Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Mosquito bite – Biju Vargheese, Kerala

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As I was growing old, I developed the unavoidable age related problems. I was getting fatter and I am in the beginning stages of my PHD (Pressure, Heart, and Diabetes). As a sane person, I took asylum in hospital.

As usual, the smart hospital people made me to do the complete medical checkup, just to tell me things which I already know. At the end of spending one full day for various tests, the verdict was expected to be announced at the end of the day.

There were other people waiting like me too. Many of them had tummies which was an open challenge to Newton’s law of gravity. Even though they were not handsome, I liked them because they boosted my confidence. Comparison always helps.

I was curious to know the results. I went through the test results papers with the same excitement, as I was looking for my roll number in the entrance examination results. The only difference is, there ‘pass’ and ‘fail’ were options; but here, ‘failure’, ‘miserable Failure’ and ‘worst failure’ were the options.

The doctor went through the results faster than a super computer. I was surprised to see that, the entire day I spent for tests, the pain I went through and the money I spent; the doctor flipped through in 45 seconds. It is not fair! My mind protested.

The verdict came immediately.

“You have to start exercising” said the doctor.

‘Tell me something new’ I thought of telling.

“Oh. OK doctor. What should I do?” that was what I actually asked.

“Well, you have to do either brisk walk for 45 minutes or run for 30 minutes; whichever convenient for you. That will decrease the fat and it will solve most of the problems” said the doctor with a smile.

His smile reminded me the smile of Antony Hopkins in the movie “Psycho”.

“Sure! I will do” I said. Doctor was also happy at my subjugation.

It was customary that, when people spend so much money on the medical checkup, they should not be left empty handed. I remembered the ‘Krishna and Kuchela’ story. They gave me a bag full of medicines.

I asked the pharmacist

“How long should I take these?”

“Lifelong!” said the pharmacist. He was smiling in the same way the doctor was smiling.

I went back home with the happiness of finding another “life partner”. My wife was curious to know

“What happened?”

“I will live for few more years” I said.

Did I see a glimpse of despair in her face? I was not sure.

I bought new set of running gear; shoes, socks and sweat shirt. The shop keeper asked me

“Have you had a medical checkup done recently?” He smiled the same way the pharmacist smiled.

‘How accurate! It looked like a conspiracy involving the hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, fitness centers and sports shop’ I thought. The smile is the proof for that.

“Yes” I said.

He gave me a bill which increased my heart rate even without doing any exercise.

I started going for running. I chose it because, if I run, I have to do it only for 30 minutes. I can save 15 minutes in life, every day. I did a quick calculation and I found that, I will save 1825 minutes of my valuable time in next 20 years which I can spend on doing nothing.

My six year old daughter was curious when she saw me in running costume.

“Dada, why are you going for running?” she asked.

“Well, Dada has put on weight. I have to reduce it” I said.

“So, if you run, will you become small?” she asked.

I was not too sure. The conspiracy theory flashed through my mind again. Will it work as they said? I quickly gained back my composure and said

“Yes”

“Careful Dada.. Don’t be too small” she was concerned.

If that was possible, I would have done it. But seeing my wife staring at me, I decided against it. It was a warning sign. It won’t be nice, if I become too small; especially in front of my wife. After all, she was against having one more child.

“Sure sweet heart!” I said.

On the first day of running, I realized that, there are other people who are also interested in fitness. Near the Park, one beautiful girl was coming running from the opposite direction. She waved her hands. Did I hear the sound of a ‘laddu’ busting in my head? I also waved at her.

Interesting, she is impressed by my fitness levels; I was sure…

On reaching near me, she said “Good morning uncle!”

‘Why can’t the young generation people mind their own business?’ I thought. I could feel the taste of the busted’ laddu’ in my mouth; the ‘laddu’ was made up of bitter gourd. I changed my route of running. Humiliation is something which I can never tolerate.

My running continued.

The monsoon started and I took advantage of it. I took that as reason for not running some of the days. But, the doctor’s threat was still looming large on my ears..

“Everyday 30 minutes running will increase your life span by one day.”

I actually didn’t believe that theory. If that was the case, if I regularly run, every day I will save my life one more day. I will easily become ‘Chiranjeevi”. Looks like doctor was weak in mathematics and that must be the reason for him to go for MBBS instead of Engineering.

The water got accumulated on the roads and it was the perfect breading season for our national bird; mosquitoes. However hard you try; by closing windows, doors and using mosquito repellents, they will find a way to come in and surviving. After all, they are Indian mosquitoes.

I remembered the speech of NASSCOMM representative;

“Our IT guys are intelligent. They will survive anywhere; any industry; any weather and any place on earth.”

I am sure that, this new generation mosquitoes are drawing blood from those IT guys. The mosquitoes broke our defense. They were eager to sing the tunes in our ears so that, we can sleep well.

On Friday when I came home, I saw my daughter running inside house. I asked her

“Nainu, why are you running?”

Nainu said “Dada, look at my hand, a mosquito has bitten me and my hand became fat”.

I just looked at her and saw that, there was small bump on her wrist.

I still didn’t get the connection. I asked her again

“But why are you running for that?”

“When you became fat, you started running to reduce the fat – right?” – came the innocent reply.

Biju Vargheese
Biju Vargheese
Biju Vargheese is the author of two successful novels, "Dangerous Glitter" and "Dhamar". Biju is a Software Management professional. Writing is his hobby.

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