Friday, July 13, 2007


Sluggish head. Parched throat. Burning eyes. Lost appetite. Intermittent sleep. And worst of all -- a cranky mood.

It's so very irritating, I tell you.

But then, when you're feverish you have to bear with some unpleasant things. Otherwise, wouldn't everyone relish going down with fever on the slightest pretext!

So here I was, bitterness rising in me, as I helplessly watched my body staging a revolt against me. Yes, I know, I should have given heed to the early warnings. But till the time I'm up and working, why do I need to give it a damn, right? Well, actually quite wrong. But, let's forget the arguments for now.

Because, meanwhile, more sinister things were happening to me. I felt helpless, spent, and vulnerable. I craved for attention and care. And I hate to say this: I had this shameless tendency to flaunt my illness to gain sympathy.

But, of course, no one took notice of any deterioration in my health, however much I flaunted my illness. So, finally, I gave up behaving abnormally.

When alone, I tried to ignore the symptoms. I tried to get some sleep. (I believe a good sleep almost always cures me of anything. The problem, however, is that I cannot sleep when I need it most.)

Yesterday, late at night, huddled in my bed, watching TV in mute, I somehow managed to fall asleep. Or, maybe partially asleep. Because, I felt strange going-ons in my head. I felt disturbed by something I couldn't comprehend.

And then, I felt a cool palm rest on my forehead. Somewhat anxious and worried. Beside my bed, there was a rustling of clothes. And a lingering fragrance, long forgotten.

I woke up with a start. Just like they wake up in the movies, you see, after a nightmare.

I sat on my bed, silent and befuddled.

There was a breeze coming in through the open window. The eucalyptuses were humming outside. And I suddenly realized, as if for the first time, that fever was burning my body.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

5:30 p.m.

On the terrace of the office, sipping hot tea, and looking over the rooftops and busy roads. It has almost become one of the daily routines now. Rain or sun, we come visiting here. It's one of the small pleasures I have invented for myself.

It's a nice wide terrace, dotted with potted plants and benches. And it's always windy up here. On a bright day, you can see the blue hills sunning at the far end. While on a overcast day, you can see the clouds nestling on the hilltops. In the lashing rains, the place comes alive with happy plants as well as beaming faces (some people cannot resist rains). But perhaps the biggest attraction of the terrace is the big open sky -- it brings joy and solace after a hard day.

I think we should occasionally look up at the sky. It has a therapeutic effect.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dark and slow

There's something of a quiet melancholy about rainy days. They make us lonelier. Incessant all-day-rains, looming gray clouds, and damp windswept evenings (it's been like this for the last few days) have an air of loss and longing. Or, at least, so I felt.

No wonder, the profuse rains of the last few days have put me in a pensive mood. I scampered around the rooms, tried to read, stood on the balcony -- but something made me restless. It's as if the soggy air had slowed down time and there's no sound except the slow rhythmic pattering of raindrops.

And it became particularly unbearable during the last weekend. All day, listening to the sounds of raindrops and the swishing winds, I tried to sleep (so that the time passes away while I sleep). But in the semi-darkness of the rooms, cold and smelling of stale air, my senses became so sharp that I couldn't sleep.

But melancholy, despite the gloom and despondency, is also a source of subtle pleasure for me. Indeed, as Orhan Pamuk describes in Istanbul: Memories and the City about the melancholia of the city of Istanbul as huzun (a Turkish word whose Arabic root denotes a feeling of deep spiritual loss but also a hopeful way of looking at life): "a state of mind that is ultimately as life-affirming as it is negating."

I'm all for pleasure and happiness. I want them. But I also want my share of melancholy. Because it is melancholy that helps me understand myself more intimately.

PS: A previous post on melancholy.