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I hate taking medicines. The tiny and not so tiny ones that come in various shapes and sizes, the capsules in glamorous outfits, cute and tiny round pills in bright colors   and others not so glamorous or cute, but exuding solid dignity in their white ensemble. I hate them all with a single mind. They are vested with power to enter your body and do with you as they will.

Sometimes they make you feel heavy and sluggish, drowsy, fighting hard to keep awake; you sleep for hours only to wake up feeling sleep deprived. You look at people bleary eyed, wishing they’d leave you alone and not expect you to do the work around the house. At other times the medicines make you tense and hyper, unable to relax, your mind jumps from one thing to another incapable of focussing or concentrating for long. You begin something, soon you give that up and go on to do something else altogether. Before you know it you have given up both and are walking up and down because you cannot sit still.

I marvel at people on medication who lead a near to normal life. How the hell do they do it? Put me on medication and I either resemble a cat on hot coals or a sloth in hibernation. There is never an in-between stage. Sigh, is it that I have an especially sensitive system that reacts in extreme to the little intruders, either one way or the other, never a middle path. Perhaps it says something about me. The lines from a song of my favourite singer come back to me, Dil bhi ik zid pe ada hai kisi bachche ki tarah/ Ya to sab kuchh hi isse chahiye ya kuchh bhi nahi//

Looks like this time the doctor has let me have the ones that make me drowsy. I sleep for hours and wake up only to sit hunched, the only thought, wanting to go back to sleep again. The dog jumps on to the cot and wags its tail, wanting to play. I push her away; rather try to. She tramples all over me in response, the hot air from her huge mouth blowing on me, now here, now there. She jumps off the cot. The relief is short-lived. She is back with the Frisbee I got her the last time I had gone out of town.  I turn my back to her pretending ignorance and she paws me for attention, not gently, but deliberately. Her nails are sharp and sink into my flesh. I let out an involuntary cry. At this rate, if I ignored her, I’d only end up with lacerations all over. I reluctantly drag myself up to go wash my face. She follows me into the bathroom and sits down to watch. This here is one tenacious dog. She is not about to let me get out of her sight before she has had that game.

I drag my feet downstairs while she bounds ahead, every now and then looking back to check that I am following her. Soon I am throwing the Frisbee and she is running to fetch it. I am sufficiently awake now. In between throwing the Frisbee I eye the plants. They are drooping and in dire need of water. Rain, when are you going to grace me? I bet your intention is to fall on the day I have watered the plants?!  Suddenly there is a commotion and the dog disappears around the house. I can hear a lot of frustrated yelps and howls. In fact it sounds like there are about a dozen dogs denied something or other. This has got to be interesting. My sleep is now gone. I hurry towards where the uproar is coming from.

The cat, a scrawny one at that, is up on the papaya tree, perched precariously among the papayas. The tree already weak with the weight of the ripe fruits now bends dangerously with the added weight of the cat, scrawny or not. The dog jumps trying to reach the cat, pushes against the papaya tree with each try. Unable to withstand the onslaught, the frail tree shudders. It tilts towards the right. The cat is now desperate and howls piteously. The dog has smelt blood. She barks louder and jumps higher. The papaya tree cannot take this anymore. Pande durbala, ippol garbhini (Weak to begin with and now pregnant too) goes a Mallu saying. The papaya tree fits the bill perfectly. No valiant attempts at standing tall for the tree, it collapses with a tearing sound, which startles the dog. There is just enough time for the pussy cat to make good a merciful escape.

The dog is not too pleased at what it sees as unwarranted interference on the part of the papaya tree. It circles the tree, sniffing the fallen damsel and its fruits and registering disapproval. You are to be blamed squarely for the entire fiasco, the dog seems to say, you tree you; helping the cat escape, eh?  She pees beside the tree as if to say what she thinks of the tree. Then she bounds back. On with that interrupted game. I trudge back to take my position.

Written for 3WW CCXCII

Prompt words: ripe, lacerate, dignity

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