The Guts of Steel (or not)

The heroics and sobering of a man who overestimates his ability with his health.

Hola!

So, growing up in Delhi and binging onto street food and eating all sorts of things made me believe that I have guts of steel. I could eat anything, made with any kind of oil, laced with sweaty palms and the dust and grime and all that that is all around us. And yet continue functioning like I am Rajnikant or Flash or any of those superheroes that are quick on their feet and all that. After all, that is what I am, at least in my head.

I would flaunt these heroics and guts and often participate in competitions around eating gol gappas, vada pao, pao bhaji and dunno what all. In fact, even alcohol. No, I don’t drink per se but on the VERY rare occasions I drink, I can outdrink any fish in the sea and yet walk in a straight line. Really. Try me sometime. Or not.

But, you know life has a way of humbling you and showing that you are an insignificant speck on a pale blue dot and you are meaningless in large cosmic things.

That happened.

Read on…

So, like most large forest fires that start with a tiny spark that often would die without disturbing anything of importance. But once in a while, these sparks help raging fires that engulf civilizations!

In my case, it started as dizziness. I thought my eyesight was finally giving in. Then I got the first burp. I could sense bile building up in my food pipe. And I knew I was going to puke. I know my body like that. Oh, I was on a call with some new colleagues while that was happening. Funnily one of the people on that call was a doctor and we were working on a pharma client.

Anyway coming back. I was on a call. And I knew I was gonna puke. And since this was a new team, I had to maintain my reputation as a sakht man. But then life had the better of me. And I had to puke. So I excused myself. Ran to the loo and spilled some. I thought it was gonna be ok after that. I came back, and finished the call.

And as soon as I hung up, I had to run to the loo cos there was more. And this time, I realised how much my stomach could hold. It all came out. And then for the next 2 hours, I puked and pooped.

Each trip to the loo became tougher. To the point that I could no longer walk the 2 feet distance from my bed to the loo. I walked with some support. I leaned on the doors. I got onto all fours. And then I crawled.

One time I couldn’t even build the courage to crawl and reach in time. Finally, I decided to lie down on the floor of the bathroom itself. I will let you fill in the other details. You do not want to know. I will make detailed notes in my Roam lest I forget. 

I am grateful that no one saw me like that. As someone who’s kept his spine straight through thick and thin, this would have been the lowest point of my life. I remember the look on the faces of my parents when I got my nasal polyp operated on. I remember how C4E Junta looked at me when I broke my tooth at a picnic. I had decided that I would never let anyone ever see me in pain. I’ll walk in the rain if I have to cry. I found out that I may not command rain at a whim but I can sit under a shower for sure. Thank God for that shower!

So while I was dying (no the thought did not cross my mind – I knew this was a temporary thing and I will be ok; unrelated, there was a time when I was in Bangalore and I thought I would die. I called Poo and told her to take care of my people once am gone), I had the presence to tell people that they shouldn’t wait on me. I texted a couple of colleagues that I had to work with. 

I then switched off my phone. 
And slept. 
At least tried to. 

The bed was way too comfortable, the floor too cold. I couldn’t find a way to rest my head – neither on the pillow nor on the towel that I had rolled up. There were way too many mosquitos. Somehow I drifted to sleep. I remember waking up once to go puke again. And then finally finding it comforting to sleep on the mattress.

All this while, I did not think of work at all. In fact, the work be damned. I have some really fabulous people to work with and they managed everything. Phew.

I woke up late, I dont recall the time. I read online what to eat. Ordered a Gatorade, and some electrolytes. Called for boiled rice and toast. Ate the soggiest toast ever and yet it was yummy. Ate the blandest rice and each grain was full of taste. Slept again. Tried to. Was tough. But I slept. 

I woke up the next morning (Saturday), showered, had idli and more toast. The idli was how and what you expect an idli to be. The toast was ok. Went to Starbucks, had half a green tea, some yoghurt (which was really bad tbh; Starbucks need to up their game), some bananas (read about BRAT diet) and then off to the airport. I had curd rice, hummus, pasta and a Diet Coke at the lounge. There, I spotted Subhash Ghai – each time I see a star from the yesteryears, I feel sad about what age does to them. Ghai had to be chaperoned by some flunky who was more keen on filing his plate with pasta. And I will ensure that I dont have a flunky for clutches when my time comes.

So, here I am, now, on 8D, typing things away. Feeling ok. I am grateful that I dont fall too sick for too long. I dunno why – my lifestyle is not the best. Irrespective. I am committed to doing better. I want to rebuild my gut. I want to gnaw at Steel and laugh while I do that. I want to bombard the gut flora and fauna with all sorts of food and fluids and everything in between. Maybe yoga would help. Maybe it won’t. Let’s see. 

I am on the road for the next few days. Once am back in Bom on Thursday, I promise will not set a foot out till the Dubai trip (mid of March). I will have about 20 days that I will strictly do Keto! No cheats. No tiny carbs. I will find a way to resist temptation. I will also do yoga. As we speak, a yoga mat has been ordered.

In fact, I’ve been thinking about health for a long long time. If the incident of Friday is not a wake-up call, nothing would be. And this came in quick succession of my uncle’s passing. Since Friday (and the episode), I have only eaten kachra and I vow to never eat shit again. The body is the damn temple bro. I dont sit in a place that is not nice. I returned the in-flight meal cos the air hostess did not serve it with politeness. If I can skip a meal cos it hurts my ego, can I choose what I eat for my health?

So that.

Anyhow. My throat is still sore 48 hours after the incident. The only good part was that I finally weighed less than 91 KGs after I had emptied my gut into a gutter. I just hope it’s not something large. Like I said in the beginning, I want my heroics to never end and continue to operate like a superhero! More on these later. For the time being, over and out!