I've had blogger's block, and its time to change that.
I've also had a cough that has lasted a month and a half. I live what is an unnatural existence for many. I teach and there are days that require me to talk for five hours. And this is no ordinary talk. This is top of the lungs voice projection of the type that begs an audience, and oscillates between drama and scholarliness. And usually I am competing with noisy fans, and one precocious student who takes it upon herself to explain a legal concept to her neighbor in urgently loud whispers and with hand gestures, a legal concept I have obviously failed to properly communicate. Luckily S does not require much babble; monosyllables work. And besides bi monthly protests of - what is wrong with you - you barely talk - you're in your own world -things are in blissful in early mid life acceptance of each other's idiosyncrasies.
Then killing me slowly are spring time allergies; Karachi's pollution, second hand smoke from those near and dear, an insatiable need for coffee, urgent chugs before lectures of caffeinated beverages, shedding stray cats who come to my window for midnight snacks, playing baby monster – a game that requires roaring with deliciously giggly babies.
I have tried to fight it off with everything: Reltus, Kuf-go, Dimetap, Jauhar Joshanda, green tea with lemon, water, mouthwash gargles, anti allergy pills, vitamins, bread, sleep by midnight, willpower, less diet coke
So finally the doctor in-laws commanded and I got a chest x-ray; they sent me to Hilal-i-Ahmer, the old fashioned way. Rs.200. Hell, beats the 700 I'd pay for an AC waiting room at Agakhan. But then this is where it gets hairy.
I asked the technician whether the radiation would damage any part of my body. I know, kinda stupid - but I just asked for the heck of it, as a test, tort law and all. He didn't respond but after he had set the machine in motion, he said: "About that question. Do you trust me as a brother?" A machine is creeping up my body, and he and I are alone; the famously slow fan of the government office whirring above, and so I say: "Yes, of course what is it?" "Are you pregnant?" he asked me. I told him I was not!
But Dude! Aren't you supposed to ask me that question before you smack me against a machine that has the potential to damage my unborn child? What is so personal and inappropriate about this very pertinent question? Do you want to get your ass sued? Well, strike that. We do not yet have a functioning judiciary and poor people get killed in malpractice all the time.
Welcome to the Islamic Republic. Arif Hasan tells us during Zia's regime, urinals were removed from hotels because these were indecent. And of course we know women on tv started wearing duppattas even in bed; suddenly things became sullenly conservative. At that moment in time, something really sick happened. We lost our self confidence to make rational judgments; and suddenly things as basic as this became shameful. And we are still stuck with Zia's hateful insidious ideology in 2010 to the peril of our safety. And the irony is - my x-ray brother was only trying to make me feel safe.
So coming back to the Kuff.
I was determined to talk less in class - get the students to yap a little more. Finally, at 9:15pm, I was done. 15 hours of lecturing; my water bottle was almost over; the students didn't so much as have the statutes with them. So I couldn't make them read out relevant sections. They hadn't read the cases - so pointless to get them to narrate the facts. So I let it descend to chaos - random joking, silly comments, and free flow chitter. All the stuff that is unadvisable, and virtually suicidal in Pakistani classrooms.
Corpses and body parts cannot be stolen because these are not property for the purposes of the theft act.
What about organs? Can these be stolen?
Aishwarya donated her eyes.
Oh really, wow.
R: Well, why doesn't she donate the rest of herself?
I repeat, what? What dead body part of Aishwarya's do you desire?
R: I dunno...her heart.
Well, Romeo. You do realize we are referring to a dead Aishwarya.
Er, um, er. yes.
Do you want to chop it up with liver and eat it?
Oh god! Girls can you smack this guy for me?
Girls: You can't say that.
Well, Abhishek likes her.
We think. But we don't know that for sure.
Student: Can we please get back to law? It started with Aishwarya and then it became about her legs and Abhishek. Can't we just study the law?
Well, Mr. Studious, in case you haven't noticed I've been hacking and coughing for almost two months. And in case you haven't seen, I have even poured myself joshanda in the middle of class. But oh, how would you know? You were absent. Dammit. So gimme a break.
I have to do a review session tomorrow. God, help me.