I have been taught to say thanks. That is one of the perks of being born to educated and cultured parents. I am sure they must have said thanks to the midwife when she handed me over to them – “Here, you have a son”– even though she had no role to play in me being born a son. That too after two daughters.

I never had the opportunity to deliver a “Thank you” speech, thanks to the inability of Oscars, Filmfare or Nobel committees to find me.

But then why wait for an opportunity provided by others when I can create my own? And thinking on those lines, I decided to thank all my organs for teaching me values, ethics, strategies and sacrifices. We have plenty of examples inside us, no need to look outside.

Thanks to my Tonsils. Tonsils were the first organ in my body to make their presence felt right in my innocent childhood. Any hint of Ice-cream or chutney, and they would raise their ugly and painful head. That would warrant a visit to the local doctor in govt dispensary. I am sure, the doctor knew only one word – ‘Penicillin’. One injection a day for five days. It was a well-rehearsed drill. Nurse would take out a whitened glass syringe from the boiler, put on a needle thick enough to support a pillar and fill it with the medicine. Bend over the knees of accompanying person, pulldown the shorts, let out the shriek while the nurse deposited the drug somewhere deep in the muscle. Almost every month. My Tonsils taught me to raise my head if I feel insulted. They taught me war strategies – raise your head and let the bums feel the pain of the jab.

Thanks to my Heart. It generates its own impulse, determines its own rhythm. Heart maintains the distribution and retrieval system of the body. It kept pumping blood throughout my infatuations. Even when burdened with heartaches of one sided affairs. My Heart taught me how to keep working when the things don’t go my way. It introduced me to Mirza Ghalib, for that I am indebted forever.

Thanks to my Intestines. They analyse all my inputs at length. All the useful ingredients are absorbed and rest is gently passed out. Once in a while if I ingest something too obnoxious, the gut reacts and throws it out forcefully from either end. The accompanying discomfort is gentle reminder to keep away from such things. My Intestines taught me how to sift good from useless and imbibe the good only. Gut instinct is another entity, but sometimes it plays pranks also.

Thanks to my Bladder. It keeps storing the waste till there is right place to discard. I remember once when we, a group of friends on an outing, imbibed plenty of beer and then boarded a bus back to hometown. Quantity of beer ingested definitely exceeded the capacity of the bladder and soon it started emitting distress signals. One of the guys had to go to the driver and request him to stop the bus to avoid physical and social complications. The Bladder taught me to hold things till appropriate moment and also to ask for help if needed.

Thanks to my Tongue. It is truly a multipurpose organ. Taste. Talk. Explore. It is a slippery organ. Alcohol makes it more slippery. And many a times it creates slippery situations. It helped me develop taste for good things in life, it taught me how to talk in a cultured manner and how to avoid slippery situations. For example, right now I shall avoid talking about the ‘Explore’ part..!!

Thanks to my Back. I used it maximum to sleep on, still it managed its quota of pats and stabs. It taught me how to identify true friends and fair weathers.

Thanks to my Appendix. It troubled me once. The surgeon removed it and sent it to a lab in a jar, very unceremoniously. That taught me to remove the unnecessary and troublesome things from life.

Special thanks to my Spleen. I really do not know what it does and where it lies. It has taught me to contribute to someone’s life without making it obvious.

Now in my fifties, it is payback time for me. I take care of all my organs so that they keep working for decades to come. I know one of them is going to play spoilsport one day, develop a malignant focus or stop working all together. That will be check and mate for my journey on earth.

That has taught me to celebrate every day of life.



            Jocularly Serious  @ Times of India                                        April9, 2021.

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