A few months ago, something terrible happened. It was bound to happen. Looking back, I can tell that it occurred only because of my complacency. I was sitting on my bed in the safety of my home with a laptop, reading other blogs and anointing them with my expert comments, when I realized that my overgrown nails were causing some impediment while typing.
People think that mishaps occur only when they venture out of their homes. This is not true. To get in the way of harm, you don’t have to go to Iraq, Afghanistan, or Syria, or play in traffic, or swim in shark-infested water. Calamity could strike you even inside your home. In fact, toilet injuries are far more common than shark attacks. According to a report, last year, 75 people had suffered from shark bites all over the world, against 40,000 toilet related injuries. People even drown in bathtubs and buckets.
So, I was sitting on my bed with a laptop, reading and commenting on blogs, and as always being home alone, my subconscious was filled with anxiety and a vague fear of some unknown catastrophe, like alien attack, or the earth straying away from its orbit and getting lost in the space, not to talk about the fear of smaller hazards, like fire, earthquake, flood, or armed robbery. Many times, I come across stories of home invasion by bears, snakes, cockroaches, or mosquitoes, and they also stay in the back of my mind.
I was fortunate that there weren’t any thunderstorm, tornado or tsunami warning that day. But accidents usually occur without warnings. The weatherman will never tell you that an airplane is going to crash over your home.
And that day, my biggest fear came true. As I mentioned earlier, I was sitting on my bed with a laptop, reading and commenting on blogs when I realized it was time to clip my nails.
Now, reading other blogs and online magazines is what I do when I suffer from anxieties in general. I have realized that reading literary magazines
is a sheer waste of time. First, the writers there only try to show off their highbrowism. Second, whatever pleasure you get while reading a magnificent article or a story turns sour when you realize how subpar your own writing abilities are compared to them. I don’t know about you, but I get depressed. On the contrary, reading blogs written by normal people like your own self, gives you immense gratification. If a post is well-written, it is a boon, and if it is shoddy, incoherent, top-of-the-head garbage, it is a mega boon, as it makes you feel even better and boosts your self esteem.
Thus, I was trying to boost my self esteem, when I realized I needed to clip my fingernails. I pulled out a magazine, which happened to be the latest issue of Time Magazine, to collect the clipped nails and started to shape my nails. I had planned to clip only fingernails because toenails are better done after a shower. Which reminds me that a few years ago, I had fractured my pinky toe by smashing it against a leg of a coffee table. I will write about it next time because this post has already crossed its word limit and I haven’t told you about the accident yet.
So I started to clip my nails and collect them on the magazine. At such times, I usually pity the person featured on the cover. I really felt bad putting my nail clips on an eminent person’s face. I wonder what other abuses such pictures suffer all around the world.
I had successfully shaped three of the nails on my left hand, and was working on the fourth one, when a big clipping unpredictably flew away in unknown direction. I tried to find it around me, but all in vain. I was horrified. Not that I hadn’t lost nail clippings in the past, but on each occasion I had been able to find them. With extreme caution, I clipped the others nails, before I began my full-fledged search operation. I switched on all the lights, drew the window curtains aside, and then looked below the pillows and cushions and explored every fold of the blanket, comforter, and bed sheet. I even prayed for some miracle to happen, and kept on counting the clippings again and again. They still remained only nine. The fourth one disappeared like Osama bin-Laden had vanished before he was killed in Abbottabad. The nail clipping worried me immensely. It could have been hiding somewhere, looking for an opportunity to attack.
One day I dreamt that the truant clipping had entered my body and had started growing and multiplying.
These days, whenever I have a pain or an ache--dull or sharp--anywhere in my body, I suspect the clipping and its clones. I had consulted many physicians as well as specialists. They have made me go through all sorts of tests--from x-ray to ultrasound to MRI to CT scan and many more, but none of these tests could locate the culprit. Now my doctor has prescribed an antidepressant, which she believes might dissolve the clipping or clippings even if they were in my head.
I shared this personal story only to warn you that disasters lurk inside our homes too. Therefore, be careful all the time, be very careful.