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Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Black-Out and Other Short Stories

A few days ago, I had gone to New Delhi by local train. The train took about 45 minutes to reach the Shivaji Bridge (formerly known as Minto Bridge) station. From there, I walked to the middle circle of Connaught Place, where I had to deliver some papers at an office, on my father's behalf. After that, I walked on to Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, where I spent a few minutes, before walking back to the station. Usually, it takes me about 25 minutes, either way, to perambulate to Bangla Sahib and back and the Connaught Place errand was only a slight detour.

On the return journey, there were no vacant seats in sight, so I stood with my back against a wooden partition, surrounded by other travellers. Though the fans installed in the compartment were of little help against the heat and humidity, the wind coming through the wide open doors offered relief, at least when the train was in motion. At one of the many stops on the way, I began to feel somewhat dizzy and held on to an overhead rail to steady myself. Then, it happened. It was as if my brain had switched off for a few moments, almost like a computer that gets restarted on its own. When the lights came back on, my knees were bent forward slightly, because I had slid down a bit along the wooden partition. My turban was slightly disturbed, on account of having rubbed against the partition. I tried to stand up straight and to reach once again for the overhead rail, but could do neither. Some one suggested that I should squat on the floor, which I did. Some one else offered me a drink of water. By the time the train reached the station where I had to get off, I had regained my strength and walked back home from there.

Those who have seen me might imagine that I have a black-out every other day, if not every day, on account of my ultra-slim physique. However, it came as a huge surprise to me, since anything of the kind had never happened to me before. Intense physical exercise in the past had caused weight-loss, but not a black-out. For instance, when I covered more than 100 kilometres of hilly terrain on foot, during a trek organised by the Youth Hostels Association of India in the Melghat Tiger Reserve in the state of Maharashtra, over a period of 5 days, I lost a few kilograms and probably looked even more skeletal at the end of it, but never did my brain shut down even for a single second.

The family-doctor has attributed the episode to low blood-pressure and a consequent shut-down of oxygen supply to the brain for a few seconds. According to him, my liver and intestines are not functioning at full-capacity. So, all the nutrients from the food that I eat do not reach my blood-stream. He has prescribed iron and calcium supplements along with some tablets and capsules to help the malfunctioning organs regain a healthy state and has also told me to try and protect myself, as far as possible, against infections, since any anti-biotics prescribed to cure those could harm my liver even further.

If my body were an automobile, I could have just gone and got the carburettor and air-filter cleaned, I suppose, or perhaps even the engine flushed clean of any carbon deposits, in addition to a change of engine oil, so as to restore the fuel efficiency.

1 comment:

Sidhusaaheb said...

Sidhu, please take very good care of your health. And put on some weight, it won’t hurt you. This is scary, getting black-outs in a train. And it seems we bloggers are taking turns to fall ill? How are you now?
Mridula | Homepage | 09.20.08 – 7:07 pm | #


My health is not perfect at the moment and I have no idea as to what the future holds for me.
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 09.20.08 – 7:34 pm | #


I too have had a blackout once or twice.. when I had fever etc. Take good care of your health.. as you said we are not automobiles
Sriram | Homepage | 09.21.08 – 5:15 am | #


It is alarming indeed.
Take good care of your health.
Manpreet | Homepage | 09.21.08 – 6:40 pm | #


mai keya paaji… this ain’t good… roti shoti khao, te naal dudh shudh peeyo..

do take good care of urself otherwise u’ll find me shoving down 5 liters of majj da dudh each day down ur throat !!
nomad | Homepage | 09.22.08 – 7:37 pm | #


Sidhusaaheb ji, please take care of yourself. We need you. I have fainted a couple times, but only when pregnant. That’s not your problem.

None of us knows the future, but each of us is responsible for the care of our body. Being disabled, which could easily have happened to you, is no joke, believe me, I know!

I pray that it is the hukam of Vaheguru that you enjoy great health.
Mai Harinder Kaur | Homepage | 09.23.08 – 12:18 am | #


Sidhu Saheb, just spotted your blog on Manpreet’s. Nice one. I liked the post “Proud Punjabi”.

Regarding the fit described by you, I think taking long breaths in such situations helps a lot. Take care.


Balvinder Singh | Homepage | 09.25.08 – 1:19 pm | #


i enjoyed reading your blog. It is like a short story. I guess you are a professional writer. If you are not then you should be.

DebrA | Homepage | 09.27.08 – 7:21 pm | #