I was working on the computer. My mom suddenly walked into my room to close the window. Through the window, it was raining furiously. I stopped and wondered what was the sound of raining beating the ground and surroundings. Whenever I am in locked room, my mom would text on my handphone to tell me the message. She is brilliant to text me like this. It is always extremely quiet in my both ears. Most of the time, I do not get to hear any sound below 90 decibels.
What is the sound like actually? Machine humming, the sound of water dripping from the tap and splashing in the sink, the sound of bird chirping and the sound of waves crashing into the rocks? Infinite questions. Sound is really hard for the hearing people to describe in words to the deaf people who have varying hearing loss especially the profound deaf.
When I put on my headphone that is plugged to my macbook, I would increase the volume that it is already very loud to hearing individual with prefect hearing. Then I passed my headphone to my sister. She put it on. “Ahhhhh!” She took it off. “Very loud!” she exclaimed, looking at me. I took the headphone and put it on and smiled.
What I actually heard on the headphone was the beat of sound. What I could not was to identify the different types and frequency of sound. When I asked my sister to play the classical music, I had to increase the volume because I could not hear or feel the beat of sound. Then I asked her again to play pop song with lot of beats. She did and I heard.
In 2009, my uncle gave me the ticket to Singapore Formula One Grand Prix. I grinned and managed to sell the Bay Grandstand tickets that I held so that I would get hold of the ticket given to me. When I walked to the Pit Grandstand, I saw the fleet of porsche cars lining up. Crews and people start to clear out on the ground. The starting light was turned on – one by one. On the lights, I could hear the thrusting sound from accelerating cars that send out the shockwaves sweeping the entire Pit Grandstand. The ground vibrated. My jaw dropped.
I was alone. My eyes glued to the screen as the cars raced down the closed streets of Singapore city. As the sun set, the glowing lights of the city lit up. The street was brightly lit. Formula 1 cars were incredible louder. This was enough to blow up my ears. I love the vibration of sound as fleet of F1 cars screamed and raced down past from the starting point.
My uncle texted me. “How was it?”
“Fabulous. Great! I love the sound. Very loud! Thank you for the ticket.” I texted back.
During the National Day Parade, F16 fighter jets would fly overhead. The shockwaves get to my body, hitting every bone. My eardrum responded. Beautiful sound. I paused and wondered. The world is filled with sounds. But what if there is no sound for next few minutes, can hearing people bear? Irony that people always say to me, “Good thing you don’t get to hear noises.”
Is this really good not to hear any sound? Shaking my head. I have been living, not hearing any sound below 90 decibels for more than 34 years. Silence.
Silence is something that a hearing person takes for granted. Always.