Auditory voyeurism


Eavesdropping is no longer a detestable trait. In fact, it has acquired legitimacy.
Shocked? The catch word for this is ‘auditory voyeurism’. All thanks to that small marvel in your hands, the mobile phone. Like it or not, you are a silent listener to others’ conversations. Be it at office, in a public bus, in the line at the ticket counter or in the crowded mall, you are privy to all sorts of verbal exchanges. That girl in front is telling the guy at the other end that she is on her way to meet him at the theatre after telling her mother that she is going for a special class in college. The chap next to me is telling his boss that he is in the bus which is caught in a traffic jam on KG Road when he is still eating in front of me in a hotel in Vijaynagar.

How does it concern me if a diabetic has his coffee with sugar? Well, his wife makes it clear to everybody that she has the last word when she orders him not to add sugar. As if having one boss at office is not enough, this grim looking man issues orders to all the world that the consignment should, at any cost, be delivered to the customer by 6 pm.

My children have grown up, but is there any harm in undergoing a free refresher course in coochy cooing to putti? This verbal assault can acquire physical dimensions also, as I learnt recently.

Gesticulating wildly, the guy sitting beside me was lambasting another fellow in Nelamangala for not returning the loan taken, with dire threats of ‘action’ on his next visit to the village, when suddenly an upswing caught my left ear. Needless to say, I was out of action for a few minutes. After a gruelling day at office, the last thing I want to hear on my way home is about nasty colleagues, increments, transfers and promotions.

But then, who am I to tell that guy to shut up? Maybe a visit to the temple will soothe my frayed nerves. Alas, even the lord there is a mute listener to the priestly ‘sermon on the cell’. If its ‘simply talk maadi’ for some, its ‘simply keli’ for some!

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