Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Mask of Zukaam

I woke up with a sore throat in the morning. It hurt a little when I took in some dry gulps, still lying in my bed. I knew that my body temperature would rise above normal by evening. To confirm, I took another dry gulp. It hurt to the extent that I closed my eyes in sync with the gulp every time. I was sure of having caught the cold from dad at the office on the previous day. The thought of the slowly approaching fever was irritating me just as much as my brain, which by now was continuously sending signals to my throat to gulp. I mean, I don’t go around gulping for no reason all day long otherwise. But on days that it hurts to exercise one’s Adam’s apple, my body will purposely make it do some sit ups inside my neck, no matter how hard I try to stop it from doing so.

I popped in two tablets of Himalaya’s Septilin with half a glass of non-microwaved water, and kept hoping that the virus would die before it makes my eyes burn with fever. A hot shower and three aaloo paranthas with Amul Butter later, I left for the office.

After having replied to some important emails, I realized that somehow, the three or four tasks that I had been working on for the past week or two had been completed by the previous evening. So to avoid picking up a new assignment to start work on, I thought I’d put my managerial skills to test and go review some of the work that junior assistants had been working on. After an hour of satiating my ego by giving instructions to others on how to improve work, I came back to my work area and randomly opened folders on my laptop to look busy till lunch time. Staring into nothingness, I could feel my body warm up. The warmth of the impending fever slowly seemed so welcomed, that I could not understand why I didn’t wish to fall sick even once during this winter. Here, I had a chance to sit at home and rest my butt inside the razaai for at least two days, sip adrak wali chai, and praise the lord for a much needed break.

If you’ve read the Secret, you’d know that the strongest law in the world works on believing and then acting like you already have what you want. A religious practitioner of the law of attraction, I started meditating on the lump in my throat. The painful gulps immediately returned, and I didn’t stop myself from making motor sounds that would suggest to my colleagues that I’m having a hard time trying to clear my throat. A co-worker asked if I was alright, and I said that I could feel the onset of a fever. It felt so good to utter those words at that time! I started talking in a low voice, trying to constantly feel the pinch in my throat… and then, I really did feel like a sick man.

In a feeble voice, I asked for permission to go back home as I was feeling feverish, and the request was answered with a sympathetic nod. I immediately packed my bag and left the office. On my way back, I called up a few friends to chat and suddenly, my voice was as loud as the MCD Garbage Collection Van’s recorded music asking people to keep the city clean by dumping all the mess right into the van from their balconies, and spilling banana peels on the road for dogs to come and sniff at, later only to be chewed away by a hungry cow. Damn, I felt as awesome as having finally broken out of Shawshank!

Back home, I snuggled in my razaai and watched a movie, with the laptop resting on my chest, and the screen tilted to give me the best viewing angle. The things that would follow the movie were going to be even more awesome. Ginger tea. Facebooking in bed. Sending tweets to pretty girls. More than eight hours of sleep. Bliss! And, it has been just as good for the past two days.

I’m not alone in this, though. Giving me company during my break from work are strips of paracetamol tablets, lots of orange throat lozenges, empty cups of tea that leave beautiful brown circular patterns on the newspaper, a half-eaten packet of biscuits, occasional plates with yellow stains that remind me of the Maggi that they held till a few minutes back… and last but not the least, my everyday handkerchiefs that have been reduced to the level of being called “nozie wale rumaal”. They’re my favorite. I mean, the way they make me fish for dry spots in a one square feet area, to touch my nose with and snort out to my heart’s content, is naughty and fun at the same time. No matter how many times I fold the geometrically structured pieces of cloth and move towards one to blow my nose into; it always leaves me moving back with a moist feeling somewhere on my face.

My fever’s gone now, and I’ll have to prepare myself for another week of office from tomorrow morning. I’m not complaining, though. Not at all! I’ve had my share of a break, and I promise to face all challenges in the coming week with confidence, a smiling face and a stuffy nose that might sneeze a sprinkle of mucous on co-workers who’d come close to give me their reports for review.

Three cheers to the common cold.
Hip Hip *cough*
Hip Hip *phlegm*
Hip Hip *aah thoo*

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  1. Apart from being slightly too graphic for my comfort, this post does make me want to fall sick. One where I can just watch films all day.

    1. Jealous, eh? :D
      You have a wife to take care of now. Zyada uddo mat :P

  2. I want aaloo paranthas now ! :\
    @@@@@ with some adrak wali chai..

  3. Oh the handkerchief part, you nailed it. :P :D

    It's difficult to give such a vivid description for such small things like the newspaper thingy.

    Keep it up. :)


If you had 5 Jalebis, how many would you give me for writing this post?

None = You don't deserve any >:O
@ = Soggy and stale! :(
@@ = Stale! :|
@@@ = I'll need a samosa to digest this with! :P
@@@@ = Sweet and Crisp! :)
@@@@@ = I'm opening you a Halwai Shop! :D