Friday, September 29, 2006

Close encounters of the gastric kind

My mom like most mallu moms, thinks that sleeping without dinner is some sort of a big ‘No, No’… like belly dancing and voting for communists ( the former in her scheme of things is a lesser evil). No matter what I have eaten in the evening she will not budge. Dinner is what she makes, anything else eaten outside the house is not counted. There is no point in arguing with her and so most days I will drag myself to the table half asleep, eyes closed and serve some rice onto my lap and the gravy onto my Dad’s lap, take a bite off the plate and plonk back into bed. Apparently her great great veliyammachi (grandma) would say that it was bad to sleep on an empty stomach. And in my family no one argues with my mom’s great great veliyammachi’s wisdom. She still rules our house with an iron fist like she did a couple of hundreds of years ago.

Mom: Son, finish all the food in your plate.
Son: I have had enough.
Mom: Your great great great veliyammachi used to say…..
Son: ok ok spare me the crap and I will finish the food!!!!
Mom: *contented smile of mothers in TV commercials*

Then came middle school and we started learning about the Human Anatomy in Science classes.

Teacher: The Stomach is a carnivorous organ. It can digest itself and anything ….
Me: You mean it can digest anything like the other organs too?
Teacher: Of course it can digest anything!
Me (interrupting): Oh my gawddddddd!!!!

I nearly passed out in class. After that day I never gave any problem with dinner. I had horrific visions of waking up with all my innards gone because I had slept on an empty stomach and my hungry stomach had made a meal of my internal organs.

In fact I was so scared of my stomach eating my internal organs up that during evening prayers I would wait for the time when we were allowed to say a silent prayer for our personal wishes. My prayers would be something like this.

Dear God, please keep watch over me in the night,don’t let my stomach eat me up…thank you God….oh yes please bless my dogs….and the family too. Amen.

In fact such a catastrophe nearly happened two weeks back. I was scheduled for a Pre Employment Medical Test (PET) at this swanky Diagnostic Clinic (‘nothing but the best’ said HR, with her nose in the air). And horror of horrors… they told me to come for the test on an empty stomach and 'wait for my turn'!!! The receptionist, a recent graduate from the Achumama School of Charm and Faultless English (affiliated to the Uma Bharti Finishing School ),who had clearly bunked classes when they taught about the carnivorous stomachs in school, refused to listen to my pleadings and told me to “stop this naansence, no eating till blood testing!!!”

I resignedly sat down in the waiting room to wait for my turn. It was 8 am. Now, a Diagnostic Clinic (DC) is quite a cheery place if you are pissed drunk or on pot.

Me to lady at the right: I am here for a PET. What brings you here?
Lady: Bubonic Plague
Me: How interesting.
Me to Gent on the right: And what brings you here?
Gent: Syphilis.
Me: How very interesting er…excuse me but I need to go urgently go to the other side of the road.

It was 8:30 am by now and I think my stomach was fast asleep because all was quite in the region of my stomach. Then around 9 am it woke up, yawned and looked around for food. Since none was forthcoming it sort of coughed to catch my attention. I pretended to be busy reading the list of BMTC Buses on the other side of the road. Then it started growling. I ignored it. Soon it was looking very greedily at my Liver….then at my Kidneys...then at the Intestines. ( I am pretty sure I heard it drooling).

I felt it give an experimental tug at whatever it was that was holding it in place to check if it could make a break for it. I silently thanked God for keeping it securely tethered in its place. Soon it was very hungry and angry and lunging madly at my Pancreas and Kidneys and other organs. My turn for the Blood Test was yet to come and the situation inside me was getting kind of desperate. Any moment my stomach could break free and go into a feeding frenzy. Imagine going for an ECG and finding out that you don’t have a Heart, let alone a heartbeat?!!! How embarrassing that would be!! And imagine going for a Chest X Ray and seeing a gaping hole in the ribcage?!! I would just die of shame!!

I desperately tried to remember if the Science Teacher had said anything about the stomach having teeth. I mean, if suppose my stomach was still hungry after eating my internal organs would it then chew on my bones? How inconvenient!!! I was sweating buckets by the time my turn came for the blood test. I have never been so happy to see a Hypodermic Syringe in my whole life (except that one day long time back when my brother had to take a Tetanus Shot…it was pure bliss to see him yowling.) After the Lab Assistant had removed enough blood for the blood test and to start his own Private Blood Bank, I was told to go and have breakfast at the Cafeteria in the DC and get back for the rest of the tests.

Now… a cafeteria in a Diagnostic Clinic????? Hellooooo! Who in their right senses would eat in a Cafeteria run by a Diagnostic Clinic????

Cafeteria owner to lab assistant: I am little short of mutton for the Biryani today; could you spare me some Liver?
Lab Assistant: Sure. That means I get 8 free lunches ok?
Cafeteria owner: Throw is a couple of kidneys and you have a deal.
Lab Assistant: *sigh* you drive a hard bargain. Deal!

So I said a polite thank you and beat a hasty retreat and bought myself a packet of biscuits and completed my tests. In the evening I decided that I will read up more on the Stomach so that I am not faced with such dangerous situations again. I Googled a little bit and then a little more bit and then a whole lot more and could not believe what I read!!!! Apparently the stomach has a protective lining that prevents itself from turning carnivorous!!!!!

*groan* That is twelve years of full tension for nothing. A little knowledge is a terrible terrible thing :(


Anonymous said...


and if i hv narrowly missed being the first to comment, its because i fell down firstlaughing and hurt my head and once more, when i realised someone was yet to comment!

Ahh, some days just begin so beautifully! :):)

Anonymous said...

Kosh: Thank you so much :)

Asterix said...

Thats pretty funny :)
You have a real knack of putting the right kind of humor at just the right place.
I usually go to bed on a very light stomach and now thanks to you, I will have to think twice!

I wonder which old-wives' tale is next?

Anonymous said...

Hey silverline,
Came here through the link in sidin's blog. (He's removed the star next to your name, dya notice! :)) And I've had a wonderful time. Read all your blogs! Keep them coming!

Ashwin Raju said...

you just provided me with a pleasant diversion from my RDMS trainin session.. :)

Jim said...

I spy with my little eye, a typo in your article :-p

Heh, I know quite a few graduates of the "Uma Bharti Finishing school", the usual identifier is hair tied up in a tight bun :D

AK said...

Funny funny.. but I think I will give miss to my lunch today !

Anonymous said...

my mommy also used to say that an empty stomach was a satans workshop... and she repeated this for 25 good years of my life... and guess what, i believed her...

and then one fine day i saw bright 1234 watt light in my dreams and some godsent angel told me that it was a story that my mom used to tell so that i could devour all the leftover food instead of that going to the pigs... thats my side of the story... quite tragic i say...

(all the characters in the above two characters are fictional and resemblance to anyone is purely coincidental) - in case my mom reads blogs :P

Garam Bheja Fry said...

// "stomach can digest itself"

i doubt that for my stomach, nowadays whatever raw material is sent to it for processing is promptly shown the door.(and you know which door)..*sob*...
and you know what, i can vote for the communists but i cannot affford to belly dance , for obvious reasons ;)
'flush'trating times..*sob*

nice post!!


Anonymous said...

I was told, the best thing to do to stop putting on weight, was to eat a light dinner.

Since then, I have been pigging out. I found this place that serves the most delicious bengali food priced at a song. Then Ramzan came knocking with a bevy of bountiful biryanis. I am now reasonably giving up on the idea of eating less, by which I mean, a Subway Salad for dinner.

I am glad I have no willpower. I think I am going back to Bhappidaa Meals tonight!

Amey said...

Good one... many of us have suffered at the hands of hungry and therefore angry stomach.

Just saw the eposide in "brainiac" where they were showing what happens in your stomach (simplified). Believe me, when you have seen that, you are right off the food for a day... Stomach is not just carnivore, but a very sloppy eater at that.

And when that protective lining is gone, you get ulcers :D Don't underestimate your stomach.

Amey said...

And now I know why the food in our hospital cafeteria is so yummy :P

Anonymous said...

This was sooo hilarious that like Kosh I nearly fell off my chair laughing :-))))

Who am I?? I'm Spiderman!! said...

Your creativity never ceases to amaze me...great story!!

Wanderlust said...

Amazing concept !!!
Solid post as always

silverine said...

asterix: Thank this space for the next old wives tale :)

sowmya: The asterix denotes a new post and appears after an hour after a new post is published and remains for about 12 hours. But sometimes it wont appear if there is an interference with blogger settings. Thanks for the appreciation :)

espritnoir: Thank you , mebe I will give the book a shot one day :)

Alexis: Thanks!!!! And when you are small that is how you pray :p

bleak: Thank you dear :)

Jim: I see several :))

abhishek: Thank you and lord have mercy on your innards :)

iyer education: hmmm I think your mom and mine are sisters :)

cardmom: LOL flush'trating times indeed!!!

G: Me have no problem with weight ...I sneeze one too many times and I lose weight :p

fleiger: Thank you! I would love to see that episode. Ignorance is bliss when it comes to hospital food yeah? ;)

Anon: Thank you :)

Z and Amitabha: High five...I am glad you got the gist of this madness !! :)

Suji said...

Whats it with moms...or is it just mallu moms? My mom also never lets me sleep without having dinner. Attazhapatini she calls it.

Suji said...

Forgot to mention....great post! Had me in splits.:D

Maverick said...

outrageous :)))

same story here too :((
i usually bring my friends home after eating out so that they can help me in finishing moms cookings for the day.....God i dont commit gluttony except on such occasions - so plzz 4give me ;)

hey dont ur dogs help u with ur food on such occasions?

Ganja Turtle said...

Ah...I remember my dad saying your large intestine will eat up your small intestine...and me started gulping food down...


Jiby said...

haha...gotta say, moms are all the same. and u certainly have made sure with a few mighty strokes on ur keyboard that hospital canteens will never get business from all your readers!

my pals used to joke how even when i had to go out on a buffet, my mom/grandmom wouldnt let me go out without eating a light lunch and its the same if i return home at night on a heavy stomach, i still cant skip dinner!

my cousin wrote this funny article for his school mag about the horrors of mallu dining and how saying no to my mom doesnt work when she is about to pile on the next serving, how even if u spread ur palms over the plate, she is likely to dip the food over your hand and the only trick that works is to lunge your whole body over the plate, hoping she doesnt let fall the food on his back!

Anonymous said...

G: Me have no problem with weight ...I sneeze one too many times and I lose weight :p

*Sigh* Lucky Ducky

Mind Curry said...

just absolutely great..i am reading this just before my will just keep smiling and go to sleep..wake up tomorrow and write more..

just awesome!!

DD said...

My dumb bloglines account seems to have eaten up the feed to this as well! I was just wondering why there were no updates from you showing up, and lo and behold, I land up here and find that I have missed so many of 'em!
As usual, awesome post :)

Amey said...

Yes, that is a good episode. The commentary when they are showing a really gross coloured beaker contents goes, "this is called chyme in your stomach. and when it comes out, it is called..." I guess you got the point.

Oh, and I am surely going to forward this to all my friends who were discussing about the amazing burger they had at hospital cafeteria yesterday ;)

silverine said...

Suji: Athazhapatini it is!!! The bane of my childhood :)

maverick: Mallu moms!!!! Been there done that, but couldn't sleep without dinner after that :p

ganja turtle: Wish they would grow up!!

jiby: LOL that describes a mallu mom just perfectly!!!

G: Not so lucky as you think!

mind curry: This itself was awesome doc, thank you :)

deepak: Thank you!! :) Blogger is fiddling around with some settings I heard and that's why the screw up.

fleiger: I get the point *ugh* Do send it to them and I bet they will not eat there anymore :))

Kusum Rohra said...


God bless your teacher for giving you little knowledge :D

Janus said...

Heh heh..I think the phenomenon is not restricted to Mallu moms..its a pretty popular malaise that has casualties in all parts of the country - although I luckily managed to escape the "stomach eating organs" bit - strangely - it was my dad who was the story teller here -and his version was along the lines of - your stomach will get knotted if you sleep hungry.. and yes.. I too had visions of my stomach knotting itself in the middle of the night :D

Dr. Pissed said...

Ohoo, now I know what all those noises are.
I always wondered how in the world my stomach could make noise. I mean, its not like it had a mind of its own or something. It had a mouth all along!

Thank you, oh supreme one, for enlightenment

Amey said...

Don't bet on that. When you are hungry and if you have choice between McD and other burger... ;)

Rushes' Anomaly said...

hahhahhhhhahha ... hahhhahha ...

[It does look weird sitting in a lonely library and laughing like an empty stomach .. ]


silverine said...

kusum: Thank youuu!!! Hope the rat lets you blog soon :)

janus: Guess parents will do anything to make us eat. My mom had another theory...that the stomach will shrink if you don't eat well :p

dr pissed: Always at the service of mankind to educate and enlighten ;)

fleiger: Ignorance is bliss!!! :P

rushes anomaly: Nice to see you gurl and thank you :)

Anonymous said...

Oh woman this was amazing ..too good .. I laughed internally ..with all my organs chipping in and externally with a smile stretched on my face ... just feel like giving u a big hug !!

Amey said...

Yes, you should either know something completely, or shouldn't know about it at all ;)
I guess at the next school reunion you are going to corner your science teacher...

hope and love said...

Then around 9 am it woke up, yawned and looked around for food. "Since none was forthcoming it sort of coughed to catch my attention. I pretended to be busy reading the list of BMTC Buses on the other side of the road. Then it started growling. I ignored it. Soon it was looking very greedily at my Liver….then at my Kidneys...then at the Intestines. ( I am pretty sure I heard it drooling)."
girl.. ur imagination is amazing..!!

Ganesh Ranganathan said...

I had a solid laugh reading your post....Thanks for your last line which reassured me that the stomach won't turn carnivorous

Binoy Valson said...

My mom never had a problem with me, whenever I finish the meal, the plate will be squeaky clean. Yes my mom did have trouble in trying to stop me taking my fifth serving.

My brother always was a victim of your situation. He used to escape by dumping his plate into mine. I never noticed.

Inder said...

and they say that i eat too much... when all i try to do is to distract my stomach from gobbling me...

@rChU said...

Lady, again a masterpiece...Am amazed at the way ur imagination just flows on the blog...u bring out the laughing monster in me...n am so bloody glad that i chanced upon ur blog..Must say ur always a IMMENSE pleasure to read!!!

Anonymous said...

Did your teacher ever mention anyting about beer + stomachs.

My theory is sufficient quantities of beer can make the tummy forget its carnivorous ways, bag or no bag (or was that sack).

In case I win the noble for this thought I will not forget the source of inspiration

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

I once read that if you press your belly button, your legs will fall off.
I tried it (on somebody else).

I was 6. The scientific mind, wouldn't you say? (Funny response requested, you have a rep to maintain)

silverine said...

shruti: And I feel like giving you a hug when I see your comment!!! *hugs* :)

fleiger: As kids we get so tensed if things are not explained properly. This post was about that :) And the teacher left the school long time back and is now in Hyderabad I heard.

HnL: Thanks doc :)

Ganesh: Welcome to my blog and thank you :)

Binoy: LOL

Inder: tsk tsk some people!!! Tell them to read this post.

Arch: And it is an IMMENSE pleasure to read your comments, thank you!!! :)

Sanjay: tch tch high time I started charging people for coming up with brilliant ideas and theories after reading my posts :P

rodent:Tell that to the moms!

arthur quiller couch: That was soo funny, even we had many such theories when we were kids. But this takes the cake. So does this mean that you can put the legs back by pressing on the button while pushing the legs in? :))

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

Did u know the stomach has horns too ? Sometimes when it gets food deprived , it starts poking the other organs. Gradually the other organs start getting so tickled that they spill out whatever they have inside.. then , the stomach hungrily laps it all up .. thatz how the stomach always keeps smiling


~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

aah ! ur poor friend is ablaze in TVM, is he ? poor soul .. he is yet to experience the worst ... (as well as the best )

* evil laugh *

ask him to go out and appreciate the greenery

Amey said...

So she is safe now...
And I agree we believe anything as kids. Our science teacher told us "Energy Crisis is over" when we were in school. Those words are still imprinted on the minds of many of my friends ;)

Scoot said...

"Diagnostic Clinic (DC) is quite a cheery place if you are pissed drunk or on pot."

Amen!Add hospital to it too.I quite agree.
And lol to dying of shame for a hole in your chest Xray!!
Good one ;)

(ps - i left this comment in the previous post's comments section by mistake(must be the lack of sleep) and am not able to erase it...sorry )

have a great day

silverine said...

Deepa: Thanx for that lil bit of info about stomach having horns :))) Yeah, my pal AA was in Tvm during summer and hence the rant :)

Fleiger: I think she is feeding incomplete info to students in Hyd :p Yeah, we do tend to believe all that the teachers tell us don't we?

maya cassis: Thanks so that is how you docs put up with hospitals? :))

Unknown said...

laughed my guts out!!!

T E Zacharias said...

According to my mum...sleeping on a full stomach... does not have pleasant effects :(... so I had to face sthg very different...

Scoot said...

silverine: hee hee well,that's my take on it.I don't think it's the same with other docs.I think I would pretty much be more comfortable in a spa any day,at the risk of being called the doc in the spa :)

Lalit Singh said...

wyyyhkwhGood one !!!

poor little siverine...
12 years of living under constant fear n trauma arising due to it has had a drastic effect on ur psyche, i can see

Anonymous said...

One often gets to hear that stomach is the root cause of all health problems. I read an interesting comment once "You get health problems not only from what you eat but also from what is eating you"

You wanted to read something on the stomach. Will you be able to stomach this -Are bloggers failed writers and half-wits or for professional journalism, is this the pits?

silverine said...

girl from ipenama: Glad you liked it gurl :)

connors corner: Lucky you! :)

maya cassis: Doc in the spa would be so cool! ;)

Lalit: Thank you :)

Hiren: Thanks for the link, will check it out!

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

thanks for reading my blogs.

you do have a good sense of humour.

dont you think we keralites should stop calling ourselves mallus. why should we share others' contempt for us? the best way we can redeem our self respect is to stop ridiculing ourselvs.

silverine said...

kochuthresiamma p .j: Your writings are really good and I hope more people read it. I don't think the term mallus is drerogatroy, it is the accepted norm like punju, kandu and bong.

espritnoir: I made you blush? tsk tsk how inconsiderate of me. I should learn to treat my 'post merit indicator' better. Bad bad girl silverine!!! One chamaat for you!!!

Pranay said...

Hehehehe real funny.
Yeah the stomach secretes acid but also secretes a protective lining that protects the stomach.

Anonymous said...

you are a really gifted girl. you dont know how much joy your blog gives me and many other people. god bless!


Anonymous said...


Hey .. Thanks for the Birthday Wishes Dudette. Have a Good Week!!

silverine said...

oskar lewis: Nice article, thank for dropping by :)

Pranay: Thanks buddy! :)

Anon: Thank you dear :)

Jaggu: Hope you had a nice b'day :)

Anonymous said...

lolzz nice one!

Slow Sprinter said...

Sexy!!!! Amazing sense of humour that.

hillgrandmom said...

I read the 2nd half of the post through a blur of laughter-induced tears! ha, ha, ha
Incredibly funny!

Radhesh said...

"Any moment my stomach could break free and go into a feeding frenzy. "..laughed a!