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Sunday, July 03, 2005

Rash Behaviour

Those of you who are endowed with good taste presumably read my posts frequently. So you are aware that I have been suffering from a skin condition that has taken quite a while to diagnose. (Those who have not entered this blog spot earlier, can catch up on the story so far by reading 'The Seductive Quality of Leisure' among my posts of the very recent past.)

The validity of the new diagnosis is yet to be confirmed through the effectiveness of the umpteenth medication being inflicted upon me. The inside of my body feels like a battleground of viruses and antidotes, with its 3-D map, in deep reds and dark blues, displayed on my skin.

I cannot help but wonder about the sense it makes (or doesn't) of going for treatment to doctors, who were responsible for this problem in the first place. Reminds me of an old maqta' of mine, although written in an entirely different context: Deevaangi ki had hae keh jis nay diyay haeñ gham 'Alam' usee ke naam se karta hae gham ghalat … !

Meanwhile, each person informed of my predicament by my loving wife, offers a remedy that, often, if not bordering on the paranormal or outrageously weird, does make me wonder if by my willingness to try it out I am not giving in to senility. But who can fight the power of love? This time, another of Nuzhat's teacher-friends (now you know where our school kids get their insanity from) suggested that I apply a paste made up of crushed neem leaves and coconut-oil before taking a bath. Since the treatment required that I cover myself with the paste and wait 20 minutes before a shower, Nuzhat suggested that I sit naked in my study/library and read something while listening to music. After all, being a Sunday, with no visitors or others in the house, I could trek to the bathroom without anyone seeing me in this condition.

Smelling of a cross between a Dossa and a Herbal Cake, I squatted out the waiting period on an old newspaper (carefully positioning myself so that the right portions came into contact with the beaming picture of George W), listening to Ravi Shankar's perennially stunning Maalkauns Alaap, chosen this time more for the appropriateness of its length (18'47") than for its serenity. Reading, I soon realized, was out, given that my hands were dripping with witches' brew. In about an hour, 20 minutes passed … (trying times seem so much longer than they are, na?) … and I headed for the shower.

Surprise, surprise ...

Just as I opened the door to step out, covered from head to toe in this moss, the maid - who had suddenly decided to pay a kindly visit to us on her day off and bring coffee for me to the study - screamed, obviously thinking she'd been 'flashed' by the Jolly Green Giant. Suffice it to say that the pimples and rash are still there, unchanged 4 hours later, but we are minus one well-loved coffee mug and some smelling salts. Thankfully, the maid has agreed to stay on, but only after I convinced her of my not belonging to some strange nudist vegan sect.

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Blogger Lemony Royal said...

One mighty interesting episode!! Take my advice...mess not with those nasty rashes, leave them at peace, they will leave you sooner than u think!!

03 July, 2005 22:24


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