26 July, 2021

The Sound Of Sound

After 62 years, artist Satish Gujral regains his powers of hearing

The Sound Of Sound

THE poet Iqbal dreamt of a world of stillness that could be the envoy of speech. Painter, sculptor and architect Satish Gujral dreamt. And found the reverse of Iqbal's dream. On June 13 this year, Gujral, one of India's foremost artists, regained his powers of hearing after 62 years of silence. Deaf since the age of 10, after he accidentally fell into a turbulent river, the 72-year-old artist says: "I may or may not get back what is called normal sound. But just entry into the world of sound is something like being born again."

Recuperating in Sydney, Australia, where he was operated upon for a Cochlear Implant, Gujral talks about how, despite his many artistic achievements, the desire to break free from the shroud of silence remained. "I had been making enquiries about Cochlear Implants ever since it began to be talked about in medical journals more than a decade back," he says.

Gujral's hearing impairment, described as 'nerve deafness', was in fact not the failure of the hearing nerves, but the failure of the middle ear to convey, by electric...

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