Saturday, March 14, 2015

One fine day

This anecdote goes back to last year when I was suffering from Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). The disease is as weird as it sounds. Google gives you a clinical description of the symptoms but essentially this disease rendered me bed-ridden since I could not walk straight due to some dislodged otoliths wrecking the balancing mechanisms of my body. The extremities of the vertigos were such that even the medicine I took was called Spinfree. After a steady recovery, my doctor advised me to start moving. Having been stuck in bed without television or laptop for a fortnight, I was dying to catch up with my social circuit. One of my best friends lived nearby. So my folks permitted me to drop down to her place for a day. I reached her hideout and she had an itinerary laid out for me. A couple of other friends were also there to surprise me. So they decided to take me out for brunch at a cafĂ© in the neighbourhood.  The moment I got out of the residence to hop in the car, I started feeling giddy again. The doctor had advised me to gradually start with limited movements in order to avoid the vertigo from hitting again. So my friends took me inside the house and we cancelled on the outing. I was disappointed and took to one corner of the living room to recuperate from the vertigo. My friends must have caught a whiff of my disappointment on cancellation of the brunch. I had dozed off in the nook of the room and the moment I snapped out of the nap, I found my friends strutting around the kitchen. They were fixing up a brunch for me. The recipes of sandwiches and salads were being googled for and these guys were in action with the cutlery in the house. In fact, even I was assigned a recipe- Fruit Cream. I do that one really well. So I was given a bowl of fruits and whipped cream to prepare it. Finally we sat down for lunch with all the dishes laid out. We hogged over the food having starved for long. Next, a friend prepared tea and we sat down to watch our old time favourite series – Friends. I had completely forgotten about the weird BPPV in the midst of all the fun and frolic. The disease had weighed me down physically and emotionally because of being isolated for a long time. The warmth of this get together filled me with a sense of optimism. When I returned home, my parents were as relieved and happy to see me in high spirits. It was the power of being together with my loved ones that gave me an incomparable strength and I managed a speedy recovery.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The New Life

Moving from a small city in Jharkhand to Delhi in itself was a huge change for me. It was my late teens when my parents moved to Greater Noida in the NCR. Now Greater Noida lies technically in NCR, but commuting from there to my college took around 2 hours. So I spent 4 hours a day travelling on the various means of transport. It used to wear me out till the end of the day and by the time I reached home, I had no time and energy left at hands for any other activity. Having practised this schedule for two months, I was left completely exhausted and I decided to take a rented accommodation near my college itself.  This was a going to be a major step for me. A huge chunk of teenager kids move from home to a hostel mode of life at some point of time but I was this self-confessed single spoiled brat back then, used to being spoon-fed and pampered in the homegrown environment. Moving to a hostel meant becoming self-sufficient, responsible and organised. By the time I had started looking for hostel accommodation, most of the decent options had already been acquired for that session. I found a twin-sharing room which could just contain enough oxygen to sustain two. Had a third person come in, there could have been a SOS situation due to oxygen deficit. My roommate was this girl from sophomore year of physical education course. Her stance was intimidating enough for me to restrict my activities only to my designated half of the room. It was only after spending two weeks with her, I realised that she was an endearing soul. I had grown home-sick within that period and almost quit eating the oil-soaked disgusting meals provided there. She must have noticed this and she cooked a delicious  porridge for me on that weekend. This gesture brought tear to my eyes. I found washing clothes very cumbersome, but she used to join me on our laundry sessions which made the entire procedure so much fun. I was beginning to notice the change in me. I had become more organised. No more did I need anyone to hover over me in order to get up from the bed. I had a structured routine and the good part was that I was enjoying this change in me. I even picked up on a new hobby courtesy my roommate. I discovered my love for food, not just gorging over it but also reading about it and preparing some simple recipes as well. 
The sense of independence was satiating in a very refreshing way. It helped me grow out of that immature brat kid into a much better person. Though I got rid of that dingy accommodation in the next session itself but I guess that place was meant for my greater good.
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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Optimism prevails!

Commuting in Delhi was a tedious task before the Metro Rail came into service. Buses and autorickshaws were what one had to rely on in absence of a personal conveyance. Back then, I had enrolled in a summer training programme at a hospital in South Delhi. So every day, I used to commute from Greater Noida to South Delhi, switching buses and autos in two hours to make it to the destination in time.
On one particular day, my experiments ran till quite late in the evening. By the time, I was about to leave, the weather gave way and it started to rain. It was 7:30 p.m. already and I could not find a single auto or bus nearby. It had started to get dark and the ticking of the clock was raising my anxiety levels.  There was this other lady standing next to me as well who was also looking for an auto. Tall and elegantly dressed in a handwoven silk saree, she looked quite a damsel in distress amidst the pouring rains. Suddenly I saw an autorickshaw heading in my direction. I started waving at him emphatically to stop. He did stop but that lady approached him before I could and after a fair bit of negotiation, she hired the auto. I stood there in utter disappointment watching her get inside the autorickshaw. I decided to call my Dad to pick me up which meant that I would have to wait in the rain for another two hours.
While I was dialling the number, I heard someone call out “Hello”. I looked up and saw the lady peeping out from the auto. She was waving at me to come to her. I went there and she asked me where I needed to go.
“Greater Noida”, I said. She asked me to hop inside.
 I asked her,”Where are you headed to?”
She said she had to go to some place in East Delhi which was in a different direction from my destination. Assuming that sharing an auto with her would not make sense, I turned around. 
It was then she said, “Hop in. It is getting dark and getting another auto is almost impossible at the moment. I’ll get down somewhere in Noida at a bus-stop and you can ride home in this one."
  I was sceptic at first as she was a stranger but then considering the necessity of the moment, I got in. On the way, I learnt that she was a visiting professor at the medical institute. Finally when we were about to part ways at the bus station in Noida, she got down, asked the autorickshaw the fare to Greater Noida and paid him before I could say anything. I was taken aback by this and tried to return my share of fare to her. She did not accept it; instead with a calm smile on her face she said,”Someone helped me in a similar manner when I was a student and today was my opportunity to return the favour. Do the same when you can.” I could not say anything after that. We exchanged goodbyes and I left. 
That moment embarked me on a road to optimism and hope. The relief in my Mom’s eyes to see me reach home safely only added to the feeling and I realised that optimism can be found all around.
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