Monday, June 18, 2007

Of Flus and Fathers...

Been down with fever and a sore throat since yesterday, and I am back to work.

Falling sick when I was growing up was different.
Dad would take leave from work, and launch a one man crusade against the invaders. Home would become a father-daughter citadel, meaning, we were allowed to make a mess of it till Ma came back from work.

No sooner than she had left the front door, he would start with a status check - he would put the thermometer in my mouth, and then head to the kitchen to make some herbal tea. I would squint, and wait for the mercury to reach 99, and get the thermometer out of the mouth. If it had already reached a 100, I would shake it down to 99 and then announce loudly and gladly that I was decidedly feeling better and should be allowed to go to school. He never called my bluff, but am quite sure he knew. So, despite all my protests, I was sent back to the bedroom.

By then the herbal tea would be ready. The tea was a speshul remedy for sore throats, a miracle cure, I was told. It had herbs instructed by old-wives - except that he would add them all at one go. The results, though not totally disastrous, were potent enough to scare the viruses/bacteria away.

He would then proceed to cook lunch. He is not a bad cook, just that he likes to experiment a little too much. Those days, anything he could successfully boil and add salt and generous amount of pepper to, would be served with much-ado. With the numb taste buds it hardly made a difference so long as the stuff could slide smoothly down my throat. Though, I must say, he has improved over the years. Having a guinea pig helps, I guess.

And medicines? Dad was particular that they be taken on time. I remember him waking me up on cold nights, and giving me an assortment of pills with half a glass of warm water. A cold hand would check if I still had fever, and he would stand still for a minute to check if I was wheezing.

Years later, he packed me away to the hostel sans much emotion, but with a semesters' supply of medicines: antibiotics, antihistamines, multivitamins, the works. One day, lying alone in the hostel room, running a temperature of 103 and yet trying to be all adult about being sick, I felt cold, lonely and abandoned. And then I realized it wasn't the medicines that I needed, it was all the fuss. So I did what I had to do, called him, and whined on the phone.

Like I did yesterday.


Anonymous said...

enjoyed reading...get well soon

Mo said...

Thankies :)

fizz said...

this post, and your profile 'i was the light' reminds me of a poem... which is melancholic, though i mostly felt the opposite reading you, cos flu and fathers only mean hot soup and spoiling :)

nonetheless! my rambling apart, here goes...

'It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.'

feel good dear momos. i might have to move out on my own in a few months and i shudder at the thought of falling sick alone. super hug for you <>

Mo said...

Lovely poem. Love the bit about -

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something.

Good luck with the moving out bit.
Festivals and Flus will be the hardest, for sure.

Vaish said...

Lovely post. I really enjoyed reading it. Get well soon *hug* for you!

Mo said...

Thanks. I am well now.