Decibel dilemma

A US General of the WWII vintage was known for his cool temper. Once when a journalist asked him why he never raised his voice, he replied laconically, “Never needed to.” After joining police, one always kept his example in mind. How far I was able to achieve this ideal, only my juniors can tell. But my family thinks I am an abject failure.

I blame it on my nativity. The region, encompassing parts of Haryana and Rajasthan, in which my native village is situated, is known as ‘Raath.’ People of this area are known for their loud and rough manner of speaking. My father and uncles, who were in the army, have all had problems with their seniors on account of this ingrained trait. Even now when they sit down to a friendly discussion, a bystander could be forgiven for believing that they are fighting.

After I got married, initially my wife had a hard time coping with my loud voice. But soon she learnt to take advantage of it. Whenever, I am on the brink of winning an argument, which is rare of course, she escapes saying, “I can’t match you in shouting”. Not only that, whenever I catch her speaking loudly, she is quick to blame it on me saying, “This is what happens when one lives with a person like you”.
When, my daughter decided to become a lawyer I was happy that at least one trait that she has inherited from me would come handy. And sure enough, thanks to her powerful voice, she fared well in her fist moot court competition. What I didn’t know was how quickly she has learnt to take advantage of the weakness of her adversary, just like her mom.

For some days, my daughter had been asking for an i-Pod. But it costs a small fortune and she already has a walkman. So, when she was at home, recently, I got down to discuss the issue with her. Using all my powers of persuasion and logic, I tried to convince her that the gadget would be a distraction from her studies. She nodded in agreement to what I said but just as I thought I had succeeded in my endeavour, she gestured me to stop and said coolly, “You know you are shouting, papa” and left with the airs of a clear winner.

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