Please go out of the room ya.

Arrey? But why?

No I don’t want you to see me get up from the bed.

I already saw. Paagal. Give me your hand!

Noooo. Bahar ja. I will be with you in two minutes. Seriously I will.

i am lying on the bed with a smile as if nothing is the matter but she knows me well she knows I don’t like being seen sick but that wasn’t the matter today getting up from the bed or lying on it again seemed to be like those last 50 meters of Pangarchulla peak the pain in the back was so severe the last time i got up it seemed i had let out an involuntary scream which she had heard and she could see my face flinching i looked awful i looked helpless i looked old.

i have never had such a back pain before i had a ligament pain in my left knee once after running but i could hobble around on painkillers here if i sat I sat for 20 mins wondering what i shall do next and if i was standing, i’d keep pacing my room knowing that a change in posture will awaken that monster once i was typing something to her while lying down and as usual the phone slipped from my hand to the floor back pain is what happens to old people and people poor posture and my father in law it’s a disease of old age.

Ab uthega bhi mote?

Tu jaaaaa.

was it something I did to myself in the gym? i hope not but i always find a way to blame myself for whatever happens to me it’s a way the world becomes self sufficient for me dependent on no outside ailment or virus or person it’s me me it’s always me but noooo it isn’t i now suddenly know what she meant by feverish mind i have a feverish mind only i can convert a simple flu into some kind of medieval torture but what if it isn’t i can’t no it is it is it is i know

It’s nothing. It’s fucking flu. Everything’s aching it can’t be anything else. Besides, she said so didn’t she?

i don’t want pity that’s how we become dependant we start searching for sympathy or pity every act of ours is a bid to arouse something in another or subdue in us especially when we are sick.

stop the noise in the head and try to get up. think rationally divest yourself from the pain and the body and conduct tiny tiny experiments. try and turn to one side then the other a bit a tiny bit till you feel the spasm then stopppp ouch step back think of something to hold get that image of your grandmother out of your head the way she took three to four minutes everytime getting up from the bed putting on foot gingerly on the floor untrusting of its power to hold her fragile weight and then the other assuming it will not buckle while she grabs the walkrail with one hand and then the other and just sits. wondering what’s next in store wondering whether anything or everything is broken or fixed while her 20 year old grandson waits impatiently by her muttering baaa chalo jaldi karo. This is exactly how it must have felt not trusting your body not trusting your back your feet your neck your soles everything screaming silently while you pretend it’s nothing it’s just the fucking flu a virus a fucking zombie half dead creature which does not even find space on the biological tree in itself or is it again me?