Wednesday, November 28, 2012



Statutory Warning 

The contents of this post may be injurious to its consumers' health


There was a shocking front-page item the other day in the local newspapers here. Apparently the Teacher of a Class I boy (aged 6...the boy I mean) forced him to drink his own urine. 

The headlines were bold but, as usual, the details were scanty, contradictory and perfunctory. The boy went to the wash room, it seems, and brought a tumblerful of his urine into the class room and kept it on the window sill. The ma'am got outraged, naturally, and asked the kids close by to hold the boy and the tumbler, and made him drink its contents. That is one version. The other is that the kid was not actually forced to drink the liquid but merely had his face splashed by his own pee. Which version is the truth couldn't be confirmed since the Teacher went into hiding (to escape hiding perhaps...sorry for the pun).

I was curious what happened to the case, but, as usual, the story vanished from the papers leaving things to the reader's riotous imagination.

As for me, I was reminded of the Auto Urine Therapy (AUT) that shot into fame when its prime proponent was in the fact when he was the Prime Minister of India. This Gandhian lived exactly to a hundred but could celebrate only 25 birthday bashes since he was quirkily born on the 29 February of a leap year. When asked the secret of his longevity, he said it was his constant practice of AUT. And being a Gandhian, he said, he was not ashamed to admit it (Gandhi admitted to worse things). Apparently he was suffering from bleeding hemorrhoids (piles, for the common man) till he was 40, when he was advised to try AUT. And, lo and behold, it cured him the next day and he got addicted to the drink.

Sec 66A was not even in its womb then and so cartoons and intranet jokes proliferated soon. Like the one in which three friends go to a bar and two order beer while the third visits the washroom (like that Class I boy) and returns with a tumblerful of pale yellow liquid saying:

"I have brought mine"

In my childhood I didn't practice AUT but I was forced to undergo CUT (Cow Urine Therapy). I was always lean and thin with my ribs showing. My parents thought I was a sick child. But they didn't understand that I was playing so much outdoors that my energy output far exceeded my input (reverse of now). So, a cowherd was asked to fetch his cow to our backyard and, while my mom did puja to its nether parts, my dad made me do CUT. Since I never tried AUT, I can't say if cow's pee is saltier than man's. I stayed lean and thin though, happily.

I had another harrowing experience when I was in my Class VI. I was rather a precocious child, always asking questions. And there was this Telugu Calendar hanging on our wall. It had lots of ads on its borders. One of them showed the picture of a house sparrow and a bottle of a drug beside it labeled (in Telugu):

"Fattened Sparrow's Fleshy Nectar"

I didn't follow the blurb and so asked my Father what that Nectar does. And got a spanking on my head.

It was only much later that I understood that the drug is an aphrodisiac. 

I am sorry for the poor sparrow, fattened purposely for no fault of his. It was sort of an 'occupational' hazard for house-sparrows. In the sense that they 'occupy' safe places inside houses and start their love life as a public spectacle. And within a couple of days, the couple get terribly busy making their nest, flying in and out of the house carrying hay. Those days there were no hazardous ceiling fans and so they had altogether a nice time of it. We kids used to watch their fun endlessly.

When Ishani was in the making three years ago, I blogged a hundred rhymes calling them Raadhaa Rhymes (I got them printed too). 

Here is the one about my favorite childhood pet:

 Raadhaa watches a sparrow,
In its hurry and harrow;
Fetching twigs,
Tiny sticks;
As if there is no tomorrow!


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