For all the many wonderful things Goa has given me, it has taken away something very dear to me. Something precious. Something I felt proud to call my own. My very own Cast Iron Stomach. So I have gone from being someone who could eat pani-puris off street corners, to rolls at Fanoos (and do not be deceived by the name “Hotel Fanoos”. The place is but a hole in the wall amongst many, in a back alley of one of Bangalore’s most loved meat markets), to octopus salad, and pretty much anything of strange or questionable origin, and rarely feel the brunt of it. Unless of course consumed food had gone bad.
There’s nothing better than divine intervention on a day when you just know you cannot get yourself out of bed. Not that I was thanking my stars for the 6th stomach upset of the year, but I couldn’t help but feel someone was listening when I was cribbing about my Sunday Evening Blues. And sent me the upset tummy form hell. So I stayed in of course. Who wants to spend 50% of the work day in the office loo anyway? Somewhere between the 8th and 9th visit to the loo, I realised why I’ve fallen prey to the stomach bug so often this year. Goa has in fact broken through said Cast Iron Stomach. Undoing years of painstakingly built resistance. To bugs, dirty water, raw veggies chopped in the dingiest locations, chutneys and sauces of disturbing colours and textures. Rich and heavy masalas in their curries, over-oily everything and just far too many shady hole-in-the-wall eateries has finally gotten to me.And my cast iron stomach.
And with it, its gnawed into my cast iron willpower. To get up and face a Dirty Monday Morning, even when all the world around you tells you to give in to a sick body and get some rest. The old me would drink a ton of water, swallow a pill, perk my chin up and get to work. Because there’s always work to be done. But the new vulnerable-and-susceptible-stomached-me seems to look for reasons not to. Hanging on to every sickness and giving in to the hearts need to cut back. So while I lie in bed and try and get some work done, I realise there is so much more to falling sick than just the body.