Eavesdropping: For Whom and Why?
A lot of disparaging words would come to mind in relation to the person who is an eavesdropper. People would bang doors on them, and windows would be kept shut throughout the conversation. No one would agree to keep open any way that would lead their prying ears.
Eavesdropping is the act of secretly or stealthily listening to the private conversation or communications of others without their consent. - Wikipedia.
Many of them have the curiosity to know more about others' internal affairs even though it's not ethical to do so. Is it a habit or a hobby or a societal norm to indulge oneself in this act. A lot of definitions and explanations would prop up once we discuss on this topic.
We all know that many discussions on someone's private life happen without their consent. But the ones on whom we eavesdropped and could do them more harm then we have thought.
Mrs. P. and Mrs. L. were neighbors and friends and whose friendship was strengthened as an when the days passed. They both were inseparable as friends. They had a habit of convening a meeting of ladies every day after sunset and many times an early morning. They both would task themselves to eavesdrop on someone resided in the building so that they would make it a piece of sensational news.
Being melodramatic queens, they would seem something a mystery that would be solved only by them.
If a newly married couple would arrive: they were more concerned about their groaning noises which a couple would make. So, they eavesdropped.
If there was a clash of any of the family members in the neighborhood, they were mostly worried. So, they eavesdropped.
If someone's daughter ran away, they couldn't wait to hear her story. So, they eavesdropped.
If a neighbor is suffering from financial difficulties, they were the first to know. A result of eavesdropping. And the list goes on.
If eavesdropping becomes an integral part of a person, then it becomes difficult to get rid of it.
Since her childhood, Mrs. L. has been an expert eavesdropper for which she was very well-known in her family. Her mother encouraged her to wander the entire building and find what was going on in everyone's life. Being accustomed to this habit, she has always credited her family for an excellent eavesdropper.
Whereas, Mrs. P. wanted to prove her worth to her family. She was ugly and not that smart compared to her siblings. She developed the skill of eavesdropping to help her elder sister scale new heights financially. She helped her siblings to a great extent by letting them know what others were about to initiate steps for their own children.
Mrs. L. was habituated to this hobby, whereas Mrs. P. has seen this way as a last resort to prove her worth to her family.
The possibility could be that we tend to overhear to the conversations which happen like a clamor. People with strong feelings tend to use their high pitched voice, which is bound to be overheard by almost everyone. There appears a very fragile line between overhearing and eavesdropping.
The words blunted without much thought, and it gets overhead by almost everyone who passes by. But to hide and hear the entire conversation with an intention gets one listed in being an eavesdropper. One such instance of eavesdropping had saved the honor of an entire family.
A man in his early twenties argued with his neighbor, Mrs. P. She made a little spark into an inferno by dragging his entire family in this unnecessary fight. He eavesdropped her entire conversation as she was about to complain to a cop. This young man handled the situation tactfully by playing carefully on her set rules.
Even an expert eavesdropper can be outsmarted by the naive one who may play well by the set rules of the former.
Eavesdropping has even saved one's life to be left languishing in a cell. A teenager, along with his friends, once stole a two-wheeler to go for a ride. A probing led to their arrest, which was to ruin his life. He was about to be made a prime suspect for the crime he never committed.
His aunt overheard or maybe eavesdropped by listening to a conversation that would ruin his entire family's life. The other arrested one's parents were conspiring this ploy. But this eavesdropping played a part, and his uncles took a drastic step which led him out of that place.
It's been a hobby and a habit or became necessary to save someone's life. It can wear many garbs to be sensed by the sharpest people in this universe.
-Penned by Tausif Mundrawala (19th November 2019)
-Image Courtesy- fineartamerica.com