Friday, November 23, 2007

The Perfidy of Parents

I've been walking around the the house for the last few days using and discarding more hankies than I've ever seen (this was difficult, because I basically had to decide between destroying a small wood for the sake of one cold, or deal with having to wash up all those icky hankies every day. I finally decided martyrdom suited my mood better). I blow my nose every now and then with great energy and marvel at the amount of stuff my sinuses are able to produce. I wear sweaters, make myself mugs of green tea and breathe stertorously when I'm not gasping for breath. Everywhere I go I carry with me the smell of eucalyptus oil and the sick room. I feel like a person who, in a high fever, is dreaming of the time they will recover and feel the way they're told persons with fever will feel: clear and light like a nourishing soup.

Which is why one day later, I'm overcome with indignation every time I think of my mother. I was in the kitchen making myself some jasmine tea when my son said something funny. I can't remember what it was (it wasn't that funny) but just to humour him and because I don't insist that everybody should only be thinking of me when I'm ill, I cracked a faint, brave smile.

My mother was overjoyed. "Today is the first day you're looking well," she exclaimed.

How did she made the leap from one travesty of a smile to wellness and disgusting good health? How? I'm deeply offended. I think I'm going to bring out the tiger balm today.

16 comments:

Falstaff said...

"Unke dekhe se jo aa jaati hai muh par raunak
Vo samajhte hain ke beemar ka haal accha hai"

- Mirza Ghalib

complete ghazal here

Space Bar said...

Falstaff: :D yes indeed. but if the other is a mother it is unforgivable, don't you think?

Is there anything Ghalib hasn't already said, and said better?

SUR NOTES said...

oye, take care and get well...

??! said...

Tiger balm! hahahahahah.

Forget the green tea, try this -

1 clove, 1 cardamom, 1 small cinnamon stick, 1/2 inch cube of ginger, 1/4 tsp rosemary, pinch of haldi, 3-4 black tulsi leaves, 2 leaves mint. Double amount of water for every mug you intend drinking. Boil, then simmer for 10 full minutes, inhaling steam if you can. Drink with spoonful of honey.

If you don't sweat the damn cold out with this, I'll....erm...write whatever Urf you suggest.

Batul said...

I love the smell of eucalyptus oil, and can't remember the number of times I've pretended to have aches and pains, to get some rubbed on me. Get well soon.

Space Bar said...

sur: i've been trying for the last two months. i swear i have.

??!: you're kidding about the steaming, right? i'll drink as much kashayam as anyone prescribes - i already do that thingy you said - but steam i cannot do. can i still tell you your urf?

batul: thanks. yes, i love the smell too. but it's danger of acquiring horrible associations.

??! said...

Had to look that word up - and it's not really the same thing. This one is way more potent, and anything more than two mugs a day is not advisable.

Steaming not as in steam-bath. Just mildly inhaling the vapours as the concoction brews. It's quite a nice smell, too.

And yes. Give the Urf - all of my two ideas half-germinated and then drooped and died.

??! said...

I prefer 'tisane'. Although I don't hold with the "steep for 30 minutes till it turns into a gloop" business.

Space Bar said...

??!: no! no! not tisane! i feel i have to grow and become proud of a moustache. and drink syrup of cassis. ah that no, par example!

??! said...

eh? what's wrong with tisane now?

ok baba -
concoction
brew
gloop

will they do?

??! said...

And what's the Urf?

dipali said...

Loved the post and the comments. Ghalib's 'sher' came to mind immediately, but Falstaff beat me to it.
Ah, the sirop de cassis and the cherished moustaches!
Those were the days.
Get well soon, enjoy the tisanes, the steam, the kaadha infusion etc. and your mom's optimism:)Et tu mother!

km said...

Is there anything Falstaff can't find the right verse for?

//Ghalib never said "be-bop-a-lula". Unless Falstaff proves me wrong.

Tabula Rasa said...

km:
how about be-bop la-ullah?

(sb: get well soon. or not, if that's what it takes to get your muse going :-D)

Space Bar said...

??!: please tell me you've read at least one agatha christie? you make me feel so old.

and the urf. hmm. great responsbility, that. will think deeply about it.

dipali: thanks. i know, et moi mother, but i hope i'll never be bracing and cheerful with my son. how horrible that would be of me!

km: i doubt it. (Falstaff come defend yourself).

and ghalib almost certainly didn't say be-bop-a-lula. he was poet.

tr: :D clever of you. no, no, it's time to recover, truly it is.

??! said...

sb:
ah, one sees. sorry, friday and all that - thoda connection mein fault tha, medum.