The first time it happened was long ago. It was a few weeks before my marriage that I decided to book in at a city hospital in Kochi for a general medical check. With the quite an indulgent living it was wise to have a background checks of self before pulling another person on board. Besides, a couple of deaths of people I was acquainted with persuaded me to go in for the checkup. One guy died in his late twenties after a cardiac arrest from the blue and another collapsed a few months after his marriage. Pretty un nerving isn’t it?
Well, so there I was on a balmy morning in Kochi - walked into the hospital and the nurse promptly took me to the physician who was in charge. After the regular questionnaires like history of smoking, alcohol consumption, dietary habits, work out, family history of ailments etc. , I was asked to do a few tests like x-ray, ECG, and blood analysis.
I have not ever before gone for such tests as far as I could remember except once or twice for a basic blood analysis after being down with viral fever. The moment of revelation happened in the ECG room. It was a pretty beautiful lass who was in charge of the ECG. She asked me to take off my shirt and lay on the couch, which I obliged with the least reluctance. But the miserable part came later when she decided that the hair on my chest was a hindrance for an accurate cardiogram. She took out a razor and applied some disinfectant solution and began a deft shaving exercise. Pretty awkward .It was not because a lass was doing that but the cold blade and her deftness was unleashing goose bumps. It was perhaps the most awkward moment of my life. Still worse was to come. Once she finished the exercise she began to apply cold gel on certain points of my torso, arms and legs where she was to plant the electrodes. The application of the cold gel was dreadful torture. I was desperately trying to avoid goose bumps. I was afraid that such a physical display on the skin and hair -outrage will not be seen as a civilized reaction and she may take me for a dissipated.
Quite oddly it reminded me of the Hollywood film, "Whose Life is it Anyway". The misery the protagonist, the paraplegic sculptor was riddled with lying helplessly in his hospital bed with a buxom and beautiful female doctor who attends to him.Though here it was sheer misery from the cold applications and nothing to do about amorous ideas.
I was yanking, eyes shut , grinding my teeth, biting my tongue in my mouth , clenching my fist , well, well, it is difficult to explain any convincingly my most miserable and undesirable moment of living. I cursed the unholy hour I thought of the idea of the ridiculous medical check. The ECG done, I was peeved at myself and sheepish to look at the pretty woman. As I virtually sneaked out timorously from there I swore, no more ECG even if that leads to Armageddon.
The office where I worked those days was almost a stone throw from the hospital and that ensured that I ran into the pretty nurse almost every day. I always felt that she recognized me and her expression would only tell one thing to me-that I’m a gauche and a moron. I felt awkward to look her in the face and would turn my head the other way and speed off on my motor bike. I always felt when ever sees me she would remember my stupid moments of that day.
The pathetic part of my flirtation with ECG is that I have undergone the test quite a few times after that day, during the regular medical checks and the torture was repeated almost all the time. The worst part was when once it was a man who was the technician and to my horror the goddamn goose bumps was not discriminating between women and men. It was the gel that was cold and ticklish and was too much to handle. It was a far greater misery because I feared the fellow might notice the changes on my skin and may get the stupid idea that I was titillated by touch and that I was gay.