Monday, June 19, 2017

A pox on chickenpox!

I didn't expect at my age to catch chickenpox. Certainly I didn't recognise a single symptom. It started with a very high temperature and body ache. The flu, I thought, and swallowed some Nurofen. Then a few bumps appeared on my scalp and around my jaw and on my face. Pimples? I thought, and scratched at them like a bleddy monkey. They leaked a clear fluid so I concluded that they were not pimples, after all. But I've never been subject to a rash of pimples before, not even in maximum unbridled teenage hormonehood, so I was concerned. I presented my lumpy bumpy face to my husband, who thought perhaps that it was a heat rash from the very high fever that I came home with, combined with the very hot weather we've been having. But, he said, sleep on it and we'll see in the morning.

In the morning, to my horror, I looked like an extra from a zombie movie, with hundreds of lumpy bumps all over my face, shoulders, chest and back. No jokes, I could have walked on any horror movie set and been taken on, no make-up required. Chickenpox, Pete concluded. And he was right. To be fair, he'd had it himself, plus his kids had also had it as children, so he was well qualified to judge.

It's been 5 days so far - 5 days of hell in blazing hot weather. I've been confined to the bedroom with the aircon AND a pedestal fan going 24/7... and it's still not cool enough to calm down my scalp. I had no idea that every hair on my head would hurt this much. A bloody pox on chickenpox, I say!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Anthem blues

Today, on the drive to and from work, I listened exclusively to India's national Anthem, more than two dozen versions - all different, yet all the same. The cream of India's musicians and singers performed "Jana Gana Mana" in their own inimitable styles to A R Rahman's arrangement, with their own twists on it at times...and yet each and every version was the Anthem, and every version had me in tears. It has always been that way. I've never been able to sing "Jana Gana Mana" without getting all emotional and dissolving in tears. I've never managed to finish singing it with a steady voice. I can't give you any conscious reason for it. I guess the simple melody of it touches some deep chord inside me, twanging it relentlessly. Suffice it to say that I did a lot of sniffling today. 

The Anthem may no longer be mine because I'm not a citizen of India, any more. But I can't give it up. It's in my heart and mind as one of the most beautiful songs I know.