How To Fall Sick Alone

by | May 14, 2019

Come one, come all. In this blog, I will take you through the step-by-step procedure to fall and remain sick. It is an extremely fun process and comes from personal experience of falling sick alone in Mangaon, Maharashtra, for half of April. Ready? Here we go.

Don’t listen to people

This is the first and most important step. People have ‘been there, done that’. So what? Everyone has their own journey. My co-fellow cautioned me to be careful about my health. One of my colleagues would suggest not traveling between 11am and 4pm, drinking plenty of water, sleeping adequately etc. My parents would tell me to eat only good food, as if sometimes I deliberately pick bad food to eat. Why would people say such basic things, that too, so straightforward! And then they expect me to listen? I believe I have the best immunity and when you believe that, you exhibit a confidence to take up any lifestyle adventure. YOLO!

Save water

What is all this nonsense about forgetting to drink water? Is that even possible? Once, I was travelling to one of the partner centers in Raigad on an assignment. It was quite far and I knew going and coming back would take me the whole day. I had to take some documents and also discuss many things. A lot was going on, on my mind, but I tell you, I never forgot water. I took a one litre bottle and managed my entire day with it. Can you believe it? I was glad that I was able to manage my water consumption well. I recommend you as well to drink water cautiously and do your part in saving water – The elixir of life! Never have I forgotten to drink water. I have always remembered and chosen not to.

Eat out

Mangaon is a small town. But eateries and restaurants are numerous. I proposed a small challenge to myself to try every eatery in Mangaon. Challenge accepted! One of the lovely e-mails from the fellowship team insisted that I take care of what went into my stomach. Well, let’s just say, Ma stomach, Ma rulezz! So, I tried about ten different restaurants day after day and oh, such yummy food. On the eleventh day, when I woke up, I felt a jingle in my belly. Ten days is all it took! Now that I am recovered, I am going to revive the challenge and cover the remaining restaurants. I mean, one has to know the best restaurant in their locality. Why, you ask? What if a co-fellow visits? Where will we go for dinner? It’s all in preparation for the future, you see.

Don’t tell anyone that you’re sick

Once you’ve fallen sick, don’t tell others about it. People don’t really empathize. They tell me that I have to take a tablet immediately and drive it away. I ask you, how is it fair? Even in our Indian culture, when a guest visits our home, we welcome them courteously, exchange pleasantries, chit-chat for some time and let them go on their own. We don’t ask them to leave immediately, do we? So why this discrimination towards sickness? Such a poor thing. Please show some respect. And then, people have this habit of saying, ‘I told you so!’ when you tell them you’ve fallen sick. This is the worst and that’s why you should never tell anyone.

Don’t see a Doctor

Even if you decide to take a tablet, don’t consult a doctor for it. Who would go to a doctor for such a small thing? Don’t you know, Crocin and Dolo can fix anything under the roof! Besides, how can a doctor know what you’re exactly going through? They don’t know how you feel, right? They are so strange. How can they give you the correct remedy? It’s all western influence, I tell you. Once I had ear pain and visited the doctor who asked me to gargle salt water for a few days. Now, how will clearing my throat ease the pain in my ear? A few days later, I couldn’t hear much, but I could sing well.

Be a man

Being a man is simple. First, you don’t take a holiday when you’re sick. Which crazy person would take a holiday just to get well? That’s such an unproductive use of a personal leave. Second, you continue to eat outside. See, let me make something clear. Food cravings are food cravings. If you want to eat biriyani when you have diarrhoea, I suggest you do it. More power to you mate! Third and last, you reject any kind of advice from people. I will tell you the truth. I kind of slipped on this. My colleague insisted I eat at her place for a few days. She said, “Eat khichdi, you’ll get better”. I wanted to eat khichdi and so I agreed. But soon, I started feeling better. Don’t make this mistake. Just man up and turn the offer down.

Falling sick alone sucks. This was the first time I experienced this and it was painful.

Clearly, it was not as if no one warned me about this. I realized what it means to have health by your side in this fellowship. I’ve bought an induction stove and started to cook my own food. Day by day, the taste is improving. That, or what I cook is growing on me. Whatever it is, I’ve stopped eating outside. Restaurants of Mangaon will have to wait. I’m drinking coconut water on some days and slurping curd right out of the pack on other days to cool my body down. I’m also drinking plenty of water every day. In fact, I’ve bought a Matka, which has a natural cooling ability. I value when my colleagues advise me on a lifestyle choice and I listen to their advice even if it’s basic. I shall also not shy away from asking for help when I need it. I now know where the nearest doctor is and have stocked basic medicines as a precaution.

On reflection, I feel this sickness was a hiding hand that forced me to mend my ways of living, early on in the fellowship. It also made me take a step back from the fast paced immersion at my host organization and take care of myself. It is quite important to take care of yourself, you see.

P.S. Sarcasm is intended throughout the post!

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    • Nikhil Kanakamedala

      Listen to others’ advice 😛

  1. Jaya Hariyani

    Really meaningful and funny Nikhil. You write so well. Glad and sad to know that you have shifted to khichdi.. I’m unsure now if I will visit the best restaurant in town when I come! Will not tell you to take care of your health; I’m sure you’ve many to tell you that. Instead I would say eat out once a while; still few more places to go! I hope you don’t fall sick “alone” again.

    • Nikhil Kanakamedala

      Thank you so much Jaya! Oh, you just come, I’ll get you ‘the’ best food here (Don’t worry, I won’t cook)

  2. Swati Saxena

    Hahaha. Absolutely enjoyed reading this as well. With every piece, I think I get to know you more.
    You should definitely write more than once a month, if it helps you reflect better. Will look forward to read about your field areas, team members and workdays as well.

    • Nikhil Kanakamedala

      Thanks Swati 🙂 Haha, sure. You are going to know a lot about me, Mangaon and more!

  3. Aditi Tulsyan

    Hahaha 😀 what a fun read nikhil !!

  4. Anupama Pain

    A little late to read this … but of course all of the things mentioned above is still true :-). I had mine in the 13th month, imagine all the nonsense till before that, that i put myself through – like you have pointed out.

    I do have one suggestion … ‘Be a man’ can be replaced by ‘Be strong’ … ?

    • Nikhil Kanakamedala

      Thanks for reading and the suggestion. My use is intended to be a satire on the phrase ‘Be a man’


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