Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My chickened days!

Hey, people! I hope this post finds you in excellent, pink health. I, for one, will honestly wish for this because I have recently experienced a phase of not so pink one and I can tell you that it is really a bad thing.

Before you start imagining me in a hospital bed with drip running on each limb and doctors trying frantically to breathe life in me, let me tell you that it was nothing that serious. I just had a special visit by a small virus in my body. The situation is clinically herpes simplex (popularly known as Mataji in this part of the world and Chicken Pox in the rest of the world). After being through this patch for more than 3 weeks now, I can tell you that there is nothing simple about it.

For one there you will be running a very high temperature, there will be a severe headache and your whole body and face will be covered with sores (they are called pundus in Telugu.). The situation becomes bad if you are staying alone and your friend has gone home on vacation and would be coming back only after 3 days. My ordeal with this started on 30th April when I was all pepped up to enjoy the May Day holiday. But my spirits were dampened because of the sudden temperature. The saddest part was my 250-rupayee ka pizza, ordered for dinner, going down the drain because I was unable to eat. In the morning, unaware of my disease, I got a nice thrashing from my mom for roaming in the summer heat without taking precautions. I was equally unaware and responded by spending the entire day in the sun trying to help her brother with a small thing. Lo ab bolo kya karogi! ;-). I was not doing better in the evening and in the morning; I saw a few pundus here and there and decided to see the doctor. And when she confirmed that, I have been hit by the chicken-virus, I was clueless how to go about it. After all, not everyday you catch a disease that will force you to stay quarantined for God knows how many days and the joy of not going to office for a long time took time to settle. I was excited about spending a lot of time in total ekaant and reflecting about important things in life like what to write next in my blog.

After I came back home, everyone knew that I had chicken pox. It was as if it was broadcasted on all the news channels of the country and Aaj Tak doing a special analysis about the situation as if it were a national crisis. My arrogant self (more popular as my independent self) was sure that I would be able to handle this national crisis on my own and no one, including Mr Prime Minister and my mother, needed to worry about it. But my no-nonsense-tolerating mother had already booked her tickets and was supposed to come down to Pune with Varsha by Sunday. So my ekaant time was reduced from an indefinite period to a couple of days. 

But this couple of days was something that I am going to remember for the rest of my life. I had informed my mangers that their most mehnati, imaandar and intelligent resources would now be required to work extra time and do my work as well since I won’t be coming to office! Though, everyone who reads this blog knows I don’t work, but I liked hearing my managers voice laced with a slight panic. There is a deployment coming and ahem, I am a critical resource for that. I felt wicked! ;-) Chaadar taan ke, palang pe let ke, TV ka remote haath mein rakh ke I was feeling happy as a child. It was as if I was reliving my summer vacations. And I realized that in this age of instant communication, getting out of reach and out of touch is a luxury that chicken pox sufferers can surely enjoy. 

By Friday evening and Saturday morning, I was well covered with pundus all over. They were growing in size and number by each passing hour. IPL kept me entertained, I had few things to eat as I was unable to and I was practically surviving on dosages of Rooh Afza every two hours. In times like these, the maidservants play a very important part. Our house cleaner, Sindhu, had informed in every ghar she works about my beemari and how awful I was looking. Our padosan was very kind to send me a glass of keri ka panha. I had terrified the kid who came to deliver a dabba of rasgullas with my looks and the shop stopped home delivery for a while! Then the aunty from the next block came to visit me. She came looking for Sindhu and suddenly she started babbling something about some health insurance policies. She started explaining me how working girls should take them. Err..Aunty ji, can’t you see the pundus on my face! Can’t you see that all this poor girl cares for is to watch those highlights of the last night’s IPL match and all you care is to sell me a sick health insurance policy! 

But the highlight of my ordeal was Saturday night. I had suffered enough to forget about my arrogant self and all I wanted to see was the sight of my mother and Varsha. And when there was a power failure in the middle of night, I did not know what to do. They definitely were the toughest two hours I had been through and I realized how important bijli is to our lives. Bhaiyya, bijli bachao nahi to tumhare bachche chicken pox mein pareshan ho jaenge. That night taught me a lot more things and I was reminded of the words of a dear friend – You have to go through your pains, alone. There are no proxies.

Finally, my mother and Varsha arrived. And immediately my treatment was started with nariyal paani. I drank nariyal pani for the next 15 days and now I am sure, a test would reveal that all the water content in my body has been replaced with naariyal paani. My mom, an expert caretaker, knew her job well. She fought her enemy with neem leaves, dahi chawal, nariyal pani, mosambi juice all strategically spaced throughout the day. Varsha, the only person who thinks I look beautiful never let me, even for a moment, feel any kind of self pity. 

I am doing well now, recuperating and fighting with the weakness. My vacation is over and my team is happy to seem my face that now has chicken pox marks all over. But I realized how important it is to see those familiar things around. When I was alone, all I wanted to see was the face of my mother and Varsha in that familiar maroon night suit. Aapke apne log hi aapke liye hote hain. Inki qadr karo. Who kehte hain doodh piyo to p lo. Duniya mein koi aur yeh bolne wala nahi milega. Varsha is the only person who thinks I still look beautiful, even with all those pundu marks. Aise dost har koi nahi hota hai. Bahut sahej ke rakho aise doston ko apne paas.

I am fit enough to have my arrogant-self back. Apart from my family which includes Varsha, Amit ji’s and Shrijeet’s mom had special contributions. Thanks auties for telling me so many things about this beemari and about taking the right foods. Thank you Shalabh for helping my mom reach me as soon as she could. Thank you Shrijeet for quickly coordinating things and that wonderful card. And last but not the least, thank you Amit ji, for keeping me company when I was without one. 

The most difficult thing to do is to take care of yourself. Suggestion. Start practicing that!

Stay healthy.