- Jim Morrison
It was one of those windy, rainy mornings in Imphal. I took out my two wheeler planning to get a hair cut. The rain was not going to stop me. As soon as I started driving,I could hear a faint voice of my mom. I didn't try hard to make out what she said but it seemed she was trying to warn me about the omen of cutting my hair during the exams. The maths paper ,for the 12th board exams, was just conducted yesterday. I had this habit of doing exactly the opposite of anything what people thought would bring ill- luck based on their blind belief and more specifically if the words came out from my mother.I don't how I got this habit, maybe I was trying to show my rebellious attitude. So, I went without any hesitation.
All drenched up, I went to a local barber shop. Just as he was about to finish cutting my hair, he accidently made a deep cut in my ear and I was bleeding pretty bad. I was pretty much pissed off and my blood was boiling so I broke his glass mirrors and came back without giving his charge.
Just when I was starting to clean up my wounds, a train of thoughts ran through my mind.It suddenly struck my mind that he didn't clean the scissors properly and the place was one of the unhygienic shops in the locality. "Fuck! What did I end up doing this time? " I screamed. Manipur had the highest percentage of HIV positive people in India that time(the major contributor being transfer from blood to blood) and I even saw people suffering from AIDS till their death. The virus strain found there is strongest with HIV positive people advancing to the last stage on AIDS within three years. Nobody deserves this kind of death. It didn't take any more time for me to assume that there is a possibility of getting affected by the virus because of this incident. I immediately told my dad I wanted to go for a HIV test.He straight away denied my request saying that I was being foolish.
But it was too late to control my mind,the only way I would find solace is a result HIV test being negative.I was a man possessed, obsessed with finding out how much science has progressed in curing this curse. The images of people dying with AIDS would burn my mind everyday and I had several attacks of insomnia. A thousand emotions and speculations would run on my mind everyday.I wanted to find comfort in alcohol but I couldn't.I never had the urge to kill a man so much before. At the same time,I never felt so helpless before. I didn't care about academic achievements or whether I passed the 12th board exams or attitudes or girls anymore.I would say my belief in God was unparalleled during this period and even thought that if I did some good my ending wouldn't be that bad.It was time for me to shed some tears since my nursery days. Death ,I thought, would be my best friend.I didn't fear death anymore but the act of dying consumed me.In loneliness, I would often imagine about the Death God, if there is one. I would torture myself with this thought for nearly one month.
A week after the exams ended I went for the test on my own and not surprisingly it came out to be negative. The doctor told me that exposure to air dries the fluid that contains the virus, and that will destroy or break up much of the virus very quickly. I was a relieved man and it seemed that I had been a new life.I had a new found respect for my life as well as for the others.I went to see the barber again ,not to harm him, but surprisingly to apologize.
When the board results came out, as expected I got 87 aggregate in the first three papers before this incident but the marks of the rest of my papers were hovering around 60's . Even though my fears seemed very childish I am not trying to find out an excuse rather its a confession. More than four years after people still bitch about how even though consistently being in the top three in my class ,I couldn't make it even the top 20 of the school in the board exams. That's alright with me ,I just give them a big smile ,without a hint of sarcasm, and say it every-time , "I got more than I asked for."