I've been maintaining this blog (for better or for worse) over the last eight years. Over these years, its natural evolution has led it into becoming something of a niche place for discussion of music in general and Qawwali in particular. Rather than trying to return my existing blog to its pre-Qawwali eclectic roots, I decided I’d start anew on Tumblr. So if you’re interested in music, Qawwali and subcontinental culture, keep reading/listening/watching/commenting here. For all of the above and everything else under the sun, head on over to my Tumblr page .

Saturday, March 3, 2007

....Of Teeth And Such

I've got an old picture of mine,taken when I was an unsuspecting two year old(a pretty dirty trick,if you ask me).And I wince when i see it.No,no it aint one of those with the poor unsuspecting subject caught with his pants down(or in my case,with his pants off),though i've got plenty of those.It aint the one where i look like something outta a David Lynch horror movie,again my album's full of 'em too.It's just a simple portrait,me in my red overalls,digging in our lawn in Abbottabad,flashing my teeth like someone on the toot of a lifetime.The problem is that the teeth i'm flashing are,......wait for it,PURPLE !!!

Now how did that happen?Perhaps a freak radiation accident that turned me into "Maroon Molars Man" instead of Spiderman?A heady sip of Parker Ink?or a bite into an unsuspecting beetle(had many of those too)?Not really.It's a long story...

When I was born,my parents heard strange growling and shreiking sounds when I breathed.Worried(so would I be if i'da given birth to a tea kettle),they took me to a doctor who,in a moment of divine inspiration,diagnosed me with Asthma! Then started my parents' desperate hunt for a cure.Doctors,Peers,Hakeems, even Vets were tried,but to no avail.

And here's where my purple teeth come in.You see,when I was brought to the hospital,one of the more intelligent doctors found an excellent way to dispose off all the expired antibiotics that'd been piling up.Namely,to pump me full of 'em!!I was fed,injected and infused with gallons of the stuff,and in three months,the hospital stock was clear and my teeth were a rather lovely aquamarine.

Ultimately,the verdict delivered was that it'd wear off with age.As i'd grow older,the breathing would change in pattern from a rather sozzled Wildebeast to a wee little purring feline and ultimately become normal.Talk about the hoax of the century!!I'm gonna be twenty on Monday,and as i write,I've got my inhaler by my side and my breathing's as quiet as two hippopotamuses fighting it out on a sheet of tin in an earthquake...

It's not just the sounds.I could live with my own personal jazz band in my chest.It's the breathing itself that's turning my hairs white.Only an asthmatic(or a resident of Karachi) can understand the feeling when you inhale hard enough to bust your guts and no air comes in.And the exhaling's a whole different story....

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