Saturday, March 31, 2007

I Am Her Fan Now.

Autobiography Of A Fan.

Rejection always hurts, whatever be the reason. In fact, it gets worse when you do not know the reason. I would never know why my past owners rejected me. I mean, I must have been brand new and spic and span once upon a time. But my owners dumped me in the parking lot of Costco. It could be that it was winter, and they no longer needed my services. It could be that they found a better replacement, someone who did less acrobatics and gave better return on investment. Whatever be it, I was extremely hurt, lying cold and dejected on the streets in winter for God knows how many days.

And then she found me. sunshine found me. Not that she was willing to haul me on her shoulders and carry me home. You see, I am quite tall and heavy. In fact, it was sunshine's friend G who spotted me first. I heard her ask sunshine if she wanted a fan. She didn't look very convinced at first. You see, she was new to the country and didn't know the ways here. She didn't really appreciate picking up stuff from the roadside and carrying them home. Little did she know that expensive stuff like sofas, printers, and bikes find themselves on the streets too, all in great conditions, just because their owners grew tired of having them. Luck could make one come across an array of discarded stuff, from shoes to table lamps to desks and chairs.

And then I heard G explain her that she was a student and it was okay to take something someone had left on the streets if it was still in usable condition. She had been embarrassed at first. It felt cheap, picking up stuff from the streets like rag pickers. Seems she didn't know the adage about Rome and Romans. She didn't know if she would need me in a cold country like this. Well, she hadn't yet seen the summers yet, had she? I also heard her asking how she could haul me all the way to her place. I guess she didn't like the way I looked. Or may be she didn't want to clutter her room.

Much to my delight, I soon found myself being hauled into the trunk of the SUV and being carried away from the parking lot. How glad I was at the prospect of finding a home. But then, she didn't really think she needed me. She adopted me more because she didn't want to argue with her friend. Who knows, she would soon discard me, and I would find myself lonely on the streets again.

She didn't send me away at first. For months, I stood in a corner of her room in the hinterlands of her closet where I could not be seen by anyone. Every time she opened the closet and then could not shut it back because my legs would come in between, I would hear her swear to herself. Perhaps I occupied a lot of space. Nevertheless, I was happy to be home.

And then one fine morning, she decided to clean her room and get rid of the junk. I knew my time in this house had come and gone. Soon I would be on the streets again, cold and lonely and depressed. I already saw a lot of things find their way into her trash can. And then it was my turn. She opened the closet and scanned me for a while. She frowned and I wondered if she was making up her mind. And then she pulled me out of the closet. I was so happy to see the sun again. And then, out of nowhere, my prayers were answered. She was soon on her haunches, oiling me and cleaning me and fixing up my parts and screwing me tight (not literally so). At least she was willing to give me a chance and see if I could be of use. I heard her mutter under her breath how bad she was with gadgets and machines. Well, she wasn't stupid, just slow and awkward. She scanned my parts and soon, she was pressing the right buttons.

It felt so good to be of use after months. There is a different kind of satisfaction when you are of use to people. I knew that she had changed her mind about throwing me away. She placed me in a corner of her room. Ever since, we have been great buddies.

I've seen her groping for me the moment she would come home. Winter is almost gone and I guess she feels stuffy in her room. I watch her sleep comfortably at night while I worked. And I watch her while she works. I watch her while she studies and does homework, happy to be of use. I watch her while she crouches on the floor and writes blog posts. I loved to see the enthusiasm on her face when she blogs. I loved to read what she writes. 

And then one day, I saw her writing about me. I saw myself being mentioned in her blogs. I read about myself and people read about me.

Ever since, I've been her fan. All puns intended.

A Fan.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

And You Thought I Couldn't Make Decent Omelets?

I have been mad at myself. Today, I burnt my lunch. I could not even make a decent omelet for myself. Girls my age are making babies and managing homes. And I was incapable of even taking care of myself. I have been swamped and stressed with work the last few days. So I was not really paying attention to the omelets. That's my excuse. But failures have a way of letting me feel low.

I am useless. I can't cook myself a decent meal. What is the use of so much of education, so much wisdom if I could not fry a simple omelet?

But then, as a desperate measure, I had to see the humor in the situation. Okay, so I could still not prepare a decent meal. Granted. But then, I could do so many things that many others who cooked well could not. 23 years of student life has taught me some of the things I would never ever need in daily life. And there lies the humor, even in such a grim situation.

  1. I can stain slides. What more, I can distinguish between almost any basic slide. For the uninitiated, a slide is the preparation of a tissue section of any or many organs of the body, and these do not resemble the original organ in any way. I can easily tell a liver slide from that of pancreas, and I know which is a kidney slide, a spleen slide, a skin slide, an intestine slide, a stomach slide, a lung slide, or slides of the male and female reproductive organs.
    So what if I cannot fry an omelet?
  2. Three years of undergrad has ensured that I can identify a wide variety of bones. I can distinguish between leg bones and hand bones. I know which is a thigh bone and which is the bone of the lower leg. I can distinguish the types of vertebrae bones (bones of the spinal cord). I can identify the bones of a bird from that of a snake, fish, or even a rat. I know why a certain bone is the bone of the forelimb and not the hindlimb. I can identify the skulls of the above mentioned animals. What more, there was a time I could name and number all the 206 bones of the human body.
    So what if I burnt my omelet?
  3. I have dissected some of the weirdest of systems. I can show you almost any systems of a fish, including their cranial nerves and the pituitary in their brain. The same goes for cockroaches, rats, and snails. I can show you the 7 distinct mouth parts of the cockroach. I can show you how the nerves originate from it's brains. And you thought cockroaches didn't have brains. There was a time I was so obsessed with them that immediately after I killed a cockroach at home, I would see if it was a male or a female cockroach.
    So what if I cannot fry an omelet?
  4. There was a time I knew the periodic table by heart. I could assign every element to its correct group, not to mention the fact that I knew the symbol of every element. And that was when there were more than 106 elements, divided into 7 groups, most groups with sub-groups A and B.
    And you thought I was good for nothing?
  5. There was a time I knew all the zip codes of Calcutta by heart. You could give me any zip code and I could locate the place for you.
    And you thought I couldn't even fry onions properly?
  6. Ever done a blood test? I could easily do a bleeding time, clotting time, and cell count for you. Provided I didn't faint at the site of blood. I could tell you how they measure your blood pressure, and the fact that when you think they are looking at that instrument in your arms (it's called a sphygmomanometer by the way), they are actually listening to the sounds made by blood flowing in your arteries.
    What's the big deal about cooking?
  7. I can efficiently make proteins. How? I can take minute amounts of proteins from your body, insert it into bacteria, and make million times the copy of your proteins that way by letting the bacteria reproduce and double your protein every 20 minutes. Then I can isolate the protein from the bacteria, and purify it for you. Cool, huh?
    And you thought I was a misfit in the household lab we call a kitchen?

Well, there are hundreds of such things I can do. No, I don't mean to sound boastful. Just that if I could do all that, I might as well learn to successfully handle something as logical, mathematical, and artful as cooking. 

I know I'll master it someday.

Oh, I feel so good about myself at last !