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A Feverish Tale

Discussion in 'Stories (Fiction)' started by twinsmom, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    The power failed for the fifth time. The ceiling fan groaned to a halt. Madhav lit a Tortoise coil in the flame of the candle near him. Though it was warm, Madhav drew the shawl around him, covering himself head to toe, leaving a tiny opening for his nose. His body seemed to be on fire and his joints hurt. He felt as though someone was playing drums inside his head. BOOM, BOOM, TOM, TOM, TOM, BOOM, BOODEE, BOOM! He held the sides of his temples. THUD…THUD…DHUD…DHUD...dhud…dhud… the intensity reduced with the pressure he applied. Still someone seemed to be dancing a wild number inside his head.

    Sounds like conga drums, he told himself…On second thoughts, he decided, no they were bongos…He was of logical mind. Conga drums were for African dances and Bongos for Spanish …Since he suffered from dengue and not chikungunya, it had to be bongos… Everybody knew that Chikungunya was donated to India by a few stowaway carrier mosquitoes from Africa …Someone at the government hospital even said that those who suffered from chikungunya talked in African dialects in delirium. But, his doctor had told him that he suffered from dengue. Who had brought this fever? The name sounded Spanish. He remembered reading in the paper that a Mexican freight ship had docked in the harbour recently. For sure, dengue came from Mexico . Mexicans used Spanish, no? Dago mosquitoes brought Dengue!

    What a funny name for a fever! He mused. In good old days fevers were called flu or malaria or (even if it was difficult to spell) pneumonia…! Dengue! What a funny name! First of all no one knew how to pronounce it. Some called it ‘deng’, some called it ‘dengu’, yet others, ‘dengi’. Angrezi was such a funny language… Koyi logic vogic hai nahi yaar! A-R- G- U-E was ‘aagyoo’. T- O-N- G-U-E was ‘tung’ and D-E-N-G-U-E was ‘ dengi’…What language! Ek dum Team India jaise…No consistency , yaar! But, deng, dengyoo or dengi…hai tho bada pahuncha hua bimaari! AAHHH! He writhed. What pain!

    Who was it that said, ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’? He knew for sure his 9th grade English teacher had always said it… But Sharmaji was quoting some phirangi… Phirengi… Dengi… Dengi… Phirengi…Very rhythmic! Arrey Wah! He was also getting poetic. What is that now? ‘A fever by any other name would kill as much!’ Ha ha ha ha… he chortled. Suddenly the import of his words struck him… As he became quiet he felt the boom boom start inside his temples…
    But that was not the only thing he heard… ‘Ngggggggg…!’ came the sound of a mosquito. Definitely African, he thought in alarm! Can a person get chikungunya when he is already suffering from dengu… dengi… or whatever? His reasoning nature quizzed. Then his irrepressible sense of humour made him wonder immediately, ‘What will they call my fever then?’ ‘ Chikunengi? Or Dengungunya?’ Oh- oh! He realized with horror that a mosquito had landed on the tip of his exposed nose. With alarm-ridden rage he swung a fist at his nose.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007

  2. Meeta

    Meeta Bronze IL'ite

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    Oh My God !!!!!!!!!!
    I really laughed at your description of dengi.....deng......and dengu....
    I was doing my Ph. D. in Molecular Biology in Infectious Diseases department and in that department other people were there who were working on Brugia causingfilaria , Aedis mosquito causing Dengue.......and their supervisor used to pronounce it as dengue at first. But after returning from a seminar with foreign delegates, he started calling it dengi..........
    We students always used to laugh remembering his accent change after any seminar........
    Your dengue topic suddenly reminded me of him...........
  3. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Twinsmom,

    A feverish tale, alright !!:clap

    I, for one, was shivering....because of the underlying humor and also because of the angst the names such a Dengue and Chickungunya evoked !
    Though you have portrayed one soul's turmoil with a light handed humor, the futility of it is not lost on the readers. Simply smart !
    Chickunengi...Dengungunya....How terrible...I shudder.............
    A very good middle and look forward to more. :smile:

    L, Kamla

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