One of my oldest memories of Mumbai is of the time I had chicken pox. At 2 years of age, the only feeling I could connect to illness was pain. So I vividly remember the heavy, burning rasp of the sore throat and the sticky discomfort of a raging fever. But I also remember the merciful coolness of the floor, the pleasantly soapy smell of 501 soap perfuming my grandma's sari as I rest my head in her lap and the lemon tang of milagu rasam (pepper rasam) washed over me, soothing me into sleep. My grandma's work-callused hands gently brushed my forehead and I knew I was safe.
Yesterday, I found myself in the throes of my holy trinity - fever, flu and a Force 10 migraine from hell. My throat having given out the previous day itself, I spent hours seeking comfort in the overwhelming cool silence of a pitch black room. I cooked rasam by myself and rested my head on a pillow when exhaustion took over. My keyboard-softened fingers massaged my forehead and I knew I was alone.
Song for the moment: Naima - John Coltrane