Saturday, March 20, 2010
Sign language! What an amazing and expressive form of communication. In our organisation, I've noticed that the women who love to dance are also the most fluent signers . . .
At the recent RCI conference I attended in Delhi, I witnessed India's best sign language interpreter in full form.
Arun Rao is the founder and director of Deafway and his signing is simply a joy to watch. I don't know sign (though it's on my list of "must do's for the next decade), but Arun makes me feel as if I am not only proficient, but fluent.
He interprets with so much feeling and expression that it's almost impossible not to "get" what is being said. The other interpreters were also excellent, but Arun added a punch and a radiance and the sheer pleasure of the language to his interpretation. It made it so obvious that it is indeed a language and that some people are simply more articulate than others.
And of course, there was the added treat that he was interpreting for Akhil Paul, Director of Sense International, and a legend in his own right.
The first time I met Akhil was at a conference in Delhi many years ago. I kept noticing this fellow who seemed to be everywhere, particularly when there was any sort of a technical problem. Without being asked, he would leap to the rescue and sort things out quietly and without fanfare. We made friends then and I've been watching his work with great interest ever since.
The combination of an Akhil and an Arun was explosive. Deep calling unto Deep, indeed!