close encounter of the worst kind

> The Rudrabhisheka went well. Sanju I wonder why the priest
> kept calling you putta. Poor guy needed all the help he
> could get. Amma, Vimi and Lali behind him shouting
> instructions.

Hey that was only in the final part when I was standing… I suddenly got confused because everybody started giving me instructions at the same time. But until then I was sitting on the floor… man my legs went all numb and painful, the only thing I could do was to just view it as pain and not as “my” pain, and then atleast it did not increase after that. But there was one part where I had to eat a piece of banana… I tried to ignore the fact that “I” have hated bananas all my life, and put it in my mouth, and swallowed it. But unfortunately it didn’t go further than my oesophagus… my whole system started a reverse persitalisis. I tried to fight it, I tried to ask someone for water but nobody could guess what I was saying, so the only thing I could do was take a ten second break to the bathroom. Later on there was another situation… and I decided it was not the time to experiment and asked if somebody could eat it on my behalf… they said no… but I was excused. [my previous close encounter with a banana is at
the end of this mail, if u like]

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close encounter of the worst kind

Thatha always used to tell me… “Why do u hate bananas so much? Eat it I say, let me see what will happen”. I used to promptly reply “I will throw up” and he used to say “its ok, throw up… so what… after that what will happen… find out”. That was an interesting point, but my hatred had exceeded my curiosity.

Around a couple of months ago, I could finally muster the courage to heed his words. I sat and slowly confronted my worst enemy – a banana. I sat in a quiet place in the office at lunchtime. I peeled it.

Then I broke off a piece and smelt it. My whole body shuddered in revulsion. I tried to relax, and reminded myself that it was only the smell of ethyl acetone, a compound of carbon. I smelt it again… and this time I watched my body’s usual reaction… but suprisingly as I watched it, it relaxed after some time when it came to know that I wasn’t encouraging its
behaviour.

I had simply dropped the assumption that I was going to throw up. Hence I had intentionally not taken any precautions (like keeping some water or tub or tissue paper nearby). Then after some time, I put it in my mouth. My whole mouth wanted very badly to spit it out.

My stomach started convulsing and I felt like I was going to throw up. But I could see that it was my stomach which wanted to throw up, but not me. I was really curious to see what would happen next. This was really a major breakthrough. I just watched it as if it was watching a movie… what will happen next? Will I throw up or will I not? After a few jumps resulting in guttural tones from the depths of my throat… my stomach… amazingly… relaxed! This result was astounding.

Next, I debated whether to blindly swallow it or chew it. I decided that if I had progressed this much, I should go the whole way. I didn’t have the courage to chew, but again… I relaxed for some time. My forehead was perspiring and my breath was short and uneven. After some time my breath returned to normal… and I slowly started to chew. My mind started
screaming out “I hate this… I hate this”. But I was able to not blindly react to this screaming as I had done all these years. I could manage to remain calm. I finally swallowed it and could feel it going down into my stomach… not without a few violent protests from my stomach which grew feebler and feebler after it could see my lack of encouragement.

This way I could gradually eat half the fruit after which my stomach started protesting all over again. I did not want to force myself so stopped there.

I felt happy that I had conquered myself. Though of course, it was only an insignificant temporary success; only when it becomes a regular habit does it really amount to anything. Don’t know when that will happen, hopefully only a matter of time.

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