January 28, 2007

Tetanus trouble

My idea of extreme torture is ANYTHING that involves a needle piercing my skin. Including injections, of course. And alas! The quagmires I land up in with my non-predilection for this...

Recently, I landed up with a splinter in my middle finger after some cheerleading exercises with the shower handle. I removed most of it, but a tiny bit just stayed there without my knowledge. I did not go to the friendly (roll eyes) neighbourhood doc for some motherly advice (roll eyes again). A few days later, I realized that the black spot in my almost healed wound did not really look like a cute black eye caused by a well-aimed jab, but that it was actually some foreign object nestling in the warm folds of my tissues.

So off I went to the doctor, with mother dearest in tow, in case a needle came into play. And it did. And how!

Since I have carefully avoided the sight of that thin and deadly needle for some years now, the friendly neighbourhoood doctor decided to punish me with a tetanus shot. The word ‘injection’ resulted in the usual change of behaviour – from a sane 18-year-old, I suddenly became a terrorized chimp who curled up on one corner of the examining table and started letting out ear-splitting shrieks. To add to the frenzy, the doctor suggested that my skinny arms were perfect for her cruel technique. I resisted all attempts made by her to reach ANY part of my anatomy till she brought the house down too, with her shrieks overshadowing mine. Then I thrust my well-endowed posterior at her and descended on the examining table with the air of a person going to the gallows.

The shot was just a pinch, but for some reason, I had to hold my butt all the way home. It ached like crazy....on the opposite side. Newton’s Third Law, anyone?

And wily woman that she was, she made sure she kept the home fires burning. She looked at my tiny wound and told me to give it a fitting visarjan in warm water to make everything come out by itself. I duly complied with the instructions, only to land up with a black line enclosed by very fast-growing skin in a sea of yellow goop they call pus.

Two days later, I was back with my middle finger problem. I wanted to make my feelings towards her very evident, so I thrust my middle finger out at her in a manner that would have shocked any all-knowing college teacher. But this innocent fifty-something was blissfully unaware of the larger implications of my not-so-polite gesture.

Then she opened my cut again with ... you guessed right, a needle, and when I asked her if she wasn’t going to administer some anaesthetic before doing so, she had a fit. Of laughter.

It didn’t hurt as much as I thought, though I squeezed my mother to the point where she was almost unconscious. She just scraped away the hard skin and extracted a splinter from the aggrieved finger like it was a Paramvir Chakra being awarded to her.

And yes, she charged me like a hundred bucks for the exercise. Moral of the story – You ask for torture, you pay for it!

January 23, 2007

Orissa - 1......traintales

I was in Orissa last December ( duh, last month, the English language makes things sound so pompous and faraway at times) to attend the 3rd International Odissi Festival organised by a group of culture lovers from voila ! - Washington DC. But jokes apart, it is interesting to see how the overseas Indian coterie keeps classical art forms alive with their overt soft corner from it that may come from staying in another culture for so many years....after all, it is only absence that has the power to make the heart grow fonder.

Anyway, every moment I spent in Orissa was fun! Also, every moment of the 1932 km train journey by the "Okate Sunna Okate Tommidi Mumbai-Bubaneshwaraaa Kaunark Expressa", as they say it in Andhra Pradesh was fun. One of the most funny train lines I ever heard was at Warangal station, where instead of saying ' .....thode hi samay me platform ek se ravaana hogi', the announcer said '........thode hi samay me platform ek se raavana hogi'. Whether she meant to imply that the train had been hijacked by the ubiquitous Ravana of Ramayana fame and that it was now going to Lanka, or whether she was just hoping that there would be some bigshot bureaucrat on the train who would make arrangements for better Hindi teachers in A.P. is another issue altogether.

On the way there, I did not feel like trusting the food on the train and constantly resorted to all the dry stuff I had carried. At Vishakapatnam, when I had run through all the ghar ka chapatis, I ordered dinner on the train and was subjected to a paste they termed as 'rice', dal in which I could have manually picked out the 'dal', potato curry where the curry bore an uncanny resemblance to orange paint in water, pickle in a sachet that needed three humans and a knife and a pair of scissors to open, and yes, the crowning glory, chapatis, in a thin definitely below 20 micron plastic bag, two in number, bundled into an incomprehensible roll of dry atta and burnt patches with not a spot of oil, forget ghee, not even oil on them. And tearing them apart would have put Bhima's strength to the test.

More later, right now, I haven't missed college to blog, but to sleep and recuperate and get a hold on projects!

Some pics from my Orissa trip...

The Mahanadi river in Cuttack.....so cool for people who have rivers behind their house !
A cute cat who happens to be a tomcat frightened of everything ! This one was taken just after a more rowdy neighbourhood cat mauled him.

Puri, with the Jagannath Temple hidden behind the profusion of chaddi-banian ads in all its scaffolded glory.