Friday, December 08, 2006

Hazar mautein: Thousand Deaths

I've sneezed five times today. New tenants are moving in to the office next door and men in white overalls have been painting and scraping and banging away for days now. Usually I sneeze a good dozen times. Seven more to go.

Seven deaths.

Did you know that all your bodily functions stop for that instant you sneeze? Your heart stops, your lungs don't expand, heck even your eyes close. That's why, people say "bless you," so that you won't actually die. That your soul will return to your body after being ousted for that instant in which you sneeze.

How many thousand of deaths have I had? 12 deaths a day for the past week, so many more besides that. I've died each day. Like a coward? Ek maut is better than hazaar mautein.

That's what they say. But I don't know. Sneezing reminds me I am alive, jolts me out of the interminable text I am editing. Like a little lightning bolt it shocks me out of my stupor. And if my eyes feel gritty and my nose a little stuffed, it's my own assertion of life.

I'm here. I'm alive. I survived another death.

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