The opposite of “These are a few of my favorite things”

“In fact, the mere act of opening the box will determine the state of the
cat, although in this case there were three determinate states the cat
could be in: these being Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious.” Sir Terry Pratchett

I am bloody furious, for a number of reasons. It is one of those days when the sun is determinedly sulking behind the clouds and the milk for coffee curdles and I am having a ‘these are a few of my favorite things’ moment, except only the extreme opposite. I would rhyme the following and put it to music, but am too sadly madly angry.

  • Every January, without fail, I get a terrible cold and lung congestion aka party time for sadistic viruses. A couple of weeks of sleepless nights and of wet sponge – where the lungs are supposed to be – lovingly pressed against the rib cage is enough to make anyone a little crabby. But adding salt to hacking cough injury, no one is convinced that I am sick. Even though I sound like a frog who is choking on a large fly and the humongous mountain of used tissue paper next to my bedside is applying to be a snotty art installation. People insist on using uncharitable words like ‘hypochondria’. They are blind, deaf and are devoid of any feelings
  • I signed up at the beginning of the year for Kannada (local language where I live) classes (Pootle List #2), full of excitement and conviction that I am one of those people who has a natural ear for languages. This was supposed to be the glorious start of when I would effortlessly learn one language after another and have an exciting career being an international translator and travelling the world. I had not reckoned with the fact that the same part of the brain that deals with advanced biology, probability in mathematics, organic chemistry and macroeconomics (all subjects I came close to failing in school or college) governs grasp of languages. Each time I tried studying Chemistry I would have to begin with the structure of carbon. It’s the same. I now begin my current swot sessions with ‘my name is…’ and get it wrong. The class, meanwhile, has advanced to the equivalent of Shakespeare (I last heard them lustily reciting ‘one-two buckle my shoe’ in Kannada). The cold has caused me to miss two classes. I now have no hope
  • Every January, the Indian government announces the Padma awardees – the highest civilian awards of the country. This year too, I did not get my dues
  • At least one of my sleepless nights was caused by Sir Terry Pratchett’s Raising Steam. If you haven’t read STP, may I please recommend a dose of ‘Guards! Guards!’ to be taken pronto. If you have read the book, you will know how it is not only about the advent of new technology (steam engines), but is also a clever satire about xenophobia and conservative politics. There are various species – trolls, dwarves, humans, zombies, vampires who have sworn off blood, goblins and gnomes – that happily co-inhabit the Discworld (carried by elephants on the back of a giant turtle). Then along come the grags who are dwarves that follow the teachings of Tak to the letter and are hell bent on ensuring that dwarves don’t mix with the low-life trolls, the abominable humans, and anyone who is not dwarf born, dwarf raised and eats rats for every meal. Let’s just say there is a lot of blood-shed. While the book was not his finest, and was written when his Alzheimer was quite advanced, it was more than enough to reinforce the fact that we lost someone very special the day STP shook hands with Death
  • I am very pissed off that that right now, in the real world, in so many countries, we are letting the grags win

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