The terrible sequel! That I had an awful cerebral haemorrhage is now history. That I slowly limped back to normalcy is also history, part 2. What is news now is my captivity in a Nazi Concentration Camp. I am like a Jewish prisoner anxiously waiting to find my place in the Schindler’s List! I do not know how many of you are aware what it is like being under Doctor’s Orders. It is like being under Fuehrer’s order, if not worse! When Omar Khayyam sang thus: The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it… he probably meant his Doctor’s orders! My Doctor has given a whole list of do’s and dont’s covering the entire gamut of my life for the future and if I had been Omar Khayyam I would have poured out my feelings more effectively! I can understand his making me a guinea pig to test all the new arrivals in the pharmaceutical industry and prescribing dozens of them. What I like about him is his flair for colours. He never prescribes two capsules of the same colour! I also understand his diet regimen. I am fully aware that as one grows older it’s all less salt, less sugar, less fat, less everything. When even extremely healthy people are slowly switching over to such dull diet, I have no complaint really. I have my principles though. You will never be able to make me drink the juice of arugam pullu (grass) with the offer of another 10 years added to my life! In any case, I am not too demanding in that area and I generally eat whatever is served! His restrictions on my movement do not bother me either because I find moving out in this heat and traffic does not appeal to me at all. I don’t know if you are aware of it but the new police chief of Chennai is making most of the roads one-way and, anyone venturing out without full knowledge of these restrictions are likely to pay as heavy a price as Abhimanyu paid when he ventured into the Chakravyuham without knowing how to come out! I have my I Pod and lots of lilting music to keep me confined to home for a while. And by the way, I can never be tired of good music. He has permitted me some time daily to engage myself in my most favourite activity and you know what it is! It is interacting with my dear ILites that is acting twice as fast as all the medicines that I take daily in restoring me to my normal health. I know that your eyebrows are now raised and you are wondering what is it then that I am cribbing about if every thing is acceptable to me. I’ll tell you all. After all, I too need someone to air my grievance. It is my Doctor’s fear that because I had suffered a haemorrhage, I might get a blackout or something and so doesn’t want me to be unattended for the next few days. You may not appreciate the enormity of this condition if you don’t understand what it really means. It means that you are prohibited from bolting the bath room door when you have your bath! Of course, as a school boy in Triplicane, I have gone through this experience because the bathrooms of that multifamily tenement had no doors at all. Whoever occupied the bathroom made his or her presence felt through some loud singing or chanting of mantras depending upon the age of the occupant. As I moved on in my life, among other luxuries of life that I could afford, a bathroom with a door was one. Years of that luxury have taken away my zest for such adventure as taking bath at unprotected places. So ever since I got discharged from the hospital, morning times have become my most difficult time. What used to be my most exhilarating activity of the mornings has now become nightmarish or if you like it put that way, daymarish! For a man who loves keeping his shower in full blast, I now keep it very subdued in order that I may not miss out even a faint knock on the door. The main problem with my bathroom door is that it is hypersensitive to the movement of all the doors in the house. If any of them opens or closes suddenly, this door opens wide to find out the reason. More scientifically inclined of you might attribute it to the change in air pressure within the house but the fact remains that the door does open! So I have to be on my toes to ensure that, whenever such a calamity occurs, the door is shut again and my privacy is restored. To those of you who think that the moment you are inside the privacy of your bathroom, it’s all nothing but a happy story of a man in his highest spirits, I would draw their attention to what Poet Burns wrote, “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men, Gang aft agley’, gang aft agley in simpler English meaning, ‘Can go awry’! Taking bath with the door unbolted is risky enough even if the entire operation goes without a hitch but if something ‘gang aft agley’, all hell can break loose! Like it happened to me this morning. It all started as innocuously as any other bath. I entered the bathroom with towel and a fresh cake of Mysore Sandal and put them in their allotted places. Remembering my Doctor’s instruction not to keep the door bolted inside, I broke out into a song instead to caution people outside that the operation has commenced. As the first mug of water hit me, I warmed to the heart rending love song of Md.Rafi, Suhani Raat Dal Chuki. It was when I was soaping my bearded face and the lather got into my eyes as usual that the calamity struck me. The soap suddenly shot off from my palm to land at an undisclosed destination. People who have faced such a piquant situation in their lives would be aware that a soap would slip out of the hand only when you are not in a position to open your eyes and it invariably lands at the most inaccessible part of the bathroom. I began the retrieval operation by getting on my knees with one of my feet touching the bucket, emulating the example of the Hunter-sage Kannappa Nayinar, and combing the floor with my palms stretching myself as far as I could. It did not strike me that it would be easier to search with my eyes open after washing off the soap! Eventually I did just that and yet the soap was nowhere in sight. I got on to my knees to continue the search and finally found it behind the sink. I stretched myself in full to retrieve it and in the process lost my balance and fell face downwards. It was precisely at this moment that my wife alarmed by the sudden stopping of my music opened the door a bit and saw me stretched in full on the floor. The scream that she let out brought everyone scurrying to the bathroom and I felt extremely silly. I do not know if you are aware of the fact how effective a tool a wet soap can be in gathering even the most stubborn dirt off the bathroom floor. The soap that I retrieved had a great assortment of dirt sticking to it and looked more difficult to clean than the Aegean Stable. I decided to abandon it and aborted my bath midway. I emerged out of the bathroom totally bruised not on my torso but in my spirit. I am now waiting for my Doctor to clear me completely to do what I want and a refreshing bath in the cool shower of my bathroom, securely latched of course, is what I miss most!