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Somethings in life never change!

February 29, 2012

For the first blog post, usually people write about themselves. So I want to introduce myself by writing a narrative piece about an interesting incident in my life. And I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions about me.

Taking Crocin four times a day implies trouble. I feel I have a strange affinity for troubles. Not that I want them, but I always end up in one!

Nikita sensed the “trouble” and took me to a doctor’s clinic where experts give you advice for a fee. I call Nikita “mama” for two reasons – one she loves me and second, she cares for me as much as my mother. Nikita was extremely tensed and concerned as she had read the temperature displayed on a red digital thermometer, straight out of my mouth. The temperature displayed was a number I had never seen before on a thermometer – a scorching 104! So my friend walked up to the person at the clinic’s counter – an old person with a white beard. After listening to Nikita’s beseeching and sincere pleas, he agreed to let me in before the other patients. And then asked in Hindi, “Patient kaun hai?” (Who is the patient?) Nikita pointed towards me.

The person at the counter and Nikita saw this scene – I was playing with a two year old who had just learnt to walk. First she wobbled, then she fell down, then she giggled and made an attempt to walk again with the same conviction as ever. Remember the line –Savor simple pleasures in life. The person bellowed, “Inki tabyat to teek lag rahi hai! Dekho has bhi rahi hai! (She looks fine to me. She is even smiling.)”  I could almost hear Nikita grinding her teeth and see her ears turning red. She tried to plead again but in vain. We had to wait for another looong never ending half hour. So my conclusion from this episode was that fever 104 translates to the patient not smiling and being sad and glum. And here I was being yelled at by my dearest friend for smiling when unwell – the quality that she loved the most in me!

“Patient number pachees (patient number 25),” called the person at the counter after half an hour. Nikita ordered me to follow her with a stern expression in her eyes. I obeyed. We went inside the doctor’s room which had a ‘Service to man is service to god’ sign on it. He asked me with no smile or warmth on his face, “What is the problem?” I guess after a long day he was tired, otherwise service to man could be delivered with a smile too! Nikita volunteered to answer his questions and listed all my symptoms and mentioned the abuse with Crocin. The doctor ordered a blood test and said, “I think it might be typhoid.” Nikita was visibly concerned, while I was looking at the crow in the window sill. When you start looking at birds in the window sill during a meeting or a session, you know what it means, right? May be some of you are thinking, “How careless and irresponsible”. I know this as this is EXACLTY what Nikita told me after we walked out of the clinic. I was in her custody now.

Next day, we collected the blood report which ratified the doctor’s apprehension. Nikita and I walked back to the same clinic. The person at the counter smiled at Nikita and said, “Aaj tabyat kesi hai apke dost ki” (How is your friend feeling today?) She turned towards me and I responded to his polite gesture with a smile.

Patient number dus” (patient number 10) he yelled and we knew it was our turn. “Why do they call patients by numbers in the clinic, why can’t they call my name?” I whispered to Nikita. She again gave me a stern expression which meant “be silent”.

“Be silent” is the rule in a doctor’s clinic anyways, so I obeyed. We went into the clinic with the report. The doctor with his white coat glanced through it with a grim expression and said, “It is typhoid. You need rest for a few days. Here is the prescription.” I looked at the doctor’s illegible hand-writing that adorned the prescription. It has always been a mystery to me how the pharmacist can read a doctor’s handwriting. But I must say being a doctor is a very noble thing to do. The news of typhoid made me a little nervous. Also, I did not want to take leave from work. (I worked with an NGO- Pratham at that time- one of the most valuable experiences in my life!) So I said in a depressed and sulking tone, “Mama, I don’t want to take leave from work!” The expression on doctor’s face changed from being grim to being puzzled. He looked at Nikita and said, “You look too young to be her mother.” I could see her ears turn red again -this time with embarrassment! She smiled, in a clear attempt to hide her embarrassment and said, “She fondly calls me ‘mama’. We are best friends.” The expression on doctor’s face kept changing as the weather on a really tall mountain. He now had a smile on his face. We smiled and said, “Thank you uncle for helping us.” The doctor smiled back fondly and said, “Always be best friends. Take care.” Nikita and I looked at each other on our way out and after we had reached a safe distance from the clinic, we yelled together, “He finally smiled!”

The “trouble” was finally diagnosed and I had to gulp down big colorful tablets for fifteen days. No solid food was allowed. With me the end is never non-dramatic. So my fever decided to be stubborn, it did not leave me. So I moved to my parents’ house. Just a day before my 24th birthday (that was four years back), another doctor at yet another clinic said, “You might have to get admitted to the hospital.” I retorted, “But it is my birthday tomorrow! I don’t want to be in a hospital!” The doctor laughed and said a few kind words to make me feel better, “We will give you cake through the IV drip.” I smiled at his adorable but impractical suggestion. Then he turned to my parents, gave some additional medicines and said, “If by tomorrow morning she still has temperature above 101, we have to get her admitted.” My parents were sad that their daughter was sick and I was sad as I could not celebrate my birthday!

Next day, I put the thermometer in my mouth and waited for a minute to pass. It felt like reading the last page of a good mystery book. Would the temperature be 101 or not? Well, it was normal  and yes, I could celebrate my birthday. I was finally better after a fortnight.

Nikita is my best friend till date and my mother is as caring as ever. Some things in life never change – parent’s love, good friends and their love and care! And of course, I still savor the simple pleasures in life – watching a child learn to walk, looking at a crow in the window sill, celebrating my birthday!

What are the simple pleasures in your life?

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19 Comments
  1. Ravi Teja Sukhavasi permalink

    This is a nice start to your blog and hope to see more from you!

    Here is a brief anecdote from nearly a decade ago that I recount quite fondly till date. In 2002 when I was a student in Hyderabad, I used to live in a small pent house on the terrace of a building. During my stay, I used to feed pigeons every evening (around 4-5PM) without fail. As time went by, more and more pigeons landed on the terrace in search of grain. They also seemed to grow quite bold with time. On one occasion, I was fast asleep during the ‘feeding time’. The pigeons must have been waiting for a while when one of the more intrepid ones decided to enter my room and either it did. Either its pecking on the door or its call finally woke me up. I woke up and followed it outside to see a flock of restless pigeons waiting for their grain! I felt connected with them like never before that evening and I miss them to this day.

    • Thank you for sharing such a wonderful experience, Teja! I especially like the “intrepid pigeon”. It sure knows how to fight for its rights! 🙂

  2. :)…i didn’t remember it so beautifully..u r right i was veryyyyy tensed for you..but m happy i’ll remember it differently now,,thanks to ur lovely blog..n yes i do remember the ‘he smiled atlast…hahaha..what fun….u kinda forgot hubby dear in the picture didn’t you????he too was there worried like me and taking care…as always..isn’t it..or has my memory faded?? whtever it be..i still enjoy worrying for you..but do not want you sick..plzzz God spare her…keep smiling at all the simple things you notice in life,,it makes you what you are..:)

    • Yes, Jay was there. He came later after the blood report was out and took me to Mumbai! Thank you for always being there.

      @All the people reading my blog: This is THE Nikita! yes, the one mentioned in my post.

  3. Your post is very engaging and your writing style is excellent! And the story itself – brought a smile on my face after a long day! Teja is right, you should definitely write more!

    This isn’t a simple pleasure, but the first thing that came to my mind while thinking about some memorable childhood moments. It is kind of sad, so I apologize in advance if this throws you off, but it was such a profound moment for me at such a young age. My mom and I were returning in an autorickshaw from yet another trip to Saravana Bhavan. I’d had my usual favorite food (a ghee roast and 14-idly, to answer your question!) and was feeling like the happiest kid! I can’t say for sure, but I think I was 10-12 years old. The auto stopped at a signal, and while waiting, I suddenly heard a gut-wrenching howl – it was a dog, probably hit by a car on the opposite side of the road, clearly in great pain. Immediately, I turned my head, looking out of the auto, trying to locate the source. I’d rather skip some gruesome details here. The agonizing howling continued. I felt my mom’s arm around me, hugging me and whispering that it was going to be OK. I realized I was crying. I asked my mom if we could take the dog over to a hospital and save it. I don’t remember what she said, but she didn’t agree, and insisted that I just let it go. But I just couldn’t. The traffic started moving and I kept pleading my mother, to no avail, even as the howling faded away. I sulked (as I always did whenever we had a fight), and moved away from her, clinging to the other side of the auto. That night I kept thinking about the dog I couldn’t help, just hoping and praying that somebody had helped it and it was OK. Over the next week, my mom learnt just how much that incident had affected me, as I brought it up almost all the time, and she kept saying that the dog was probably OK, and was recovering.

    What I still don’t understand, to this day, is why that incident affected me so much in the way it did – I didn’t know that dog, I’d never seen it before or interacted with it before, I’d never had a pet, and yet it tore my heart to hear that howling. Are all living things somehow connected emotionally at a higher level (eveolutionarily of course we are connected)? Or can this all be explained through hormones, neural signals and biology? I have passed by a couple of human accident scenes since, and I was much older (college days), but they didn’t affect me as much as the childhood incident. Very strange.

    I do realize now at the end of this comment, that it is not entirely out of context. I actually ended up squeezing one (or two) of my simple pleasures within this story 🙂

    • Hey Raga, Thanks for your generous comments. I really enjoyed reading your story. It is so touching. You described your feelings as a child so well that I started feeling bad for the dog and I do hope your mother was right. You have asked some interesting questions here – are we all connected at a higher level. Hope you get eat your favorite food here in distant land! 🙂

  4. siddharth permalink

    Nice to know a bit more about THE nikita 🙂 And even better to see this blog!

  5. Hey Sushree, read your blog! Wonderful and enjoyable, made me smile, are you really so incorrigible? 😀
    Your parents shud have named you Sunshine!
    And I really liked your style of writing, takes considerable talent to add humor so beautifully. Do go on!

    • Hey Mona, thank you for your encouraging words! I am glad that the post made you smile. Mission accomplished! I still remember the skit we did together at Kathalaya. It was so much fun! I also remember someone else also called me, ‘incorrigible’! 🙂

  6. Rangoli permalink

    I like these new beginnings. Stay prolific. 😉

  7. Jayakrishnan Nair permalink

    Great you finally started blogging!

  8. Hey Sushree, nice blogpost!

    One of the most pleasurable moments for me is to get wet in the rain and splash the water from the puddles! (I still do :P)
    And I used to love picking those hailstones, wash them in water and eat 😛 ( we din’t have refrigerator at home back then). After this we (my sister and me) would have a long long lecture cum scolding session from Amma followed by a hot water bath!

    • Hey Ramya, Glad to meet you! I enjoyed reading your comment. Ever made paper boats? 🙂 I hope we can see hailstones in Pasadena sometime, you can eat it, even though we have refrigerators now! 🙂

      • It did hail for 10 minutes or so last week on that rainy day – around 11am. I was in Subway at that time and was caught by surprise… It’s only the second time it’s hailed in Pasadena in the past four years at least!

      • @Sushree: glad to meet you too… hope I can meet you in person sometime soon 🙂 I blame JK entirely for us not meeting so far 😛
        And yeah, I made paper boats, lots and lots of them 🙂 And I would love to make more and watch them flow with rain water!

  9. Very nicely written and a great introduction to yourself! I am excited about reading many many more blog posts here in the future :).

  10. Pravin permalink

    First off I must say that you are a very good writer ( as if I should be surprised by that fact). There are quite a few things that come to my mind when I think of simple pleasures in life. I am not going to even try to list them all here, but the first thing that comes to mind is the daily routine of me and my best friends meeting everyday in the evening to play cricket followed by eating some street food like chaat or Chinese. I think I was very happy in those days and was totally carefree. Alas those days are long gone now, there are however other things that give me pleasure these days like playing with my niece and nephew and just watching them smile…

  11. Swati permalink

    Hey Sushree very well written!
    Your blog made me think about my simple pleasures of life,which I otherwise tend to ignore.Just thinking about them made me feel so happy and I would love to share one of my little pleasures with you!
    Watching tiny birds feed on the grains that I litter in my balcony,gives me a lot of pleasure!Specially when the same birds return everyday and look for grains at the same place,it makes me very happy!

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