It was an innocent looking Sunday. What started off as a little red bump on my forehead and glanced at me like a regular heat boil would, turned out to be much more surreptitious than that. I actually saw it wink at me or maybe I was hallucinating with the fever. Yeah, I woke up with a slight fever and joint pain, both of whom are cousins who come visiting me together ever so often. I planned to have something to chill my system like maybe some coconut water or a glass of lassi and perhaps a paracetamol for the fever germs. But the divine providence had a lot in store for me.
It must have been sevenish when I saw the clock and little did I know what the number signified then. Not talking about numerology here but just the magnitude of its impact to be seen later. My hunch was that something was devastatingly wrong with me but none of my eyes were twitching. You see my eyes are hard coded to twitch whenever something weird is in the cards. But this time they deceived me. A Hindu proverb translated as ‘In bad times, even the best of minds falter’ can be described for my eyes that kept mum that day.
I decided to skip my morning exercise or rather skip my daily excuse to avoid it – I was sick. Period. After a little nap, I woke up to see if I had rejuvenated. But hell no! The bump winked back, now even bigger in size. Remember someone wise had said that ‘sleep is the best healer after laughter’ but that someone didn’t know that party poopers are stubborn little things. They are wired into your karma.
After a little while of time, I gave up trying to feel better and resigned much like Gulliver letting himself be tied up by the Lilliputians. Only my Lilliputians were teeny-weeny and invisible. The Mister promptly took me to the doctor, who with just a cursory glance announced the verdict ‘Its Chicken pox!’ I thought my days were numbered since I hadn’t heard about chicken pox for the longest time now. So I mistook it for H1N1 or maybe some strange rapidly growing contagious things implanted by aliens. Remember I was out the previous day and felt for certain that a UFO was trailing me.
But then I recollected – my mum used to always say that I am the only child who didn’t get chicken pox. Like that was a health introduction to the listener and in some ways a proud moment for my little mind. As I grew up, I had almost forgotten about it until this – the doctor inquired whether I had chicken pox as a kid. So I proudly said ‘NO!’ And he said ‘So, it’s confirmed!’ and happily prescribed medicines that would last a fortnight and upset my household budget. He said it will take seven days and I remembered my Chinese clock struck at seven. If this was not enough, he also said that the medicines will not heal the chicken pox; they were just meant to be taken to keep away other infections that the pox might cause!
We returned in pin-drop silence. Then life took up a new routine – pill at 8 – breakfast – pill at 10 – sleep – lunch – pill at 2 – sleep – pill at 8 – dinner – pill at 10 – sleep… The bumps grew right in front of my eyes; every time I saw the mirror I swear I could see them put on weight joyfully. The Mister obviously couldn’t see what I could so he locked me up in the bedroom with water and a warm cozy blanket, with no mirrors anywhere nearby.
It must have been seven days or so, I can’t really say – the itching and the burning was all I felt. The Mister’s neem sponge bath was a real saviour and I would definitely recommend it to anybody even without the pox. In fact, you should drink a glass of neem juice every time you go for that convenient coconut water or lassi.
Another seven days later, the bumps were off leaving their dirty footprints all over me. And my mum can proudly say that I’m not the odd one out. Chicken pox has been kind enough to visit me too!