I’ve got the theory nailed. I’ve seen it dozens of times in Indian movies and Tamil TV serials. You are meant to be well dressed, like you are attending a wedding or seated at a high tea, and then you feel dizzy. At this point, you clutch your head a little dramatically with perfectly manicured hands and then proceed to fall gently like a leaf fluttering gracefully to the top of the pile of leaves below.
A minute later, if the accompanying background music and screams from those nearby fail to wake you up, you are splashed urgently with cold water, and you swoon. Now you can sit up looking sprightly, divine, and beautiful with the glistening drops on your face, and ask somewhat stupidly, “Where am I?”
Reality is where the universe sees the comedy of existence.
I found to my utter dismay that I was not a leaf who fluttered gracefully, but rather a tree that crashed brusquely and clattered quite noisily on its way down. To make sure that the fall was as far off from the Tamil TV serial falls as possible, I was dressed in a down-to-earth cotton night-suit, and landed up toootling up to the hospital in less than glamorous attires. There were no beautiful glistening drops when I came to, so I could look angelic and ask ‘Where-am-I?’
While convalescing afterward, the loving family propped me up in front of the television and used the opportunity to get me to watch some of the movies they have been trying to get me to watch over the past few months. I started off with Lego Marvel Superheroes (Ultron Mind-controlling Iron-Man with Yellow-Hammer’s help. That is the whole movie right there.)
This movie was accompanied by an excited commentary and almost verbatim dialogue deliveries by the elementary school going son who was anxious that I like his Lego super-hero movies. Some of the moves in that movie – Good Lord! If I broke and tore things in my body with a simple fall on the way to the bathroom, I cannot imagine how those Lego characters stick together, they should be in boxes waiting to be reassembled, I said.
The husband stuck his oar in, “Wait till you see what I have for you. This is Lego – I have gangster vs police movies, mythological wonder-movies and so much more. Real people in flesh and blood.”
It wasn’t an empty boast. The husband’s movies – shudder, gulp, diddle-gee-bumps. The first one, was supposedly mythological, so I suppose I could forgive the hero for throwing fully grown bulls charging at him mid stride, and proceeding to obliterate an army single handedly.
The next one had gangsters hitting each other with an intensity that should have broken not just the beaten man’s bones, but the beater’s bones as well, but nothing seemed to happen to these supermen. After one particular gentleman was slammed across a tin shed and rammed repeatedly against a wall at the rate of 45 mph, he proceeded to wipe a smear of blood away and then laughed before delivering punch dialogues.
When Ernest Hemingway said: The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places , I don’t think this is what he meant.
I fell, once, on the way to the bathroom inside the house 10 days ago: Still convalescing. Not kidding.
I begged for a reprieve from this action-packed couch-existence and stepped outside for a walk. I was besieged with well meaning questions by friends and neighbors. It always heartens me to live in a community that cares. Never is that more apparent than when children of all ages gather round you and ask if you are okay in their own individual ways.
I was amused to see that the questions posed by the preschoolers were the toughest to answer:
How did you fall? (Umm…..I am sorry buddy, much as I’d like to show you, my doctor thinks it unwise to demonstrate.)
To this philosophical question, however, I still do not have an answer: Why did you fall?