The Worm Chronicles:
My mother believed any ailment could be fixed by a strong dose of medicine from her favourite doctor. The only thing that terrified her was worm infections. So, when school holidays rolled around, off I went to Dr. V. T. Perera’s clinic — a pretty dreadful place for a little kid. But in my mom’s eyes, the doctor was a miracle worker, so I had to endure it every three months.
The treatment was a tablespoon of this white concoction. It tasted terrible, and as a little kid, it was pure torture. I quickly gulped it down, pinching my nose to make it bearable.
The real challenge, though, was the aftermath. You had to be on high alert for that “magic moment” when you needed to rush to the toilet. I’d wait anxiously until finally, the urge hit. But sometimes, it came out of the blue, catching me off guard. I’d sprint out of the house without a chance to call my mom. Luckily, my loose pants made it a bit easier as I dealt with the situation in the garden, where scrubs and trees provided cover.
My mom would reappear with a bucket of water soon after, giving my bum a thorough wash before allowing me back. Playtime was off the table for the day, a terrible loss. The hardest part was hearing my neighbourhood pals having a blast while I couldn’t join in and rot in the house instead.
The purgings continued one after another, with my tummy giving no warnings. Swiftly taking off my pants became a challenge, leaving me virtually pantless. I endured bland white rice and tasteless veggies snake gourd during this ordeal. I ate my awful meals reluctantly, for there was no other option. Despite the constant purgings, hunger struck, but there was no escaping those dreaded meals.
Luckily, by the afternoon, the purging stopped. The doctor’s portions seemed to have worked, and maybe I was finally worm-free. That’s what everyone believed. Who knows for sure, though?
Before sunset, I’d be taken to the well for a thorough wash, leaving me super clean and back to my usual self.
With the worms gone, the adults expected my appetite to grow, anticipating I would start eating more and put on some weight.