No sneezing matter!
By Vivek Hande
Some people are compulsive liars; others are compulsive shoppers or walkers. Well , I am a compulsive sneezer. My sneezing habits and abilities have made me a legendary figure among friends, colleagues, family and acquaintances. My fame , if I may call that, has spread far and wide. My record of maximum sneezes on the trot is likely to be verified shortly by the authorities at the Guiness Book of world Records and is going to find a honorable mention in the 2013 edition!
Some unexplained biological rhythm wakes me up at quarter to five in the morning with the first of a series of sneezes. Thereafter , as the day progresses, the frequency and intensity of my rhinological explosions goes on mounting. Neither me , nor my neighbors have used an alarm clock to wake up in the morning for several years. The neighborhood departmental store has long since given up trying to cope with my requirement of tissue and napkins. Many of the companies vie for my nose with the latest in heavy duty tissue paper and four ply napkins and try them out for performance scores and quality control before introducing them into the market. Pharmaceutical companies are invariably trying to woo me with their latest antihistaminics and try to buy my loyalty with gifts of expensive pens and silk ties. When I shift allegiance to a rival company , their stock ,inevitably soars on the share market. My friends seek me out constantly for information on ‘insider trading’.
My wife, however , has been threatening divorce for several years. My parents are on the verge of disowning me and my friends greet me as strangers when they are with friends and classmates. We do get exceptional service in restaurants and sometimes they even waive the bill, as the mangers want me to finish quickly and leave . The real estate agent has a tough time convincing folks to move into the next door flat. More often than not , it remains vacant; very few survive beyond three months. My boss finds it more convenient to promote me rather than sit across me and analyze my performance face to face.
I have tried everything under the sun and the moon. Allopathy; Homeopathy; Naturopathy; Ayurveda( I could have bought a Honda Civic with the amount I spent); Reiki , yoga and what have you. I have consulted rhinolgists, psychiatrists , psychologists, proctologists bit to no avail. My maid recommended a mouthful of hot chilies and standing barefoot under the sun for an hour. I developed ulcers in the mouth ; blisters on the foot; sacked the maid and continued to sneeze. I am beginning to get depressed; my patients (incidentally I am a doctor) are leaving me and my clinic wears a deserted look. I have very few friends and family left and things are getting worse by the day. I would like to appeal to readers to send suggestions/ advice/ prescriptions at firstname.lastname@example.org and bail me out of this terribly sticky situation !!