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Presbycusis which simply means an inability to hear soft voices is the most common type of hearing loss that occurs in the elderly. But my blog today is not one for medical awareness (It is out of concern for people who are prematurely succumbing to this). There is another terminology which may sound similar..presbyopia..which is seen in politicians which prevents them from seeing things(problems) near to them or at least they act as if these things are not seen. These small unseen things are major problems to us laymen of Belagavi.

The recent floods, the poor quality of smart roads, the farmer strikes, the road accidents all these are results of presbyopia of our ruling elite.

Presbycusis is for your information, not the selective hearing loss that most husbands develop after years of marriage, that actually is an allergic response to the constant irritation of the spouse’s voice.

man-megaphoneA wives voice is like a buffet of barbecue nation, early in the marriage you feel like listening more and more to her sweet voice just like hogging the starters but as you move on in your life and go to the main course you are already so full that you want no more and become deaf. Let’s not leave the topic though and let’s concentrate on the increasing deafness.

Belgaumites are becoming deaf for sure, they are unable to hear the soft voices. Look at our festivals Ganesh Visarjan, Shivjayanti, Rajyotsav, Eid, Ambedkar Jayanti and so on and so forth, every festival today is incomplete without the Dolby because light music is just not audible. In fact there is a competition of egos to get dolbyfied.

ear hear“They were allowed why not me” is the threat to the district commissioner. You have politicians defending Dolby for political brownie points. If permission is denied the authority becomes racist, castist, secular and political.

The fact that Dolby has claimed two lives is irrelevant. There is actually nothing much in a Dolby, recently you have a new trend, the Dj says someone’s name three times in rhyme and then there is noise, so if it is Jayanti of All About Belgaum the song will be Udaybhau Udaybhau Udaybhau repeated three times and then some noise and yes people dance on this.

dolbyWhile these noise-making machines pass by your homes there is a sense of impending doom in your heart as if it will burst, there are loud thuds in your ears, the window panes shake and your furniture is in tantrums. Cardiac patients bear the brunt of this dolbified evenings. The poor animals have to bear it for they cannot complain. But somehow these sounds don’t make any difference to the people dancing in front of the dolbies, nor to the authorities who are supposed to regulate them for they are suffering from Presbycusis.

It is not that we don’t have alternatives. Karnataka is a land of fabulous art forms, Belagavi has added to it the premium of Marathi flavors. Kunita, Lazium, Zanz Pathak, Dhol can all be replacements but they are all musical and what we want is noise that too loud because we have Presbycusis.

The problem is we have today lost the distinction between music and noise, what is loud is not music. music has rhythm it has a mix of timing and quality and all this is masked and buried by noise. The threat is we have become loud even in our day to day lives. On the roads too, we can see people blowing the horn of their vehicles, they need to be actually told that a horn is for attracting the attention of those who seem to be distracted and not to satisfy the urge for attention-seeking. There are rights of the pedestrians, there are rights for the elderly and in our city for the buffaloes too, we cannot wish all of them away with loud horns.

In our houses of all things- conversations are loud, actually noisy. Wives and husbands, neighbors, parents and children, everyone believing that homes are parliaments and we need to make ourselves heard(loudly). This I believe has led to people actually not hearing what needs to be heard, the solitude of those who commit suicide, the pain of lonely elderly couples with children abroad, the cry of innocents victimized by drugs, the misery of those who have been duped of their entire lives saving, these are the sounds that need our attention but are never heard because we have Presbycusis.

PC: Morya Dhol Tasha Pathak

Another concern is that while we get used to these high octane decibels we have forgotten the act of conversation, sitting down with friends talking with each other, sharing your success and failures over a glass of good drink and soft background ambiance of a gazal has been replaced by the beats of a DJ, the DJ actually is one person who mixes the music and plays it in real-time.

The DJ music however as it appears today is like a plate of misal paw, those familiar with misal know that it is an addition of some sprouts with all the leftovers of the previous day, you add some spice and it appears tasty, DJ music today can mix anything, you can have a bhajan on tunes of rock and roll, you can have a gazal mixed with Qawali, you can have a devotional song mixed with rap, you just have to increase the decibels and people will dance on it. Pubs are discotheques n have done away with conversation and youngsters dance to the noise because they are suffering from Presbycusis.

Somewhere down the lane, we have drowned ourselves in noises that have disturbed the fabric and rhythm of our society. The chirping of birds early in the morning, the rustling of the leaves, the laughter of kids playing in the park, mothers humming in the kitchen, the whistling breeze are the musical sounds which can raise your soul and drown your pain. We have to make an effort to listen to sounds that can make us and people around happy so that we don’t turn out to be patients of Presbycusis.

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