6.11.06

Stayin' alive...

It was one of those Victorian damsel moments in my life. The sudden blush, a feverish spell, alternating with a cold sweat and a shiver down my spine…well, my whole body. Ironically this happened after I had visited the doc for some shots I am supposed to take to bring my blood level up.

I got home and the above-mentioned moment occurred. I had to bring out blankets in this heat (and it is sultry in Mumbai). It might be the ‘in’ thing – malaria, dengue or chikungunya, I was told. It took some time for me to accept that I was falling prey to a trend and that some mosquitoes, unbeknownst to me, had been getting too close for comfort.

The reports came in the evening. Negative. I had triumphed over those bloody insects. However, I could not perform a victory dance because my system was weak; all I could do was lie down and read or watch TV. I only managed to go through the newspapers as the books I want to finish are too heavy; I tried picking out one of those slim volumes and it was a book of quotations on love and marriage. Pooh…then there was a feel-good book on How to make the most of a horizontal position. I guess I was imagining it, but damn, I know I can write a book on that. Now.

So, if those tests were negative, then why was this other heavy-duty doc called?

“To find out what exactly is wrong, why is your body throwing out essential things…” said my GP. My body was picky, I wanted to tell her...my body is just like me.

This other doc made me do some deep breathing, I felt like such a bitch…say ahhhh…huff-huff…woof…

The doc wrote out a few new tests that had to be done. “You just relax and be cool,” she said. Yeah, sure, so I moved my head this way and that, like Saif in Kal Ho Na Ho following Shahrukh’s instructions…yeah, yeah, yeah…

My GP called to ask whether it was good for me. It is not what you think. I told her the prognosis (which is really diagnosis that is programmed). Now both of them are deciding as to what the right course of action should be. One says, wait, don’t rush. The other says, do it quick so we know. I like to wait. I am the long foreplay type.


Today, I decided that in the interest of humanity I must get online. I don’t know what the heck is wrong with my body and everyone else seems to know what is wrong with my mind…that leaves me free of bearing the onus of having anything to do with me.

Instead I fantasise about the place I will go for the tests. They play music and if you are seated in one of the rooms inside you can watch a large flat screen with Himesh Reshammiya singing, “Jhalak dikhla ja, ek baar aaja, aaja, aajaa…”

Please translate this into English and tell me: is this the stuff you have to listen to when you are ill and incapable of moving a damn finger?

Why do you find all this funny? No, no, not you…I am asked this question.

I find most things funny. It is important to learn the value of self-deprecating humour. The past few days have given me a lot – long hours of sleep, hours of delirious rambling, the joy of sucking on lozenges to take the taste away of the bitter effects of antibiotics, watching mosquitoes and wanting to let out a whoopee, not feeling guilty about leaving books unread, food uneaten…and people telling you they remember your smile.

Isn't that reason enough to smile?

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