Thursday, July 09, 2009

City Virus – The Delhi Walla Gets Chicken Pox

The Delhi walla's pretension in writing makes me want to lodge a bullet in his balls - Blogger Nimpipi, the woodchuck chucks
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The Delhi Walla Gets Chicken Pox

Taking things in stride.

[Text by Mayank Austen Soofi; the picture by Marina Bang was taken the evening before the doctor's diagnosis.]

On 9.07am, July 7th, 2009, Dr. Gandhi in his sparse-looking clinic, tucked next to a Costa Coffee outlet, in Bengali Market, diagnosed me with chicken pox. Since it’s a highly contagious, air-borne disease, I’ve been grounded for at least ten days in my library in Nizamuddin Basti. At the time of writing this piece, my scalp, forehead, cheeks, nose, neck, chest, stomach, arms, back, palms, fingers, groin, balls, thighs, legs, feet are dotted with blisters.

These boils start as a pretty red swelling. They then gradually become bigger, itchier and their surface turns a bit glassy. When I was at Dr Gandhi’s, there were only a few red scars below my neck. 21 hours later, following a long sleepless night, I looked at myself on the bathroom mirror and instead saw Baba Yaga, that horribly disfigured pockmarked witch of Russian fairy tales.

I was obviously infected by somebody.

Who could that person be? In the last seven days leading to Dr. Gandhi’s diagnosis, I had walked around in Nizamuddin Basti, bought books at Bahrisons in Khan Market, ordered for a salad platter at Subway in Connaught Place, had a stroll outside the Old Delhi railway station, visited a sufi shrine near Sadar Bazar, talked to pimps in GB Road, ate grilled fish in India International Center, gifted a book to a friend in her Jor Bagh bungalow… just where I caught the virus?

Now as I’m confined to this little room, the world has divided itself into two kinds of people – those who have chicken pox and those who haven’t.

And I’m feeling alone.

The window of my room here in Nizamuddin Basti is shut closed, as is the door. But the pox-free world is making its presence felt. I can hear a chatty buzz-buzz in the butchery downstairs. Someone has just started laughing. I can also tell that a few boys are flying kites on the facing rooftop. The Bangladeshi women beggars have begun squabbling once again. Now someone is running down the street. And this is the sound of birds, gliding from one terrace to another. Soon it will be the time for evening prayers. After that, the qawwals will settle down in the courtyard of Hazrat Nizamuddin’s dargah and get on with their qawwalis. But I won’t be there. I cannot do things that I love most: walking in Delhi bylanes, listening to its people, taking their pictures.

I’m poxed.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh dear! my my. you should get some rest. eat mixed vege soup to boost the i-system.

dreamer said...

jaldi theek ho jao bhai..get well soon..

we are selfish and wish you a quick recovery so that we can continue reading ur escapades in apni pyari Dilli/..

*grins*

dilli ki aab-o-hava bhi tumhe dhoondhegi,o mayank,
kab tak door rakhega ye pox tumhe tumhari jaan se!!

Rima Kaur said...

koi baat nhi yaar. many years ago, when i was in class 7/8, my brother got chickenpox. sadly i got that anti-pox shot after being infected by him. so there i was, looking forward to a beautiful vacation with my nani when the blisters popped. it all started with tiny red bumps between my fingers and progressed to nothing more than twenty or so dots in total. you can call it mild chickenpox. i still had a good time though, because everyone in my family had got the pox in their childhood, so i was allowed to roam about freely within the huge house. dont know why, but i craved for a packet of masala lays chips/day! good thing i didnt develop any fever. take care of yourself!

Anonymous said...

......... Mr. Soofi, you are also at risk for developing tuberculosis, because you are underweight. Eat well.

Anonymous said...

.........you are feeling 'lonely' (not alone)

:-)

Bharat said...

sympathies. suffer the same while final thesis and had to present it by standing miles away from the jury. try drinking coconut water to sooth the boils inside the throat (yes they get there too) and lacto calamine on your skin...

theantisensestrand said...

oyi..thats sad! Hope you get well soon..till then, take it easy!

Anonymous said...

No wonder I didn't hear from you in a long time.Poor soul I'm sure you're not happy being boxed in a room while you're poxed..I hate being confined within four walls..Well I guess if you need a visitor to come and talk to you,let me know..I've had pox before and I'm pretty sure I won't get it anymore..BTW I have grown up believing that pox are good.

Tips ;)
1.Do not bathe
2.Use neem ka patta to help those itches (do not scratch yourself)
3.try not to take any medicines
4.at the end of your last day take a soapless bath.

I'll ask my mum for more motherly advice

talk soon
Mr.B

Rajiv said...

get well soon,yaar
really missing u.
tabhi aap ke new blog ya pic nahi thi
dhyaan rakhnaaaaa
GOD bless U

Rajiv said...

oye U hav so big nd innocent eyes ,kisi grl ko maar de to pichu hi chali aaye gi :P:P:D

Anonymous said...

CHICKEN POX!! That's a bummer. I don't know any adults who have had chicken pox.
I hope you get better soon. Take it easy
~MJ

Anonymous said...

I had it as a kid.
Word of advice regarding the itch: Don't!

Peter
(in NY)

Anonymous said...

Hope u get well soon, and join the other side ... its getting boring here :-)


take care,
Adil

Thomas Kappler said...

Get well soon!

Raluca Sidon said...

Oho, I had this in 2005. A disaster, tousands of dots everywhere, even on the ears. Take your time to be sick, it means your body needed a rest. And you need to be pampered...Love, Raluca

Anonymous said...

Oks... Thts y i ws thinkng 'where is MAS'

Vry sad. Take cre plz!!

- NY"

Syed Asad Hasan said...

Ye kya hua, kaise hua, kab hua, kyun hua...o chhodo ye na socho.
get well soon.

urbanGYPSY... said...

uh oh mayank... smthn's up at dampening ur pleasure in the rains!!! :(((

do tk gud care dear...

so dts probably y i saw nthn in HT city since 2 days!!!

get well soon... n get to d roads to click unsuspecting souls again! ;)

Punk Princess said...

Ah-mazing BLOG! :)

SS said...

Little Billie ! You are never alone! Just relax and take acre of your body -- it needs pampering. I agree with boosting the immune system - drink lots of fluid and do not scratch!!!

You are lovely!

SS

Anonymous said...

The best thing. You will only get it once. Enjoy your stay at home, we ( non-chikenpoxites ) are no better in this Sultry weather.

LumousP said...

Oh ho, yeh kya hogaya.
get well soon, Austen. ;)

Anonymous said...

u hv startd to look like arundhati roy! :O