If my previous article was grim, this one would be grimmer. This incident too happened, like the others, and prior than those. It was during the time when my sister was living in Calcutta ( much before they shifted to USA permanently ). I was just out of college, and after dabbling a bit in a corporate job, I had decided to start my own business. It was related to computers and I was all set to be a business-woman ( until, my interest shifted to something else, that is - yeah, I'm fickle minded ). So, every morning I'd go to my office ...errr computer-shop, and customers would throng in. I was making money, and life was good.

During afternoon, our purana driver used to bring me my tiffin - that was mostly burgers or any random eatable things that he'd find, from nearby restaurants. Things were still good. In between though, my feet got itchy to return to Bombay ( where I had spent my entire college years ). So, I got in touch with one of my college friends, who arranged my stay in a hostel. Thus, now, in a span of few months, I was juggling two careers - one, in my hometown ~ as a business-woman, and the other, in Bombay, again in the corporate jungle! My mother started looking after my business, as I started spending more and more time in Bombay. Once, taking a short-break for a couple of months, I went to my hometown and resumed my work there. So, again our driver started bringing me my afternoon food. At first, I did not notice much, but gradually, the food I ate, started to taste bitter. It included the food my mother made. Except for sweet food, everything else tasted bitter. Days passed, and my taste buds seemed to find everything bitter, including 'biriyani' that I so enthusiastically hogged. I just could not taste anything anymore. My return date was approaching, and I could not figure out what was wrong with me. Till then, I didn't even realize anything was wrong with me :| I forced the food in somehow, but it would be the most bitterest thing I ever tasted.

I hoped things would get better once I returned to Bombay; as usually, Bombay's food always did wonders for me and my tummy. My mother's cooking is a little bland, so I suspected, maybe it was just the food that I didn't like much, hence, it tasted so weird. In my return, I had my ticket via Calcutta. Its when things really went wrong. The bitter taste followed here too, and this time with my sister's cooking. It was as though, my tongue had lost all sense of taste except sweet. And my sister cooks pretty well, so, I knew instantly something was severely wrong. And soon, I became weak, as my food intake got lesser by the day. I had severe dehydration too, but shocking thing was, as though, my entire food-pipes were gradually melting everyday, and coming out in some strange grayish-sticky-mucus pulp form. I was so weak by then, that I could barely get up from my bed, much less clean those yuck stuff. Yeah...sounds terrible now, but when I think back, I shudder the situation I was in.

A doctor came twice. When his first set of medicines couldn't control what the ailment was, after all the stool-sample testings he had done; on his second visit he said on a sad note ~ only prayers could save me from death now, and that my time was near! I could not believe my ears. Meanwhile, I had a little feud with my sister, who all along accused me that I was pretending to be sick. WTF! I still don't understand why she thought that way, when I could not possibly pretend such scary things coming outta me, which my mother too was a witness. I felt offended at her behaviour, so thought it best to get out of her place, and shift somewhere else, lest, she was feeling troubled or bothered by my presence or illness. She later realized her mistake, and pleaded me not to go; but I decided to move out anyways. The doctor's words too were dangling in my ears, and the last place I wanted to die was there. So, I asked my mother to bring a cab and we went to a hotel near Howrah station. I was so weak, I could barely walk those 2-floor stairs to the cab :-(

Once in a new place, I, then, decided to fight back, come what may. A doctor can't just write me off this way, I thought. What kind of a doctor was he? Sure, I was not well...but, it was hardly incurable, was it?! I doubted his credentials and insisted on another doctor. My father too had arrived by then, and we shifted to yet another hotel, then another :o The last one, much posher than the other two - being his office-sponsored. Thankfully, the new doctor's medicine, along with my determination, worked! After weeks of suffering a tasteless tongue, and a very very weak body; I finally got my sense of taste back, and my health too bounced back slowly. Of course, Bombay's ( where I landed next ) food did its share of wonders. In all of this I wonder, if it was food-poisoning that had happened to me? My driver used to bring me food from various restaurants, and just before this incident, he had brought a 'mughai-paratha' dish, that I distinctly remember. Was it the culprit? Was it intentional or my driver had no clue? That's still an unsolved mystery....

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