Finally the doctor thought over the problem for many minutes. Time seemed to stand still. Seconds seemed not to exist at all. And the minute hand never seemed to move.It seemed as though the world had come to an abrupt stop.
The whole family was waiting in grand anticipation. Father sweating profusely, mother praying to all gods in no particular order but in a rhythmic monotone, the wife staring at the only picture in the clinic that was actually a random scribbling by the doctor’s child and myself confined to the bed with a large lamp glowing over my head as if in an attempt to provide a halo from the front.The Doc said I had multiorganwikilympostaticischemicunstableanginosis.
And then the world seemed to resume its functioning.
The whole affair started like this on a Friday afternoon in front of the office when I met Angela Chang. First I ignored her as she was handing out some hand bills. But the words that she uttered made me stop and listen to take a look at the pamplet that she was handing over.
Some questions in the hand out made sense. It talked about the different dysfunctions that one was likely to undergo especially in the IT sector related to banking. It proclaimed thus :
1. The predominant illness found is a mild pain in the chest especially after lunch in the air-conditioned environs of the office when we start looking at the computer to look at a spreadsheet. This might be the initial symptom of a much malignant heart that has started to believe that the next most important task that a human needs to perform after lunch is to have a siesta, reclining on a sofa, all alone. Any other task that needs the brain to be active is deemed an interruption to God’s prerogative of actions ordained to man. Looking at a spreadsheet, in office, on a Friday afternoon, after lunch, was the most sacrilegious task that man could indulge in after the original sin. Hence such a person shall be cursed to spend his fortune in the intensive care unit of the five star hospital in the city.
2. The next predominant illness one in the IT industry undergoes is the tendency to feel sick in the abdomen whenever there is a meeting that needs to happen. It is a different matter that any meeting is a pain in the you-know-what. But the tasks that precede a meeting that encompasses multiple original drafts of presentations, editing, re-editing, re-re-editing and reverting to the original draft multiple times, sending the presentation over mail to multiple stake holders multiple times in the form of a zip file and waiting endlessly for a feedback, reminding the stakeholders and reviewers of the PPT over phone or SMS just to open their mails to see the document, getting some wry remarks such as ‘looks fine but would need some editing and additions to the content’ kind of messages that signify everything in general but nothing in particular, getting stoic replies that border on ‘unable to open the file hence re-send’ and finally having to present the original initial draft in the meeting as nobody would have added value to the draft- repeated occurrences of these tasks in alarming frequency results in the sickness of the abdomen that releases a sense of pain all over the lower and upper areas of the stomach that finally seems to result in the slowly emanating pain in chest that we saw in point number 1.
3. The third predominant illness is the tendency of the head to take different dimensions other than a sphere or an ovaloid ( oval shpere ) as and when newer tasks arrive in mail. This is invariably the result of the cumulative past experiences of having to accept tasks that are half done and abandoned by some body who had quit without notice and whose documentation for the tasks completed until then would never exist. These tasks would have been just begun. And the other person would have gone by the maxim that ‘well begun is half done’ and would have reported the progress of the task as 50% and suddenly decided to call it a day. And when these tasks arrive on mail they would already have been past due for many months and would have come to the serious attention of the management. And the management would have needed a daily update on the progress. These tasks result in the head taking all possible shapes other than a sphere and thus resulting in pains all over the skull. One possible remedy for this would be to hit ones’ head against the computer screen so hard that either the head or the screen breaks.
4. This fourth illness is the constant urge to smash the mouse to pieces by hitting hard on it repeatedly. This is a result of receiving constant meeting invites over Outlook or Lotus Notes. Importantly the urge increases when you are prompted repeatedly reminding that a meeting is already overdue by 10, 20, 30 or 40 minutes as the case may be. If a mouse does not exist, then the urge would be to smash the constantly buzzing telephone to pieces. This is so far un-curable and hence the only remedy is to either smash the mouse or the telephone or both to pieces.
5. Fifth Is the constant urge to fiddle with the mobile phone when in face to face conversation with friends and in meetings. This disease is increasingly assuming alarming proportions that companies are formulating procedures to restrict cell phones in meetings. The only remedy for this illness is to remove the battery of the mobile phone. One might not be able to receive calls but not receiving calls actually helps avoid family problems.
6. The last but not the least in prevalence among the IT folks is the instant urge to visit wikipedia even to find out what the time was. And currently the IT folks have started to visit Wikipedia even to find out to whom they are married to. A different variation of this is called ‘facebookosis’. Early symptoms point to a person looking at a blank computer screen and pressing the Refresh button. Severe cases are the ones that don’t even power-up the computer yet press the Refresh button. Last week my friend had the worst symptom of this disease ( Type III as it is called ) when he began to check my status in Facebook when we actually met over coffee.
After reading all the above, I began to feel that either one or all of the above, in varying proportions, was prevalent on me that Friday afternoon.
The first one to come to my attention was a mild pain in the chest that started from the left side and began to proceed in all directions and in all planes. When I began to feel that, the head throbbing started in a small way and made my head to constantly change its shape from a sphere to a cuboid to a cube to a rhombus like solid. And then happened the itch to grab the mouse and hit the table hard while the left hand was fiddling with the mobile phone to check a Facebook status. All the while the pain in the abdomen started to increase and proceed towards the waist on its downward journey.
When all this happened simultaneously, I saw myself in the hospital bed with the doctor proclaiming that I had multiorganwikilympostaticischemicunstableanginosis.