The unexpected gift

The morning of my birthday, I had suddenly woken up with a raging fever!

There are times when a gift may tremendously surprise us. There are also times when a gift may terribly stump us. Either way, the memories related to it are ineradicable.

Come month of June and I always remember the birthday gift that I had received a few years ago. Being gregarious, I was actually looking forward to a blitzkrieg of calls from legions of friends and relatives with a cornucopia of good wishes. Not to discount those splendid gifts too, that I bag from the special ones.

Interestingly, the first gift that I did receive that year was a rather unusual one. It was (shucks, of all things!) chikungunya! That morn, I had suddenly woken up with a raging fever. Even with four blankets on, I shivered like a quivering mass of jelly, while my entire body was swamped by ineffable exhaustion. With not even a scintilla of energy in me, I looked like a deflated pool-raft.

I moved around like a zombie, straight from the grave. With red rashes on my face, I even looked like one of those pink-faced scary voodoo dolls. Apparently, I must have cut a pathetic picture. Spouse got busy whipping up glasses of fruit juice and flavoured milk. Son got busy browsing myriad websites to glean more information on my new-found foe. And, I got busy fretting more.

I started wondering how I had contracted this despicable and repugnant virus. Well, the culprit was a mosquito of a particular species – aedes aegypti, believed to be day-biter. This unbidden guest had gatecrashed into my home to suck on my blood, and in turn had bartered away this deplorable virus. How mean! I hurled chosen expletives at that execrable teeny winged creature – odious, obnoxious, spoilsport – which had sabotaged all my birthday fun.

Incidentally, the same time I fell sick, one of my close buddies too came down – not with chikungunya, but with dengue! Through telephonic chats, we began exchanging notes, drawing comparisons and contrasts of our ailments.

I was the first one to kick-start our woes-n-throes-ranting session. “The rashes are a kind of centripetal distribution. They started with face and are now moving towards the tummy region.” My friend cooed, “In my case, it is kind of centrifugal. The rashes started off on body’s torso, and now they are spreading towards the peripheral areas”.

“This abominable pain at the joints, ugh! It is virtual hell,” I whimpered. “For me, it is muscular pain, evenly distributed all over the body,” my friend whined. She groaned further, “I have swelling of lymph nodes too.” Hearing this, I trilled. “Thank heavens I escaped it, but I suffered insomnia the first day. The worst part, though, is the severe exhaustion, which saps all your energy,” I sniveled. “Same here, even my energy is all drained out,” warbled my friend.

Well, all’s well that ends well. I must say that later I did get well, relatively fast. Nevertheless, can I ever forget my unique birthday gift of that year?

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