Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Floods in 'Developed Nations'

I have recently become the laughing stock of my family. I have contracted a stomach infection from drinking contaminated water. There was flooding in my area and drinking water was unsafe for a little while, but we were not told about it. Thus many people in my area landed up with problems of high fever and nausea at the local clinic. The doc was not surprised to hear my symptoms and put me on a liquid diet with paracetamol and strong anti-biotics, needless to say I am not feeling too good right now. Have nothing to eat, high fever and a reluctance to leave the side of the bed and simultaneously the toilet.

The laughing stock is due to the fact that I live in England. And when I am in India I am kept away from the best food around because I might have become delicate from staying in a relatively sterile environment for so long. Thus I am am unable to eat the roadside snacks which were my favorite during college days spent in Delhi. That not being the point here. I am considered to be 'safe' living here and can eat what I want, when I want, I dont need monitoring. Or de-worming or Bisleri.

When I fell sick my family thought maybe it was stress, it might be something I ate, but hang on..I live in UK and food is more than safe to eat, thanks to obsessive Health and Safety rules and regulations in this country. So what could it be? Being married and young enough to have children a few hopes were going up pretty fast. These were crushed by my visit to the doctor who nodded gravely and said, 'Stomach Flu' you are okay, join the queue of people who area suffering.

When I relayed the news back home they laughed..water borne infection due to minor flooding. Oh boy, I got an earful of laughs and was told about the 1000s who live with this disease and suffer from it annually in India and Bangladesh every monsoon. And then I remembered, its almost a routine, we know the monsoon will come, we know there shall be flooding and yet, every year the people who live in the Gangetic basin and near the Brahmaputra river suffer. Every year. Its amazing how they cope with it. We had 2 months of steady rain here and people have been claiming insurance left, right and center for damage to property, health, stress etc etc. It does make me think of two words..Opposite worlds!
And sometimes it does feel like I live on a different planet.

1 comment:

Shaunak said...

Haha! Life is cruel, eh? :D
On a related note, I know of people who laughed and rejoiced when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and especially at the aftermath.

Schadenfreude mixed with the colonial complex.