Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Home but not Alone

When the doctor gave his verdict of three weeks of bed rest for me, I had no idea what I was bargaining for. Two of the longest weeks of my life are almost over and I wait with nail-biting anxiety for what awaits me in the third.

A freak accident and I hurt my foot; just days before Diwali and found that I could not walk. It was the perfect time I thought to catch up with lost sleep, Frederick Forsythe and HBO. It was the long lost chance to regain my privacy after being cooped up in 6X8 cubicle all day, watched by all who may care.

However, my experience has been anything but that. Curious neighbors barged into my room at unexpected hours wishing to see me. Sedate knocks on doors were mercilessly disposed off and supplanted by hard knocks on my ankle to see if it hurt. Guests, who did not exercise the temerity of going to my room, demanded that I should limp all the way to the living room so that they could be convinced that I really was injured. Diwali time; the house was overflowing with people and my harrowed self, overwhelmed by this unwelcome intrusion.

Much advice was given regarding what I should and what I should avoid. They flowed over the phone, and even by email. When the diagnosis of my injury did not match the diagnosis of someone’s twenty-year old injury, I was asked to consult a different doctor. Extensive empirical research was conducted on the medicines prescribed by wannabe doctors who never cleared the pre-med entrance, but still did not lose the zeal.

When the going became intolerably tough, I decided to get limping to a Diwali lunch invitation just to silence my critics, detractors, and sympathizers. It was nothing short of a catastrophe. I was the center of curiosity and those who had not expressed their empathy to my Mother so far, now, saw this as a golden opportunity to regain lost ground. It meant nothing that I had trudged all this way for the lunch, no way would they allow me to go to the table to get the food. I was made to sit in a “comfortable” corner and was unable to refuse four requests of “Beta, have some more puri”

Another week to go and I am dreading it. My foot seems to be recovering steadily, but I dearly wish that I should wake up tomorrow morning and see that it has healed completely. The only thing I want in this world now, is to go back to my cubicle. And to hell with privacy!

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