Call me perverse, if you will, but I stick to the opinion that there is comfort in falling sick. By that I don't mean any serious illness or anything that involves pain, but merely temporary impairment of faculties. Something like a cold.
I have one right now. I shivered the whole afternoon, sneezed and wheezed. Threw off the blanket, braved the rainy evening for a bit and even made dinner plans with a friend. 15 sneezes and 3 hankies later, chickened out, cancelled dinner plans and crawled under the blanket snivelling. Then I got up just around dinner time and started making rasam. Simple kottu rasam.
I warmed the water in a thin metal saucepan with a loosely screwed on Bakelite handle and soaked the tamarind. 10 minutes later when I dipped my hand in the lukewarm water to squeeze the tamarind pulp, I closed my eyes to revel in that comfortable feeling. At that moment, I swear, I felt the trembling hands of generations of old women caress my fevered brow. I knew then that this rasam was a cure. It was a potion that would cure me of all ills. When I tipped in a spoonful of turmeric into the dark tamarind waters, with a multitude of other good things like pepper,cumin,mustard and butter, I felt like I was looking into a witch's brew. Dark with swirling herbs with flashes of gold in between where the melted butter had captured the turmeric before it gave itself to the brew fully. Now when I sip my rasam, I feel powerful. Dark and mysterious. Empowered by the secret of ancient witches, who knew how to hurt and how to heal themselves. No matter what went wrong.
Sometimes it is worth falling ill, just to test your own powers. Call me perverse, if you will.
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