I just realised I have quite a sexy ‘cold’ voice right now. Well, not so much the cold, as a cough. The tone of the voice gets deeper with every ounce of silence that I have restrained myself with, to stop a cough from getting worse. With the imminent phagun month knocking on my window like a pet that has hurt its knee or something, the breeze is totally driving me and my throat bonkers. I can arrest it only with hot liquids and silence. My voice hasn’t gotten raspy as yet, but it sounds like that of a septuagenarian writer, who lives alone and likes cats.

I learnt this when I answered one sales call from a watch store that I often go to. The girl on the other side started quite merrily, saying that there was a discount for the Valentine month and asking if I’d like to avail it. On hearing my ‘Okay, I’ll see’ though, she seemed to wrap up the conversation pronto. Maybe, her literature for the call was over or maybe she thought she woke up a drunk and frazzled woman who dozed off while cleaning up cat litter but she surely got intimidated by Yours Truly’s voice.

In the course of this, I was left with a will to experiment – either a good speech on the social effects of racism or some hoarse, country singing that suits the tenor of my voice. But with the husband at work and no other defenceless audience around to throw my inflexions at, I am rendered clueless. Should I Whatsapp a voice message and send it to a friend? Or should I record a song on phone? Or maybe, call someone? You know, just to hear them say, “Damn, you sound good!”

But then, people are honest and rather cruel, if you ask me. They will not take the opportunity that could move the conversation on a tangent, making it so much more different than the regular. No. They will not go out on a limb and do something other than saying “Oh this is happening to everyone” that immediately makes you part of the sputum-spitting community. They will not gauge my ability to know what to do when I sound like that. They will definitely not honour my invisible request to be envied my Grammy-host voice.

Instead, they will tell me rather plainly, “Sore throat, huh? Gargle with warm, saline water thrice a day and you’ll get better!”

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