Tuesday, September 21, 2010

O When the Swine Flu!

It was the summer of 2009. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the flowers were in bloom and there was Swine Flu in the air.

Everyone was paranoid, as was I. The first obvious step was to go marching to the nearest store to get one of those night burglar masks that everyone was talking about. After which it was only human to laugh at those who did not own a mask and go “Ha! Ha! Suckers!” when they weren’t looking. It was also imperative to visit a doctor every time someone in the same room/builing/street/city sneezed. It was the swine flu protocol we were expected to follow.

Amidst all the madness, the inevitable happened. Schools and colleges shut down, which sent me packing off to my little Chennai village.
Little Chennai village did not care about swine flu. Pune was too far away, so what difference does it make if Eight people were dying there every day because of this new disease? Little Chennai Village did not give a shit.

I was still paranoid.  So I decided I needed a bottle of sanitizer to fight the flu. I’d never seen too many people use sanitizers in Chennai, except my best friend who has always been a compulsive sanitizer user, but I didn’t think it was a ‘Chennai thing’. I was soon about to find out.

I went to all the local medical stores to check for sanitizers. They were either out of stock or had no idea what a sanitizer was. The following is the translated Tamil conversation that took place in the last medical store I went to (and it was the last one for good reason):

Me: Do you have sanitizers?

Shopgirl: Sanitizers? What’s that?

Me: Err… You know the thing everyone is using because of the swine flu?

Shopgirl: Oh, that!

Shopgirl turns to storeguy

Storeguy: What does she want?

Shopgirl: Sanitizer.

Storeguy: What’s that?

Shopgirl: You know that thing everyone uses when they don’t want to wash their hands?

Storeguy: Oh, that!



vishesh said...

Chennai village doesn't give a fuck about many things. half of us live ignorant of the rest of the world..#truestory

Raveena said...

How true that true story is!

Anand Shankar said...

I live in Chennai Village and I was paranoid beyond compare. This led me to buy a hand sanitizer and use it liberally. Sometimes even thrice in a span of a 15 minute bus ride.

Raveena said...

I'm guessing you are not a Chennai village native!

This is protocol for all non-chennai village natives. Fear not, you are right on track.

Sam said...


ps- nice pic btw. Really highlightens the point.

Also, I fell into the category of ppl who didn give a shit. Partly cuz using masks would be too cumbersome, as they had to be changed very frequently, and the ones who tied their hankies on their noses were actually ignorant of the fact that the mask was designed with multiple layer filters. So I just strutted around anyway. :P

Raveena said...

@Sam - Too cool you are no? Walking around without masks and not giving people prizes?

I hope you know I'm still boycotting you. You'll be able to feel my presence outside your blog with my colourless flag.

Sam said...

Haha, whats your full name? Your coming on my facebook now.

Raveena said...

I'm too shy to state my name in public... It must be the Indian woman values in me.

Check your mail, sorcerer. It's good for health.

Sakhi said...

This is the state of our country even after so many years of independence!! :-|

Raveena said...

Where does Independence come in? If anything, this is a case of ignorant bliss!

oof ya! said...

i have linked your blog. please dont change your link now!!!!

Hema said...

kada ponnu sonnthu unma thaane?

Raveena said...

Hema - Aye! You are being Chennai ponnu doing Chennai defending. Paravailla. Namma Chennai ignorance vazhga.