As a kid, I appeared on the radio a few times. Not often enough to make me a star (clearly), but enough to recall a cluster of fond memories.
I was a part of a show hosted on my school’s local radio station. I was 14.
When I spoke for the first time in that mic, my heart thrummed loudly. We were broadcasting live. As soon as I spoke the first line, people behind the glass wall gasped. I shrunk. What mistake was it this time?
After concluding the show, I stepped out quietly, barely ready to face the barrage of reprimands waiting behind the thick wooden door. I enter the room and faces turn, all lit up. This is what I hear,
‘waaaaaah, you have a wonderful voice!’
if there are singular moments in time that stitch themselves up against your ageing memory, so tight that you never forget them, this was one such moment. I never believed I had a great voice until then.
I’m not really fond of the content that comes on the radio these days, but I’m fond of the idea upon which it rests. The art of listening. Understanding something without your eyes aiding you.
There is a movie called HappyThank YouMorePlease (interesting name, no?) with a scene that stuck with me. A conventionally not handsome man is pleading his uninterested muse to close her eyes and just listen to him. He requests for a chance to reveal to her what she’s unable to see. The woman is perplexed for a moment but slowly covers her eyes out of pity, much to her own surprise. After he confesses his sincerity for her in a long, impressive monologue, the scene ends with the woman opening her eyes, her jaw slightly dropped, and seeing him in a completely new light. It was as if ‘the particles in his face had rearranged themselves’ and that she was seeing him, really seeing him for the first time.
A bit too dramatic, in my opinion, but you get the underlying point right? She felt what her eyes were refusing to understand.
We’re so glued visually and busy processing it all through our eyes that we only soak what is said, and not what is meant.
When we listen, without the hundred distractions of the colour of someone’s eyes, or why their face looks tired, the empty coffee mug in their hand & why they clutch it so tight, why do their legs fidget, why does their skin glow, why do they play with their hair nervously, why is their palm smudged with ink, why is their shirt baggy .. everything that keeps our attention away from what is being said in that moment ..when we shut our eyes from this and choose to really listen, then the words shoot straight through our chest.
The transmission is straight into your heart. Whether it’s from the goddamn radio or that person you just can’t seem to understand.
Listen loud and clear. Feel the gravity of words being said to you. Their voice to yours.
“Broadcasting, love and, airplanes, do you know what they have in common?
They all require the maximum effort in the beginning.”
-Tune In For Love (a film)
Here’s a beautiful song for you.
Hope you smiled today.