Odd Number Out

Sunita Giri 11:03 PM |

“What have you eaten to upset your stomach”, Shova Didi  asked me when I said that my system has gone out of control.  

“Powder milk” I said honestly, as she was not going to punish me or fill the ear of housemothers about my this honesty. Because, she was the only nice nannies in Bal Mandir with whom sharing something like this was not risky at all. And asked her, why do you think ‘it’ to be blamed for my loose motion ?

She said, “why not, it has to be that food, ‘raw food’, which is the reason to spoil your digestive system.”
“But I did not eat too much to have my system to go wrong like this”, I kind of defended myself.
“You don't have to eat too much poison to see its power”, small portion will do the work.” That logic has real weight in it.

When I was young and growing up in Bal Mandir, I did not have very strong digestive system or maybe immune system. I was  the first one to be prone to food poisoning, or at least I would like to think it that way. It was not that, I was demanding good and hygienic food on my plate every time because that was way too impossible; but my fragile health demanded me to take every precaution with what I eat and what I don't. Even slightest carelessness was sufficient to make me vomit, have loose motion and dust made me sneeze like anything.  How that happened was, something beyond the understanding of my tiny teen brain.

If my stomach got upset after having food from the main kitchen, that is something not much of a problem. Our kitchen was not the dirtiest to be doubted for unhygienic source of illness; because cleanliness was high priority then. Royal way of up bringing was something I came to appreciate, only when I left Bal Mandir. Its not that, I was the only one, who had to face the sever case of diarrhea all the time.

There were others too, who used to go through this phase, but, when we were children carelessness is our birthright, not knowing comes with the tender and innocent age, and ignoring adults for the guidelines they set for us was something  kind of  pride then. Having said all that was one of the reason that used to land me in trouble health wise, specially weak digestion.

However, this small defect of my health, played a huge role in my life to put me in a faraway distance from my own close friends, with whom I shared not only rooms but at times also classrooms and a kitchen to have meals.

But my this weakness was more of a problem, when we used to have small party among our close knit friends. We used to chip some money from each one in the group of about six and seven close friends circle and buy some foods from outside the Bal Mandir which were nearby the Bhagwati temple. Then, we did not knew it was cheap eateries, however food was tasty and it was fun to have Mo.Mo. Chhoyela, potato’s pickle with beaten rice used to be the main item in those fun party.

But, after one such fun party, I fell terribly sick as I had severe diarrhea. But what is interesting to pay attention was no one fell sick like me in the group. So, giving the incident as benefit of doubt, I did joined other fun party also, may be it used to happens every month at the end of it and this time also I fell sick. Now, there was no doubt that the food we had, had something that was not hygienic. But remember it was not hygienic only for me, as it did not make sick others in the group. Needless to mention, I was out from the group due to my princess like health, who could not digest food from cheap eateries. That fun gathering with good food did went on for quite some time but I can't remember how long, as I was  not in anyone of those party. I did went on for couple of years may be during our last years in Bal Mandir because we were big  girls then.


It really makes me smile, when I look back and try to sink the word in my head for that ‘big girls’ part. It was then, when we were in our mid teen years. When I look back now, teenage children are just the growing up child.

However, time spent with my childhood friends were much more fun than the food that made me sick [always], and damn I was not accustomed to have such meal for long, long time until, I could afford to go to decent restaurants, which hygienic priority was equally better than the good tasting food. That happened only after I started working in five star Hotel.

Now, what is most interesting thing to learn is, I am the odd number out in most of my groups, if its not my fragile health then, it my different thinking that separates me from rest of the crowd. I am the square peg who won't fit in a round hole circle. But, I have grown now, and have learned to accept my unique personality; and given up trying hard to fit in any group of so called normal people or society. Now, the word normal has power to bore me to death. I am proud that I am not the carbon copy version of anyone.


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