Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chemistry

I was sitting on the bench in front of the intensive care unit of a hospital. A close relative was inside. He had just had two attacks of convulsions, he was restless, had no sense of space or time, did not know what he talked nor could he relate to anything told to him. The doctors had opined – it was an imbalance of a chemical in his body – a chemical called Sodium.

I had hated chemistry in my college. 36 or 37 percentage was all that I could ever manage in that subject। Beyond H2O and HO2, nothing would make sense. I remember of even swearing that I would never touch chemicals and chemistry again. Alas, how wrong was I...

As I was wondering about the kind of destruction a chemical imbalance can do to a human body, a young man, whose relative too was inside the intensive care unit, struck a casual conversation with me. When I told him about the chemical issue, he got angry. ‘Does he eat a lot of fruits? These days they inject a huge amount of chemicals into fruits and vegetables so that it ripens early; it surely is the effect of that’, he blasted. I was too sleepy to argue with him; I nodded in agreement.

Two hours later, I still was thinking about Chemistry - that stupid subject that I hated the most. After watching a film, what do people mean when they say, ‘the chemistry between the actors was fantastic…’? Does it mean that the sodium levels in both the actors are equal while they were performing? Or is it the potassium levels that is creating the chemistry?

People also say that with regards to love. Love, apparently, is related to chemicals. When they say ‘opposites attract’, they probably mean that the Sodium / Potassium / Calcium / Oxygen / Sulfur / Carbon Dioxide / Zinc / or whatever chemical levels in the bodies of the two persons who are in love, are drastically different.

Or is it that the chemical levels of the two persons who are in love match well and therefore are they in love? So, if my wife and I fight it out and shout at each other, does it mean that our Fluorine / Magnesium / Rubidium / Bromine / Lead / or whatever chemical levels vary drastically? Maybe we could then just inject the necessary chemical to our bodies and create ‘love’.

Gosh! I never understood all this.

Two days later, due to an increased intake and through through careful monitoring, the Sodium levels of my relative slowly came back to normal. The symptoms associated with sodium deficiency had vanished.

Some prefer to believe that life is no miracle – it’s just a set of chemical reactions. When the reaction ceases, the body stops to function.

It is as physical as that, nothing beyond.
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