Glad to inform my friends that the first chapter of my treatment was over today, with the last dose of the Harmone injection. Originally, six monthly doses were prescribed, now reduced to four. So much so good.

What the nurse pushed into my system will play havoc for a few days, I know from experience. She too knows that from books but she smiled intentionally while unintentionally, I looked into her eyes. As a duty- bound para medico, her concentration was on my navel area around which she would select a holy dot to push in the powerful medicine.

‘Do you know the importance of my ‘thoppul’ or naabhi ?’ I wanted to ask her. Were a male nurse, I would have asked, but not to a female. My time is bad. Why invite problems?

For the nurse, male or female, It is only a scar on my abdomen, called ‘umbilicus’. There are many scars on the body and this is one among those!

No, lady with a syringe needle in hand, it is not just a scar. It is a perpetual monument to remind my relationship with my mother! It is the holy spot which connected me with her, through the umbilical! She nourished me through the cord which was sticking to my navel, which you now call a ‘scar’! Had I the wisdom which I have now when I was born, I would have preserved a piece of the long chord and worshipped. But another lady of your clan, holding a pair of scissors in her hand, cut it off merciless.

I was about to get up from the exam. table and grab the hand of the nurse when appeared before my eyes the ever enchanting form of Anantha Padmanabha, reclining on a multi hooded serpent, a long lotus stem projecting from his ‘naabhi ‘ at the top of which was a blooming lotus on which was seated Brahma with four heads turning and looking at all the four sides waiting for the signal from the boss at the deep bottom to start creation.

‘Anantha Padmanabham aasrayae’ I wanted to sing.
No chance, no words were coming out. I wanted to tell the nurse at least, ‘my naval is my center of gravity. What an amazing brain it was to suspend me to my mother’s womb through a chord, from the exact center of my body? Praise to Him!
‘Yesunathar Paadinaal avar enna paaduvar?’
No luck. No words were coming out of my mouth.

I was not moving out of the table too.

Time was running out. Other patients were awaiting some on wheel chair, some slanting on the arm or shoulder of the life partner and some simply looking at the roof wondering what past crime or habit, brought them there. The nurse looked at my pulse, which was precise to the text book reading .There was no need for Megh to see my pulse as her natural brain scanner which records every vibration in my internal cells and external skin told her that things were perfectly normal with me.

So, she whispered into my ears, Appa, ‘chakka pazham – Jack fruit’, which I like most, but for which, there is a ration card!
I got up from the table with a jerk, like the Kalpathy or Perinkulam chariot, given a push from the back by a huge pachyderm or like lazy Ammalu, wasting her time reading Ananda Vikatan and Kalki, when a picture of Ammini or Paru, Karthyayani or KalyAni , drops from the gaps of the pages.

When I walked towards the gate, through the long corridors, the nurse was watching from the back, till my shadow disappeared from her sight.

‘When is his next appointment?,’ she enquired the reception girl.

‘Over; no more shots for him’

She thanked Saint Patrick as it was his day yesterday.

Ps. Below is a drawing of the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, to show the navel as the center in the circle – drawing from the Internet. The picture of the navel too from the Internet.

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