Menopunkal [men-oh-punk-ul]; the condition of threat from whirligiggles


Sigh.  Subject for the day?  Helicopters.  That's the name I've given them. Those things that hang down from above, twirl about and move the air around……(shouldn't have started typing till I could remember the proper name… )

Have never been a fan of (aaaaahhh THAT's the word !  Punkah) them.  Yes the ceiling fan.  Averse to airconditioning also.  I like the climate just as it is. Sometimes that's not so comfy, but it is what nature has decided to offer, so I accept it.  Thus, when nature is interfered with and 'man' decides that it can be made perfect by artificial means, the problem arises as to "what is perfect?" 

This one likes icicles hanging off her nose.  Another one enjoys a stiff hurricane.  That one is not happy unless he can feel the thud of the blades overhead.  Conversely, in chilled climes, there are those who are unhappy unless they are frying from the electric reverse-cycle blower-inner or the desiccating convection heater.  Meanwhile others in the shared environment want less of, or completely the opposite of what has been selected by the dominant one or two. (Please know, I do use a fan occasionally, on low beat - or, for cold, hot water bottles - or if absolutely necessary, oil heaters, though would prefer an open fire…)
Hell-o-copters, just the way I like 'em

Here, in our session hall, there are mini wars going on over the speed of the helicopters.  Men versus
Women.  Elders versus not-so-much. The place has 18 of them.  When all are going it's a test-tunnel for drag on the wings of the Boeing 777.

Wholly unnecessary, in my view. But then I have a peculiar condition.  Even the Lord's strong breezes cause some severe reactions within this contraption called as 'body'.  Aside from the life-long rheumatoid arthritis, which does not respond well to sudden changes in air pressures or helicopter downdrafts, since arriving in Sandeepany I have developed "Open Skull Syndrome".  I claim rights to its diagnosis and definition. Symptoms are few but agonising.  In the presence of any punka beating at more than 80 rotations per minute, it is as if my brain is being attacked by a thousand scythes of icy steel.  If preventive action is not taken in good time, result is lightning-like neuralgia extending from top of brow to tip of shoulder - almost always the right side, even if the punka's on the left….(?)  Additional symptoms are increased joint discomfort and horripilation.   Yes.  In this 35+'C, 90% humidity climate, I am cold.  I get goosebumps.

Inside that hall anyway.  There are others affected also, but not to the same extent.   I 'hold' the back right hand corner of the hall and have permission to keep that one fan OFF.  However, in this climate which I find completely suitable, all Indians are complaining of heat and want refrigeration.  So all other helicopters are on max beat.  They attack from afar.  It has become necessary to wear armour.

Woolen shawl over left leg and hip, then cotton-poly shawl over all of legs and feet.  Beanie on head.  Sari pallu over head.  9"thick,(home-knitted from home-spun merino wool,  complete with natural lanolin), cardigan draped over head and shoulders and down the left side.  If things are particularly bad, the arm of said cardigan gets pulled up and adds another double layer of protection against aggravation of the OSS. Yes that's 27" of armour right there.

Acharya-ji stopped and asked one day if he could arrange to buy some additional woolen clothing for me. 


There's lots of laughter and actual sniggering amongst the ranks of those who know not such pain.  I laugh along too, because I cannot explain it.  Indeed, I often end up in a state of menopunk - giggling fits brought on by the effects of multiple helicopter usage. 

It's a serious matter though.  I tried explaining to them, as spring turned to summer, that if they chill their sweaty bodies this way they will got colds and fevers.  "No amma that's not possible.  The fans dry our skin for us."  Well yes they do - by chilling.  This is unhealthy.    Three weeks in, half the population has been down with fevers, coughs, colds - even Acharya-ji.  When I look knowingly at those with whom I have spoken they get defensive.  "No amma, it's because I slept the wrong way round last night/picked the wrong leaf from that plant/trod on an ant…" 

Menopunk@!  menopunk@! menopunk@!

Yes.  I'm peculiar.

But I have the last laugh and it IS a serious matter.

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