Writer’s block Society

Quit cribbing and start enduring

I did not wish to insult single malt by pouring it in glasses in which I have my Indian whisky, so I took out two glasses from an expensive set lying unused in the shelf for a long time and proceeded to wash them.

An enjoyable evening lay ahead: it was a Sunday, middle of December, when the weather of Chennai is at its pleasant best, wife was not in town and a dear friend from Delhi had called on me with a bottle of single malt.

As soon as I placed one glass under the tap and began wiping the inner surface with my fingers, it cracked apart and tore into the webbing between two of my fingers. Blood gushed out from the miniature pair of lips that had formed on the back of my hand. “This will need stitches,” my friend said, “let’s quickly get to a hospital.”

Fortunately, I was able to find cotton in the dresser: by then, large drops of blood had marked my movement within the house. I then handed him the keys of my car (used only by my wife because I can’t drive) and gave him directions to the nearest hospital.

And so, for the first time in my life, I was subjected to suturing: six stitches and tetanus shots. After 30 minutes at the hospital, we got back home, armed with the doctor’s permission that I could drink. The night ended on a high note — no, not because of the alcohol alone, but also because I had staged a victory against myself in my head.

On the drive back from the hospital, my mind was occupied with all kinds of fearful thoughts. What if I had been alone at home when the accident happened? What if the injury had been deeper, perhaps life-threatening? What if I had resided in a remote location where the nearest hospital was 15 km away? What if I had been taking an autorickshaw to the hospital and passed out even before I could make it — would the autorickshaw driver have dumped me by the road? A million what-ifs crossed the mind of the pessimist in me before the optimist took over.

The optimist said: “Relax, it’s just a minor injury and not a bullet wound. Think of the soldiers on the border. And if your Delhi friend had not been around, one of your Chennai friends would have come forward to help. On the brighter side, you hurt yourself on a Sunday, because of which you made it to the hospital in no time and even found parking outside. Thank god that you are alive and even enjoying your drink. And don’t forget you didn’t have a penny in your wallet and yet you managed to get your hand sutured. Now, you realise you can do without cash?”

So, you see, brothers and sisters, such is the power of positive thinking. Whenever you feel pushed to the wall, spare a thought for the multitude already embedded on the wall, and you will find yourself bestowed with plenty of elbow space.

Exactly the same time last year, I was in Kathmandu to write about the hardship inflicted on Nepal due to the economic blockade imposed by the Madhesi community populating its border with India. It is one thing to have the supplies but no access to cash, quite another to have all the cash at your disposal but no supplies. An LPG cylinder in Nepal, at the time, cost 9,000 Nepalese rupees (almost 5,500 Indian rupees). A similar situation prevails in Manipur today — but who cares.

Therefore, quit cribbing and start enduring. At least you are alive and healthy enough to stand in the queue, even if to withdraw your own hard-earned money. Think of the people who have no money to withdraw. India is full of such people — you only have to look around.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:56:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/Quit-cribbing-and-start-enduring/article16931483.ece

Next Story