‘Only for Your Betterment, Beta’ Or, the Death of a Melody

Your voice-
they will mind its tenor;
a comparison between the pitch and tires screeching with a sudden halt;
a gentle “suggestion” to keep the volume in check;
a disguised accusation of using too many alien (and powerful) words;
an unabashed shaming of your initiative, and
a proclaimed subtle yet compulsive coaxing of your melody
the auto-tune.

Their auto-tune –
the production of your vocals
succumbing to something
created for the purpose of pleasing everyone/
a convenient understanding
pushing you towards apathy.

And just like that,
the tenor will surrender
to the technological tyranny of the sound waves,
the pitch’s highs and lows will
submit to the average,
the rebellion of decibels will be quieted
as the volume will be turned down with a simple click, swipe and push,
words will be minced into remixes
that will sound like the warning that plays at the end of insurance commercials –
then systematically,
you will be made to renounce
your hopes and the ideals that triggered them
under the guise of, “only for your betterment, Beta”.

A slow and steady beat,
lulling the senses into sleep,
an oblivion,
a numbness
– no punctuation, no reaction and no aggression.
Not a smile of understanding,
not the warmth of solidarity,
not one tear as it all sinks in
– only the seduction into mindless feet tapping, finger drumming and head nodding
– only a soft sudden sleep, a blanket attack to conquer our senses.
A monopoly.
A water cannon.
A canister tear gas.
All against one erratic heartbeat
– a victim of, “only for your betterment, Beta”.

Ananya Vasishtha is a second-year English honours student from Lady Shri Ram College for Women currently living in New Delhi.