Cervical stiffness symptomized by Vertigo can be the most incapacitating state of affairs. When the Ortho prescribed physiotherapy for ten days my face fell. I knew it was part of the treatment, and therefore unavoidable, but going straight to the Physio Centre right after a gruelling schedule in Office was additionally tiring! Of course the Centre is quite close by – just walking distance from home – but it is generally teeming with patients like me, the beds are limited, the machines are moody and the technicians at times a little impatient and gruff. Sometimes you have to wait just to begin with or in-between sessions which really pisses you off (sorry, bad language but it’s so apt! Sophistication is so inadequate at times…). So where was I? Yes, the Ultra Sonic Exposure, the Short Wave Diathermy (they gave me Hot Packs instead) and the IFT, worst of the package (Yeah! They call it package treatment, can you beat it?) ‘coz the machine seemed more exhausted than I was. And above all, it was the hunger pangs which made things worse.
I know, I know you would say why didn’t you munch a sandwich instead while walking up to the Centre or have a glass of juice before leaving home or carry a tetra pack with you to make peace with those overactive gastronomical juices. But, friends, you see the time-factor played such a major role. If I wasted even a nano second I’d be horribly late as my unwritten appointment with the cadaverous doc (he never smiled) up at the Centre was dangerously close to his downing the shutters. You know what I mean.
So, I thought of an alternative (Oh! I am so ‘intalligent’ and at my ‘shmartast’ in exigencies). I thought of diverting my attention from my stomach and concentrate more on my cerebrum – ecclesiastic musings to be precise (?). You are right, hugely inspired by all the spiritual articles that I am reading nowadays, I thought of changing my line of action if I could not change the situation. Where was I? Yes, I made up my mind to catch up on my unfinished reading while the Hot Pack under my neck burnt my back, literally so. If I complained the Bhaiyas at the Centre would just give the towel wrapped around the Hot Water Bag an extra fold and perfunctorily tell me to “late jao” which meant just lie down and shut up. Of course the ‘shut up’ part was within brackets, not mouthed, but so obvious.
So, here was I reading and what a compelling read it was…At first I tried my level best not to giggle but in spite of myself landed up guffawing while my co-sufferers gave me strange looks – and who would not? The lines went like this:
“Just as the Singapore Changi airport was approaching we were taken to the Executive class with our “cattle” class hand luggage and made to sit on the luxurious seats. At that very moment, my bladder, filled to a bursting point with gallons of Pine apple juice demanded a visit to the wash room. I was too picky to have used economy one. As I went and locked myself in the Executive one, the sheer cleanliness of the whole washroom triggered a long, highly relieved stream of converted juices. Even as I was half way through, I heard a frantic banging on the door, “Ma’am come out. It is time for you to be in your seat with the belt on.” But then the God given stream reinforced by the kind hospitality of Singapore Airlines wouldn’t just stop. It was going on and on and on and so did the frantic banging on the door.”
And that’s Vimala Ramu’s Color for you guys! Chronicling the mundane merriments, simple excitements and unthinkable experiments of life (that generally go unrecorded) with such panache that by the time I finished reading it every muscle of my body was relaxed and jingling with happiness.
The medicinal value of Colors proven beyond doubt, I made it a routine to carry the book with me while traveling or to any other crowded public place where the slightest of disruptions would otherwise be a cause of extreme irritation. But not with Colors. When I was pushed into the Metro unceremoniously by the misbehaving co-commuters I’d recall Vimala’s pithy observation:
“Well, this is ‘Indians’ for you, warts and all. They may be without external manifestation of manners but equipped with a heart of Gold, ready to share their home and hearth with anyone who drops in, ready to pitch in when a neighbour is in trouble. It is only those who come for short visits that find us rude, crude and undemonstrative. But those who have stayed longer have always found us a warm, vibrant lot.”
And that would bring a forgiving smile on my lips.
Am I giving too much away? Let me then sum up (too late, isn’t it?): If you want a book that displays abandon wit mixed with undying optimism and catchy liveliness, Colors, is the one for you.
Contrary to the blog-caption, Colors, a collection of Vimala’s choicest blogs, is no culprit. Chapter by chapter, her mischievous laugh on the quiet (now, no more) at the myriad quaintness of life, its unexpected twists and turns which according to her rather embellishes than troubles our vision, the septuagenarian transmits to us the greatest teaching of all times how to laugh at one’s own self the loudest and the longest.
And last but not the least, I attribute my wellness to Colors, a real stress-buster in every sense of the term, and none of it to those whimsical vibrators, scalding packs, bickering technicians and the disgruntled lady with the ultrasonic probe who volubly cribbed every minute of her work.