I should be up and about. Rejoicing. Celebrating the completion of my second year as a blogger. But I am sick. Even while writing this, I have to pace myself. Type a little. Catch my breath. Lie down for a bit. You get the picture.
When I came back from India, about two and a half weeks ago, I thought the tiredness and the infrequent fevers were a result of overexertion. Four months of it. But the fevers got worse. They were always the same. Violent shivering, followed by sweats. They became more frequent in nature. In fact, I was weak and nauseous all the time. Something was definitely wrong.
The doctor took one look at me and asked, “Did you take any of your malarial shots before leaving?”
Err, no. I was too busy with other things. Plus, I thought myself to be invincible. Surely, a few mosquito bites wouldn’t kill me?
“No,” I said, guilty as charged.
“Hmm… I suspect a case of malarial strain. Get these tests done.”
Wow. Malaria. The Great Indian Adventure doesn’t seem to get over.
Last night, I couldn’t stop shivering. Four layers of blankets did not do the trick. I felt guilty. Ma was awake due to my invalidity. Every half an hour she would feel my forehead. Baba, who hasn’t even recovered from his own illness, was up too. I felt angry at myself. And perhaps, a little vulnerable.
I have found that vulnerability often leads to stupid existential questions. In my case, I asked Ma, “Will I die?”
“If you are fated to, then yes,” she said in her usual cavalier manner. Before I could question her on her morbid joke, she added, “But don’t worry. You won’t die so soon. You will live to be in your eighties.”
You see my mom takes inordinate solace in the words of our family astrologer, according to whom I will live to see the Grand Old Age.
But what if he was wrong and I did not make it? What would I miss?
I would not live to be thirty (which in retrospect, doesn’t seem like a bad proposition).
The Great Indian Novel that would not be written (ahh.. all that research gone to waste..).
The second M.A and the Phd that would not be done (I did like the sound of Dr. Sanchari Sur).
The dreams, wishes and fantasies that would never get a chance to be fulfilled.
The love that would never be professed…
Okay, maybe I am getting a little ahead of myself. It’s malaria. Maybe. Not c-a-n-c-e-r. Nobody dies from malaria these days.
So, with a brave face and a que sera sera eshque attitude, I gave my blood and other things to be scrutinized by lab rats. The pronouncement comes in a few days.
Meanwhile, I will stop moping, cross my fingers for the best, and hope for a better anniversary next year, and the next, and the next, and the next…
(Afterall, everyone deserves a second chance. I am just counting on mine.)