Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Comfortably Numb

I remember the first major flesh wound i ever had. It was off a stray stone on the basketball court - which docked happily into my knee to greet my fall. That's inconsequential though. What matters is what happened next.

Crash. and Pain.

The moment it tore through the flesh, i was busy looking for a way to understand what was happening - as i tore my way to the concrete, pushed down by one of those creatures who never understood what winning a game is all about. As i lay down on the gray the blood spurt out onto my hand that reached out to grab the knee. Scared more than hurt maybe, i went cold... but there was sweat running down my face more profusely than during the game.

It was a while before the 'hurt' set in. It pained.

'everything would be alright'
I sat down on the bench besides the court as my team-mates hovered around - some fetching water to wash the wound, some to try and help me move my leg, and some just for the entertaining experience of looking at the blood gushing out of my knee. But mostly there were people who wanted to help me believe that everything would be alright. That there was nothing to worry about.

And it went numb. Maybe my body knew better than me. And it didnt hurt so much no more.

liking the numb.
A little later, the stone was out, the wound was washed and bandaged, and there was a numbness in the pain that surrounded it. It hurt, but just a little. I could walk, but the limp was visible, and often the blood seeped out of the bandage and gave it away. I sought the numbness with the medicines i took. But never forgot the pain i had felt that moment.

watching it heal.
It was for days that the wound would creep onto my senses at every touch. Send a bell to my head and a blinding green to my eyes everytime i accidentally banged it onto an obstacle. But it was healing. I could see it getting dry again. The pain was vanishing slowly and steadily as the skin grew again and crawled over to cover it up. The wound soon would be inside, beneath the skin, getting healed to perfection, well... almost. I used to watch it, trying to feel my knee the way it used to feel before.

In love with the numb.
Months later, the wound on the knee was gone. Just a faint colored hairless patch of skin stood evidence to what it had endured. And to the miracle of healing. The knee still hurt more than the other on long runs, but actually speaking, it was numb. Even the skin over it wasn't as sensitive as it was before. It was as though the wound had healed, but had taken away a part of me with it.

Honestly, rather than the pain, it was this numbness i preferred. I was comfortable in the numbness that surrounded it. The lack of sensation had now become a part of me. I always remembered the wound - but i now also carried the gift it had given me - the healing numb sensation that didn't leave me for years.

Even today, years after the incident, when I'm all fine and healed and stronger and better than ever before - i can still feel the scar on my knee. I feel it at times and it still ain't as sensitive as the other knee. But i love the way it feels as it mingles with my memories. It feels a lot different than anything else.
It feels Comfortably Numb.

I guess that's just the way every wound heals.
Even those that are way beneath the flesh.
Somewhere deep within.

I guess that's just the way every wound heals.

- Pushkaraj Shirke

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Compilation of My Fitness Photography Work

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