A sore throat and suddenly the world seems so sore! Yeah, I got laryngitis. It started as a common cold, then a kich-kich at my throat. I began my hot-water-drinking therapy and it seemed to go away. When I was just starting to gloat on the fact that it went away, it whooshed back on me again in full-form. It again went from cold to throat infection (meaning a pricking throat) and now my precious voice is gone 🙁

I have always had a very high pride on my voice, since I remember. It is neither shrieky high-pitched nor the otherwise. But, the thing is it used to take in all the strain I give it and be the same. Then, during my 7th grade, my voice was mysteriously affected and I used to get laryngitis once a month and lose my voice for the rest of the month. I was so pissed off by this thing, which I could not cure with any number of home remedies or medicines. (However, it helped me in escaping oral tests in class. 😉 Whenever a teacher asks me a question, I would look at my bench-mate and the poor guy would get up and repeat the rehearsed line- “Mam, she has got sore throat and can’t talk at all.” As a proof, if I open my mouth to say anything, nothing but wisps of air would come out)

Then after 7th grade this thing vanished as mysteriously as it came. I was happy and that was when the happy accident – joining NCC junior wing came along. I had not realized the full potential of my voice till then. When I joined NCC and tried out for commander position, I realized that I had hit Jackpot. And from then, I was the most eligible candidate for troop commander in my school. I started treating my voice like a princess and used to fuss over it so much (especially a few days before an upcoming sports day parade or independence day). To lock myself inside a room and try commanding with dignity became my hobby. All this went well until I decided myself I am good enough to try for that post in the regional level too. There were more number of eligible candidates than I thought, which was a rude shock. But, still I could rely on my voice and progress until the competition was between me and another girl alone. It was pretty tough for the officials to choose between us as both our voices were unique and good in their own way and the style of commanding too paralleled. So, then the disaster struck. They decided to go with the height and boom! There went my dreams. Being the short girl, I was rejected.  🙁 🙁 I cried my hearts out and struggled a lot to accept the fact that my precious voice had been rejected 🙁 Growing up, I consoled myself to be happy with the fact that I could still command at my troop level if not at higher levels. I was the commander for a whole of 2 schools when it came to sports day, independence day or any other parade.

Continuing with the same passion, 5 TN Girls Battalion NCC gave me my chance and I marched off to glory in commanding. I used to limit my talking a few days before the parade to save enough energy and I got my rewards too 🙂 I used to get compliments from unknown persons and staff saying that my commanding was fabulous and majestic. My joy had no limits. Through all these steps of journey, I became more and more attached to my voice. And then, the ultimate happened. Once when we were rehearsing for an independence day parade and the air wing were off to a camp, I was even allowed to try compete with the guy commanders for the position of over-all parade commander. (Actually, if the air wing is present, the overall parade commander will be invariably from their troop, because, they represent one word -“Perfect” and they deserve it anyways) That, is a big honor because of 2 things:

1. In PSG Tech NCC, the sole girls wing does not get much attention, because of the low population, less dedication among most girls and hence the number of achievements were also less. Most guys just used to look at us like trash while we were practising. Nevertheless, we who cared enough and were dedicated enough, survived and did our bit.

2. How much ever I argue, I cannot deny the fact that guys are better in stamina and their proportionate physique helps them march in a better way. Still being girls did not stop us from trying and improving.

So the fact that I was allowed to try to compete just for my voice, ignoring the usual girls wing bashing and the height factor was a huge thing for me.  And so I tried. Five of us (me and 4 other guys from various other troops) were allowed to do a commanding once and were asked whose was best. Being the modest people we were, we all invariably told someone else’s voice was the best. I had a little trouble in doing it because I felt though all of us did a good job in using the style of commanding, when it came to loudness factor, my voice seemed to beat it out. But, I also knew it was only because of the usual husky nature of guys’ voice that my voice seemed louder. Girls’ voice pitch is always shriller and hence seems louder 😀 (But, not to be the arrogant, over-confident self, I pointed a classmate who was also competing and told his commanding was the best.) And with that advantage, the organisers allowed me to try the whole parade commanding rehearsal once. But, my reasoning knew it was a lost cause, because there were only 2 more days for the actual parade and though I know the routine, I was not an expert. I had never practised the overall commanding routine once. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try though I was scared that I would make a fool of myself in front of the whole college troop. All the girls wing members encouraged me to do it, saying coming this long is a great chance for girls wing.

So, I gave it a shot and yeah, I made a fool of myself not properly doing the routine. But, when I was done, I was not disappointed. I felt proud for going a distance that none from the girls wing managed to go. Competing with the guys who were obviously better and still getting a chance. I was so happy! 🙂 So, they let the guy who had a previous practice and had rehearsed till now go ahead and do the overall commanding. And yeah, still I got to command my troop, as usual and I did it as best as I could.

All these for a lost voice, you ask? I say, yeah! Because my voice holds that much memories for me and happy moments. After I passed out of college, my junior girls used to call me from camps or rehearsals, and ask me to do a command over the phone so that they can learn and do better in their parades. 🙂 Although, when I did it, when I was at home, my mom had a hard time explaining to the neighbors, that her daughter had not gone insane. (My neighbours not understanding the Hindi commands and why I was suddenly yelling out my lungs). I was happy that I was an inspiration for someone out there.

A click of me reporting my troop as a part of the parade routine! 🙂

Till now, I hold and cherish these memories. And now that my enemy visited me and deprived me of my voice, I got reminded of all this and I decided to pen it down. I miss my voice, though I do not have any NCC commanding to do these days. My dear voice, please come back soon. And now am wondering how I am gonna call my on-site co-ordinator and tell him that I lost my voice and hence cannot discuss the status of my project. 🙁 Sign language does not help over phones, right? 🙁

Ending the long post on a short tip. As I was googling home remedies for re-gaining my voice, I found out that whispering causes more strain on the vocal cords than a low voice and hence people, if you get laryngitis, just keep mum until your vocal cords are better. Do not whisper, for it will aggravate the condition. Saying is harder than doing though 🙁 Let me try my best to zip my mouth until I get my voice back.

Until later 🙂