Wednesday, December 24, 2014

.Suresh and I - I

The Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges wrote a short story called Borges and I in which he wrote about the public and the private Borges. The public Borges is the one to whom things happen, who is in the news, in a list of professors or figures in some biographical entry. The private Borges likes ' hourglasses, maps, eighteenth-century typefaces,  etymologies, the taste of coffee and the prose of Stevenson'. Although the public Borges shares these likes, he is more put-on. Although, little by little, the private Borges will fade away and the public Borges will live on.

In many ways,I also have such public and private faces as a result of my stroke. I have been saddled with various characteristics by various people after my stroke depending on how they interpret my blinks  and because of certain characteristics I have as a result of my stroke.I think there are many versions of me floating around. I had mentioned earlier about various misunderstandings.

Sometimes when I  seem interested in watching a particular scene or song in a program that the nurse is watching, she will instantly conclude that I am a big fan of that particular actor. For eg.,  I  once kept laughing over those parts of the lyric that I could understand in a Vijay song. The nurse instantly concluded I was huge Vijay fan.  She told the physiotherapist about it.He unfortunately turned out to be a Vijay fan and started quizzing me about his movies. Since I have seen only one movie of his, the physiotherapist soon concluded that the nurse was exaggerating somewhat. I have been a fan of several actors in this way..

Sometimes, when the nurse will be watching some program and I will be lying quietly thinking of something, she  will suddenly say, 'Isn't that guy married to someone in Coimbatore? His wife owns a flat in ...'.I don't know how she got the impression that I am interested in such information because she would never have seen me watch these programs.

My expression at these times would be similar to that of Lord Emsworth when he is disturbed by a pesky relative while he is contentedly contemplating the potato munching skills of his prized pig The Empress of Blandings as she prepares to compete in the  "Fat Pigs" class at the local Shropshire Agricultural Show. I am sure you will agree with me that it is impolite to disturb a man who is enjoying the sight of his pet pig fattening itself.

I will often be told "You look handsome!" or "You look like a model!" etc., things that I was never told before my stroke! P.G. Wodehouse said in Uneasy Money, 'At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire a poise and an ability to handle difficult situations which a man, if he is lucky, manages to achieve somewhere in the later  seventies.' Considering my demeanour before my stroke, seventies would have been considered rather optimistic.

It seems that people are accustomed to making such flattering remarks to handicapped people ostensibly to improve their morale. Some time back I watched the Tamil movie Anbe Sivam. In it the character played by Kamal Hasan meets with a terrible accident in which he suffers grevios injuries. When he recovers, he has a grotesque face with protruding teeth, has lost the use of one hand and walks with a pronounced limp. When the nun who had nursed him back to health meets him after a long while, she says, 'Doesn't he look handsome!'

1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year,guys.....a New Year resolution i wanna keep-to respond to your posts!!Hope I am able to!!
    You know,Suresh,it's very difficult to express sorrow.If you are wail or just swallow your tears or whatever.But when you feel sad for somebody else,you don't know how to put across your feelings to them and that's when you end up speaking/doing something foolish.......
    "I will often be told "You look handsome!" or "You look like a model!" etc., things that I was never told before my stroke!"
    I don't quite believe this!!Jaya,do you??Ladkiyon ki to line lagi hogi REC,Trichy aur IIM-A mein!!!