Afternoon changed into evening and night and still the tunnels were far from over. I had a peaceful Malayali dinner of Lemon Rice and Kaiypekya Theiyal, to which I silently protested but ate minimal to survive. It was late for many and the lights in the coach were quickly going off. Being a nocturnal Mumbaikar, I prefer to stay wake at nights and gaze out of windows upon the starry night sky - pure and unpolluted by city light until I fall asleep. I was determined to utilize the night hours and use it to reflect upon the credits and debits of my life and meditate upon the my decision to shift to IT from Chemical. I had plugged my ear phones and connected it to my Motorola SLVR L7 mobile cum MP3 Player to reduce ambient noise and disturbances.
It was around 11 pm and my brain had pressed the log off button. I fell asleep in no time being softly rocked by the train. It was unusually cold and I had to adjust the thick blanket to maintain warm temperature. However my face was badly exposed and I was directly under the cold air blower. My nose was as cold as ice! In an hour, my body started giving indications of uneasiness and discomfort. It was 12:15am when i found myself shivering but my neck and brow were sweating. I was too sleepy to make sense of this anomaly and was busy trying to think of what is wrong and apply relative temperature stuff. ie. whether my hands are icy cold or is it my neck that's heating up ? Either could give the same sense or feeling. However I had neglected the shivering and sweating. In half an hour, i was shivering very badly and my stomach had started aching due to the violent shivers. The pain in stomach robbed me of the remaining sleep throughout the journey. My past experiences with gas trouble and stomach aches due to my sedentary life had made me hyper on even a slight stomach ache, making me drink all possible syrups and tablets. Suddenly my fever started shooting up and I panicked. I had a Crocin and hoped my sufferings would subside. I was praying for the dark hours to pass off swiftly. However the time had come to a screeching halt and I found it crucifying to see that only five minutes had passed since my previous observation! My disaster management board in my brain activated Operation Valkyrie to prevent chaos and panic mask my better senses!
I popped in an another tablet and exchanged my berth with my mother's. She was more than happy to exchange as she found the region around her berth to be extremely hot. I thought it must be another of her usual notions she has due to her thyroid fluctuations. I was more than relived to be away from the icy cold Arctic like berth of mine. However my joy was short lived as this berth was indeed getting hot and I started sleeping without any extra insulation. However the shivers started again and my tummy started paining again. I started understanding the seriousness of the issue and started thinking of whether it could be an appendix inflammation or hernia as my friends have described it? However my shivering was still unexplained for!
I decided to relive myself in the loo and went out of the Ac cabin. Just moving out of the cabin itself was a relief. Somehow, the constant cool air step input on my face initially triggered a body rejection of the temperature condition inside the cabin. I spent most of the night outside of the cabin like I was on vigil while others pondered at my decision to spend money for the Ac and spend the night outside. I still do not completely know what possibly went wrong but my parents point at my nocturnal study life as the culprit. I dunno!
I had pleaded with God before commencing the journey to make it eventful and it seems He ensured it in His own way! My idea of clicking pics next morning of the beautiful Kayals and back-waters on North Kerala failed as I had lost all energy and enthusiasm with the events of previous night. I simply wanted to reach my Uncle's place at the earliest!