Soaked tissues by the bed, eyes teary wet, nose red as Rudolph’s, tablets on the table; It’s flu season again and sadly I’m in hostel, far away from the warm comforts of home. But among all this pain and misery, I am happy not regretting one bit of a break from the busy humdrum of college life. The reader is allowed to frown and question my overly optimistic attitude but to understand my state, we need to probe deeper into the philosophy of sickness.
Falling sick is the name of the break point that we often stop on the way when we run the marathon of life. If we want to continue running, a shot of glucose is necessary or else we collapse at fatigue’s feet. The brain is smart enough to know when you need a break from work and makes your body weak enough to fall into this trap of sickness. But it’s not only just a good excuse to escape college or work.
It is life’s way of scolding you for not appreciating her enough. When you’re sick, you start to become more aware of your surroundings and see things you haven’t noticed or thought much before. Try crawling out of your room with all that body pain first thing in the morning; it is the most liberating moment you can ever experience. When I’m finally outside of my hostel block, a small smile starts to form seeing our dogs in residence fight with each other without a care for the world.
I try to breathe in the air(Pink Floyd reference intended) with a deep breath which to my irritation is followed by cough and phlegm in my mouth. Looking around, a realisation dawns upon me on the atrocity of being alive in a world filled with beauty going unnoticed; how the trees seem to sway gracefully along with the wind, the leaves clothed in sunbeam, squirrels darting around and people going on with their work in surreal rhythm. Why do such simple things, mainly habits that we perform unconsciously suddenly amaze me from the brushing of my teeth to the act of eating stale dal and rice in mess without question? Is it because we have started to live in the present?
A routine starts to form with mornings spent forever in a recumbent position on bed; bounded with a strong leash of homesickness. In the middle of lunch, I start reminiscing of the hot porridge and soothing rasam my mama would make, the warmth and love it gave me . The nostalgia grows even stronger closer to evening, dreaming of the wonderful times spent with old friends and family. Bathing activities would come to a standstill as I would be too lazy to take a shower and let that cold frigid water set my body to useful motion . I cosily lay on bed and stare at the ceiling, waiting for my eyelids to eventually close.
You know you’re finally on your road to recovery when you start to dream of the wonderful stuff you can do once you become better and start to compile a mental list of tasks to be done once you recover fully. Somewhat like how you dream and procrastinate about what you will do in the holidays once the exams are over.
So I return back to the question, why do I feel happy? I think with sickness, the feeling of being alive makes me realise that our time on earth is limited and that we should make the most of our time instead of worrying on issues beyond our control.
The cycle begins again, class tests, labs, assignment deadlines, and I have to work more harder now to catch up with missed classes; so much for life. But how I do wish there was some magical glucose drink to take away my sickness in a shot.