Sometimes the best laid plans can go to waste.
I was to leave for Ladakh a couple of weeks back. Everything was set. The saddlebags were strewn in the open. The bike was leaking oil and the brakes weren’t working. I had just quit my job and had no assets or savings to speak of. I had people breathing down my neck about all and sundry items of my life. It was perfect. Until the fat doctor with a penchant for being hours late came into the picture and spoiled it. She detected dengue in my blood stream.
Please understand that there is absolutely no way I can get dengue. You see I have 6 mosquitoes in my house and I have a running agreement with them. They will remain clean and not allow any other mosquitoes, clean or dirty, into the house. I allow them to bite me when I am in the loo and in return they let me sleep in peace at night. This agreement is the reason I have never wasted a dime on mosquito repellants and that I can sleep with my windows open. I have similar agreements with other insects in my house but that’s irrelevant here. There aren’t any mosquitoes in my office and they certainly cannot aim fast enough to bite me when I am riding. And I don’t do anything else in life. Its a deep and dirty mystery, one that will never be solved.
Anyway, I ended up going home because there was no one to give me food here. Since I had lost about 6 kgs. already seeing the doctor, I didn’t intend to disfigure my shapely body anymore. So off I went. Mumbai to Delhi to Ranchi to Bokaro. Literally forced the doctor there to admit me into the hospital (God knows why!) and stayed in that godforsaken place for a week. Every morning a steady stream of white coats who have forgotten their white coats at home strutted in, muttered a random selection of words, looked all grim and proper and left about 5 minutes later. My doctor did not get the second part and never said a word. He just looked grim like I was about to die. They all repeated the same routine in the evening. Now there’s an advantage of a situation with a routine – they are predictable. So, like a Jew in concentration camp, I made for the exit every morning at 6, went home, took a bath, ate breakfast, slept a little and was back in the barracks by 10 before the gestapo came in. Once they did the rounds and nurses distributed the death medicines (which always went into the dustbin), I was on the run again. I had lunch and slept some more at home to be back in the line at 4. Unfortunately, after that the nurses kept a watch. But I managed to get out 4 days out of seven, the first 3 being spent in the recce. It wasn’t all that bad!
Anyway, turned out my platelets were just a bunch of lazy ass runaways who had gone home themselves for a bit and came back promptly when they realized who is the boss. The numbers were up to the mark and I was out. Proud and amid a thunder of applause from my fellow inmates, I walked past the burning eyes of the angry nurses. I was a free man. Or so I thought. The days at the hospital were fun filled with so many broken people around and the running away and the coming back and things like that. The next few days at home were just unbearably boring. Marriages, broken marriages, good marriages, the irony marriages, the tradition of marriages, the right age of marriage, the wrong ways of marriage, arranged marriage, love marriage – this is the exhaustive list of topics my parents would engage me in. My veins were about to burst when one day I went out secretly and bought my pass to freedom.
Two days later, I was in Bombay. Three days later, I was in New Delhi. One day later, I’m in a fix. Next is what?