbering 🗣🗣 amidst a boring lecture; luckily for me, he was sitting on my right side and that gave me the chance to say yes,ok and hmmm to whatever he was chattering. Later on, i just laughed on and on after telling him that i didn’t hear anything. There are more such incidents where the hearing loss has come in handy in avoiding people’s BS.

These two advantages doesn’t work if the sound intensity is higher, as it will inevitably reach my left ear. Still, these are worth it for me.

 

Experiences and Lessons

  • It allows me to put things in perspective and be grateful that at least I have proper hearing from my left ear. (although any background noise presents a little bit of an obstruction in hearing and sometimes i have to ask the person to repeat again and again)
  • In the past few years, i have only been to noisy places out of choice. I prefer to stay in low noise places except where it is unavoidable i.e. traffic signal (people honking continuously) or baarat where people just beat the crap out of every musical instrument etc. I also save on watching movies in theaters(first, it is a waste of time for me; second, i realized how loud the sound is while sitting in a theater).
  • I have grown more and more appreciative of silence.

 

As far as I can remember, I always had a deep sense of acceptance regarding this flaw, even when I was somewhat aware of it in childhood. And who knows maybe it is a result of previous births karma, I don’t know; for I am grateful that I have been able to accept this flaw without questioning God, ‘why me?’, ‘why didn’t I have proper hearing?’ etc. Acceptance really does wonders sometimes and it has allowed me to make this flaw come handy in life.

Dear os.me family. Is there any weakness/flaw that you have been able to take advantage of? I would love to read your stories, if any.

Thank you for your time. 🙏🙂

P.S. – Acceptance of this flaw doesn’t mean I am able to accept everything in life, still a work in progress when it comes to acceptance.

 

Image Source – Pixabay

 

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Pratik Wadhwa

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