If she had not been a ‘blood’ relative, I would’ve had blood on my hands right now. Seriously, I can’t stand Bubbly Aunty calling up at supremely odd hours, just because she and I both own a gadget named cellphone. And to make matters worse, she has no understanding of the fact that if someone is not picking up the first time, it doesn’t mean that they will, if you harass them by calling incessantly. Well, actually that’s not true. She can harass me enough to take her call. And I did — 7th time and at 7 am.
“Where is the heart,?” she whispered. Now I know Valentine’s Day is round the corner, but don’t blame me for feeling nauseous on getting such a query from Bubbly aunty. ‘What do you mean?’ I whispered back. “Where is the heart in our body?” she repeated her question, as if she will believe me if I would say “in the left elbow”. ‘It’s in the chest, Aunty,’ I cautiously replied, ready to dial a psychiatrist’s emergency number on the other phone. “I’ve had pain in the chest, for the past two days. I’m very scared. Could I be getting a heart attack?” she asked.
I was worried now. Preferring taking her to a doctor over a telephonic display of my partial knowledge of heart attack symptoms, I rushed to her place. Three hours and a million tests later, it turned out that Bubbly aunty had an excess of what the two most famous brothers in our country keep fighting for — gas. But looking at her stressed face yesterday, I do not regret advising her to get the tests done even one bit. Currently facing a helluva painful nightmare in the form of a severe backache, I have learnt a very important lesson in avoiding long term stress — never make the mistake of ignoring your body’s warning signals. My pain started with a minor sprain, which grew into a monster, in clear defiance of me ignoring it and going on with a stressful lifestyle. No matter what health problem we suffer from, it is certain that some faint warning bell would have gone off somewhere inside us sometime back. Those of us who decide to pay heed to it then, end up saving themselves from a lot of hassle and tension later.
We keep hearing about young people dying of a stroke or cardiac arrest, ‘suddenly’. A doctor friend once told me that there is nothing ‘sudden’ or ‘unannounced’ when it comes to our bodies collapsing. There are always signs, which may not be obvious enough to be understood or detected by doctors or tests, but we, who have grown into that body from the moment we were born, can understand its language and signs. If only we paid attention. How about resetting your priorities — to put your well being on top of everything else? I can guarantee you loads of calmness in return.
Sonal Kalra still does not take Bubbly aunty’s calls at odd hours. She just makes sure Bubbly aunty and rajmah chawal remain on two different ends of the universe.