# The Play
I went to a musical German play a few days back in the public auditorium (which is quite huge with an enormous seating capacity (~1000) and triple balconies :O) of the city in hoping to see have some fun and also see some serious acting. I had a bleak idea that the play was about teenage issues n stuff but as the play moved on, I realized it was just way too much focused on 'those' issues.
It had everything, lol. From child abuse to young love. From masturbation to abortion. They even had a full one minute song dedicated to masturbation where they actually and visually taught 'how' to do the act. Half of the audience (~females) was giggling. I felt strange. Any guy would have felt weird. But the weirdness had just begun, it was getting pretty intense with every passing moment.
I could get most of the dialogue, but I didn't understand a single word of the songs they sang cuz of too much difference in accent. I decided I shouldn't spend money on musicals and maybe find something serious n dramatic to watch. Because this one was funny but weird.
So, near the end, there is this young couple who come to the center of the stage and show that losing virginity at 16 is not a bad thing. And then they take off their clothes (ewww, though only above waist but still ewww) and have the 'stuff' in the center of the stage where lights are NOT dimmed. They finish in about a minute and near the climax of their 'stuff', lights go out and it ends.
A lot of parents brought their teenage daughters and sons to the show, so that the gap between them could narrow and they better understand the adolescence issues. But I think the parents prolly ended up showing their kids exactly what they had avoided from them all these years. Well, that's the smartness of that sensual play, after your 13 yr old kid goes through it, the kid knows everything.
# The Date
There is another funny event going on in campus which is called 'Speed Dating' where a lot of single people turn up and sign up. They are allotted numbers after that and tags n stuff I guess. Then they meet upto 50 people, each for 3 mins and have a lil date kinda thing. After every meeting, they keep noting the number of the other person if they like him/her. At the end, everyone submits the numbers they would prefer to meet again and submit it to the organizers. The organizers then analyse the data, and 'hook-up' the people whose numbers match i.e. the people who 'liked' each other (yeah the facebook like and not this like)
# The Bath
|See? Even your mom likes such baths.|
I could feel that man's warm breath gently brushing past my right cheek. His exhalation and inhalation were absolutely uniform, his chest rising and falling in a rhythm. The longer his face stayed so close to mine, the higher my uneasiness grew. Not to say about the red light he was shining in my right eye since the past 40 seconds.
Finally he wheeled back on his swivel chair and said, "Hmm, okay the next test now."
I let out a sigh of relief on having my optician off my face and remembered the day it had all begun. It started recently when the letters and numbers on the blackboards of my classes began to blur. I knew I had to get an eye exam but I was delaying until now. After finding the cheapest deal in the city, on which my health insurance gave some discount, I finally had found time to take the eye exam.
All the time I had cursed the healthcare, eye-care and such stuff since it was so costly in US but now when I actually went through the examination of my ENTIRE eye, I was convinced that it was worth the cost. The doctor spend around 45 minutes on me and did a whole lot series of tests which I had never heard of. That's another thing, that this one eye exam has changed a lot in my life.
After a lot of boring and long sessions of guessing my vision defect by showing a hell lot of skewed images, the doctor gave my first shock. He told me that I was suffering from something called "Astigmatism" and till now I have been wearing incorrect glasses. This first shock of being diagnosed with a new disease was subdued when he said that its pretty normal and can be easily corrected by a kind of lenses.
"But when your new glasses with the new subscription come out, you gonna hate me, at least for two days because your vision will be all groggy," the doctor said with a dramatic tone.
I was already beginning to feel that there was something queer about this particular eye doctor and I was sure of it after a few minutes. Because this first shock was nothing compared to the second shock that came and shook me and my life.
After a series of another tests which included dropping stingy and weird liquids in my eyes, he pulled out a large sheet with four technical sketches of a human eye.
"These are the four stages of a human eye. This first one is the normal eye, everybody has it like this. When suffering from a particular disease, the structure begins to change and a person shifts to stage two and then the eye looks like this. The fourth stage, can you see, how distorted that is? That's the final stage of X," he lectured and allowed me some time to grasp and make sense of what he was saying. I also asked some doubts and I made sure I could now answer any question based on those sketches.
Once I had nodded to indicate that I had understood so far and he could now proceed to teach me more, he blurted out the bloody fact,
"And guess what? You're on stage four," he said and watched my face with the most serious look.
"Wh-what? Why? I am suffering from X? But what is this X?" words that left my mouth were staggered and ill-structured.
"X is a disease which slowly leads to complete blindness," he said in a calm tone, just like stating a fact or writing a death sentence.
"B-but it can be cured right?"
"No, X has no cure. But yes, it can be managed," he said with an expressionless face, not allowing me to make any inference from his statements.
I stayed silent for a few seconds and then he filled the silence between us with a smile and some assuring words, "But, but, but, BUT, I said your condition is at stage four it doesn't mean you are diagnosed with X. The good news is your bla bla is quite huge. I mean, its gigantic as compared to normal people. Its very strong. So that bla bla could be the reason why I am getting a number higher than normal. But again it could be X too."
I didn't know whether to feel good or bad. I just stayed silent, my eyes and ears urging to hear more. My heart skipped a few beats and I was breathing fast now. The small room's walls at the clinic were suddenly beginning to crash upon me.
He continued after a pause, "SO, X is very rare at your age of 21. It usually occurs at old age or people having such such diseases. But then it could occur at your age as well, we can't say. Since I don't know your old records and you haven't been ever tested for this before, I can't say whether you have moved from stage 1 to stage 4 over the time - which means you are suffering from X OR you're born with stage 4 and your bla bla large size is giving me higher range numbers."
"S-so what does it mean?"
"It means I will put you under surveillance condition. You will have to get regular eye exams in order to verify whether your number is increasing or not, whether you are indeed moving up the stages or not. If you're not, well then its just because your bla bla is huge and its because of that, so no worries there."
"How often do I need to take a test?"
"Atleast once a year would be adequate. Okay so you're good to go. Anymore questions?" he said and pulled back his chair.
I wanted to ask a whole bunch of questions and have a long discussion with him in which he could assure me that I was all right but then nothing much came to my mind so I stayed blank face.
"Did I confuse you to death with all that jargon and technical terms?" he asked with a mild pity on his lips.
"No, I got it. But you scared me a bit," I said, like making a plea before a judge.
"Well," he hunched up his shoulders in a manner of justifying himself, "I just believe that you should know the truth about your health. You should be in control of your own life."
I exited the clinic, my mind swinging. On my way back, while sitting in the bus, I was looking the greenery and all those pretty sites which I daily see and then thought, "One day, I won't be able to see them?" Fear and worry struck me like it had before but this time the intensity was higher.
Then after a few hours, I remembered all other people in the world and their conditions and their rare problems. And compared to them, I thought, I am nothing. I am not even diagnosed with X yet. I might have it and I will know about that for sure after one year. And even I have it, I can manage it with proper medication. All those people did fight it, right? So I am. I am going to fight it.
Either you can get scared of a situation and hide your face in your pillow and tell n oone about it. OR, you can come out, yell and say, "I am going to fight it."
People like Helen Keller, Lance Armstrong, Stephen Hawking did fight, didn't they? But one thing I have realized today is, its easier to fight off a financial burden and seek success, because you know your financial problems will be taken care of after success and thus you have the right motivation. I am no more in any kind of financial burden, but there were times in my childhood when I lived under a temporary roof that leaked, that's completely another story. But I am saying that its much difficult to fight a medical problem and still do something in your life. Because for a few hours, I had lost complete motivation to do anything in my life. I just wanted to lie down and rest. I wanted to stop running.
But no, I am not going to sit back. I am going to fight it. There will be a post after an year about my results. Either I am clean or am not. Even if that means waiting for one year for one test I can do nothing about and which will decide my fate, I will fight. I am in control of my life.
I checked the bus timings and my wrist watch one last time before I grabbed my bag and jacket and made a run for the main door. The exit door of the building was a few meters ahead and I had to reach the bus stop within 60 seconds. Because 60 seconds is the time the bus takes to reach the stop closest to my building from the bigger stop where it is scheduled to arrive at 10:11 PM.
I glanced my watch again as I pushed the heavy steel exit door with my tired hands. The minute hand was slightly past 11 minutes and the second hand was moving effortlessly towards the completion of another goddamn minute. The moment I stepped out of the artificially heated structure and stepped on the bare concrete pavement, a cold wind brushed past my ears, reminding me that I had forgotten to employ my jacket's hood. Straggling with my loose bag and flowing jacket, I managed to wear my hood and cover more distance towards the stop.
I saw the bus coming from the other side. It rode the pavement with a considerable effort and engaged itself against me in a 200 meter parallel sprint towards the final destination - the bus stop. I could hear my own cold escalated breath and the crunching sound of fallen leaves beneath my stamping feet. I realized the beginning of fall.
Not much later, about 30 seconds after, I made it to the stop and climbed the bus. The driver nodded and smiled at me in a manner athletes often do after finishing a race. But it wasn't him that caught me off gaurd. It was something else.
It was this strong stench flooded in the bus that caught me and my nostril hair off gaurd. The stench of alcohol. And noises and shrieks too.
Friday, Alcohol, What else? I thought and moved on.
I moved past many shoulders to find a seat at the back side of the bus, where nobody was daring to go and sit and why so, I don't know why. But I came to know the answer of 'why', soon after. The back side was more or less taken by the people who had troubled the olfactory receptors of the sober commuters. Making my way past drunk, shabby haired, half dressed undergrad girls and boys, I found a seat in the corner but before I could find some rest from the sprint I had a minute ago, I found myself talking to a guy who was having a normal Friday.
Guy: Whoa dude, so you been studying?
Me: Uhm, yeah? (I looked at my bag I had now kept in my lap and nodded)
Guy: Wow. You're studying till 10pm on a Friday and am getting drunk.
Me: Well, no-not really..
Guy:I will be prolly working for you someday.
And then he broke the conversation in the same sudden manner he had started it. I took some time to figure the last line he spoke to me and pretended busy in my own thoughts. Then their was a she-friend of this guy, who was talking pictures of herself and her gang and yelling to everyone, "I am 21 and I can drink, how about you?".
I looked at my bag once again and of all those things that I did on this Friday and all those boring things that I will be doing on this Friday night. Then I thought I am 21 too.
But am I living my age? Are we all living our age? Are we living? At all?
-I like PhD people. They are really doing some awesome work out there. And when you do a PhD, you stop being stuck to your own field. You use all the possible sciences and fields of engineering out there to make your project work. In PhD, you innovate.
As of now, I strongly feel like never leaving the academia. Finding new things every day at the cost of a difficult life is one thing and listening to a grumbling boss in a high paying job is other. I will prolly choose the former.
- After more and more visits to HyVee and Walmart, I am exploring a lot of new stuff and beginning to realize that maybe-maybe the food isn't that bad out here. Maybe I have just been eating the wrong stuff. There is so much variety for every single thing, from biscuits to cereals that you can go crazy while deciding what to buy. Let's see how it goes, as of now, frozen food FTW.
I was walking down the supermarket and my eyes stopped at the Asian section. I strolled down and suddenly a packet glared back to me a set of words I never expected to find here. They read "Chicken Tikka - Mumbai Masala". I was like, what the...I stopped as my jaw dropped and I found an entire rack reserved for Indian curries and dishes. They were like "Heat n Eat" in 2 mins.
A whole new world erupted before my desperate tongue.
- Now I understand the meaning and importance of a bright, sunny day. A couple of days back when an American guy, pointing towards the sky, said to me, "Look, how good it is today. The sun is up and its so warm!".
I was like, "Huh? You mean you like days with sun in it? That's dumb. That's full of sweat." But what I actually said was, "Uhm okay, but I like days when it rains and when the sun doesn't come up so that it's all windy-windy". The guy gave me a strange look and went away.
As the winter grows near, I realize why appearance of sun is so important here. That overly used sentence in literature and stories, "It was a bright, sunny day" became suddenly so clear to me. Yeah, that's how it works for me. I learn best by experiencing stuff.
-One of my friends went for Skydiving. I was asked too. But I didn't go. I tried to make all sort of excuses that its too costly and that it will take away my whole day and also its too risky and all that kind of lame excuses. FYI skydiving in short is paying 200$ for 30 seconds of thrill in which thrill is defined by flying down to earth from a height of 10k feet. But when I asked myself, why I didn't or won't go for this thing, I got the answer.
The answer that I am too afraid. Yes, I am afraid. And that fear is part of because of love. When love enters your life, you become conscious and responsible of your own life. You start being careful.
Btw, any of you reading this, should go for this skydiving thing atleast once. And after that you'll get addicted. Statistically speaking probability of an injury is quite less, you can google that.
11:06 AM | | 1 Comments
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