One of the games I wasn't too fond of as a kid was "pakkad dao" or as it is called in English, tag. It took me about half a minute to get tagged and become It. The painful process of trying to pass my infection continued till I came to the verge of passing out and some pal of mine with superior athletic ability (that meant everyone else) would take over out of sympathy or just to remind me of my lowly position on the pecking order of physical prowess. No wonder I kept the team cricket bat and ball securely at my flat. No one was going to get me to play tag if I had anything to do about it.
Nowadays I am an unwilling participant in another game of tag, one which I am glad to say is not enjoyed by the other participants too. The drastic fluctuations of temperature at the beginning of winter as the mercury dips low then jumps high within a couple of hours are setting up the right kind of conditions for the flu to spread. Swine flu thankfully is more hype than reality and as it is, the 'normal' strains of flu are bad enough. First to go down was the head honcho of the Inspection Lab where I am doing some training and he was It for a week. Then he tagged my instructor Rob who had his bout of aches and pains, a horribly sore throat and a general aura of 'unwell'. As in the bad old days, it took just one day for Rob to tag me and I found myself clogged nostril downwards to the depths of my lungs. For a couple of days, I decided to bank on my immune system but I soon found out that this bank was already very weak from a number of faulty loans it had given out.
If my past sporting records were any indication, it'd take my hospitalization to continue at this game so I finally displayed some common sense. You could call me a cheat at flu-tag but I went to a doctor (a Gujarati based in the US for the past 29 years) who happily jabbed two injections worth of medicine where it stings the most, a sharp temporary pain for a much greater gain. Sporting endeavours were never my forte anyway. I just couldn't play the damn game anymore.