The other day, there I was at the bus stop below our building, waiting for the City bus going towards the Corniche in Abu Dhabi, when a pretty young thing came up and, in between a sneeze or two said, “Bring the ball“. I blinked at her. Bring – what? Why? and From where? 🙂
As I continued blinking, she repeated her words and I suddenly saw the light! ‘Marina Mall’…..Yes Of course. The PYT was just asking how she could get to “Marina Mall”!!! She seemed to be suffering from a severe cold, bless her, and well, we all know don’t we, that a blocked nose can play havoc with one’s pronunciation!!! 🙂
Yes folks!! It’s that time of the year again in the Gulf. Perfect weather conditions for the dreaded flu and cold virus – every third person seems to be going around with its trademark symptoms – runny nose, achy throat, watery eyes, half-a-dozen sneezes and the works!!
If you happen to be The Chosen One with one or more of the above symptoms, and you decide to take yourself to the nearest clinic, by the time you manage to sneeze and sniffle your way there, you’ll probably be wallowing in self-pity and asking yourself, “Why me????” The good Doctor takes one look at you and from behind his protective mask, he diagnoses it as The Common Cold!
Oh yeah! “Common” he says!! Folks suffering from a cold won’t agree there. They’ll swear that their suffering is unique, and rightly so! So let’s give the thing it’s due and show it a tad more respect, shall we! Now when the doctor hems and haws and gravely pronounces it as “Acute Coryza” or “Rhinopharyngitis” ….. ah that’s more like it! It elevates the ‘Common” Cold to its rightful place and kind of justifies all the suffering the patient goes through.
Take the sneeze for example – If you actually think about it, you’ll realise that it is an act of epic proportions and one sneeze can leave you drained out for a good moment or two! People have been known to sprain their ribs or slip a disc after a sneeze. Ouch! Some sneezes erupt like the volcano – foam and froth spewing out in all directions. Studies suggest that a well-sneezed sneeze can travel upto 100 MPH. Woah… That’s what I call Fast and Furious!! Some others take time to build up. After some fascinating facial contortions, it finally comes out in a long satisfying whoooosh, reminiscent of the Indian Pressure Cooker. Some folks try to stiffle a sneeze at birth, so it comes out like – Nah, nothing exciting here. A distant uncle’s sneeze is earth-shattering – 8.6 on the Richter scale! His neighbours are always complaining of rattling window-panes!!
And then there are the snifflers. Poor souls. They go around with red shiny noses sniffing away to Glory Be.The less said about them, the better. All we can do is offer them our sympathy and the tissue-box.
Then one morning you wake up to find it’s gone ….. the cold? Nope – your voice – that’s what’s gone! All that you can manage is a hoarse painful whisper and your near and dear ones are secretly rejoicing. Finally some peace and quiet they think as you resort to miming and wild gestures as your means of communication. Kind of takes one back to the Silent Era of Charlie Chaplin! 🙂
So, you have eyes which water, a nose that runs, a head which throbs, a body that aches …. and there you are – a text book case of – what was that again – The Common Cold! However, don’t let the virus get you down. Inspite of the fact that when you laugh the world laughs with you but when you sneeze the world takes cover, don’t worry. Remember that you are not the only one ‘who came in from the cold’ The virus does not discriminate. Mightier souls than you or I have been brought down to their knees sniffling!! The cold phase passeth, better times cometh and you’ll be up and about before long, with your customary rosy cheeks.
In the meanwhile, wash your hands often – discourages the virus, I’m told; drink plenty of fluids – helps drain the little buggers out; stay warm, stay healthy….. until the next change in weather, that is!!
Achooo….. Bless Me!!