Saturday, November 17, 2007

Imagining Voices

As far back as I can remember, I woke up to the sound of Akashvani playing in the background. It was not until six or seven that I actually paid attention to what the news readers were saying, understanding would follow a few years later. Seduction by the rich male baritone happened in the early teens. I cannot remember the name of this news reader but I was most positively infatuated with his voice.

In my mind, he was a very handsome young man with the savoir faire of the classical romantic hero - the kind that left a trail of broken hearts in their wake. I envied the woman in his life to whom he whispered sweet nothings in that killer voice. I must have been a year into this voice lusting phase when I saw a picture of my news reader in some magazine. He was an average looking, slightly chubby middle-aged man - not nearly the
Amit Ray of Shesher Kobita come to life that I had in mind. I was ever so disappointed to have been forced to connect voice to face and thus abandon my favorite fantasy.

While that picture spelt the end of my first romance with the baritone, the spell of a seductive male voice stayed on specially in how it sounded when someone laughed. Some relationships were formed or broken on the strength or weakness of the man's voice alone. I love listening to the radio to this day and prefer some commentators over others because I find their voice particularly attractive. It makes the stories they report more compelling and worthy of attention. I still find myself imagining the ideal man when I hear a perfect voice.

Their picture on the station's web-site may take me by surprise but I have learnt to brace and cope with disappointment. I tune back to their program glad to enjoy the sound of their beautiful voice without all the visual distractions. In time, the reality of the picture is supplanted by that of the voice. In my imagination, he can still embody male perfection. Even so, I wish their pictures were much harder if not impossible to come by, leaving the best things in life shrouded in mystery and therefore endless possibility.

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