Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ungdayee and Uitzieken

I’ve always wondered why English didn’t have a word for that slow, languorous stretch with which many people begin the day.

Cats do it all the time, after every nap. And even dogs are not averse to stretching themselves, in an attempt to restore activity to their limbs.

And yet English has lacked a word for this important activity.

Enter: Hindi with its helpful Ungdayee, a word which describes the stretch that you do first thing in the morning, soon after waking up.

I believe that an Ungdayee represents the perfection of a satisfying night’s rest. It contains neither hurry nor restraint.

You wake up, and stretch yourself, pulling yourself to your full length, as you seek to lose the hold that sleep has had on you, and become fully alive to the new day and all it has to offer.

Over the last few years, I’ve allowed myself to become so occupied, and preoccupied, that I wake up and rush out of bed, eager to complete all my chores before leaving for work.

It is only, of late, that I have begun to understand what a luxury an Ungdayee could be, what a rare treat.

Did you give in to the urge to enjoy an Ungdayee this morning?

Of the many things I have inherited from my father, the one thing that used to drive my mother crazy was our shared tendency to Uitzieken, Dutch for nursing one’s illness in the hope that it will run its course if you just take some rest and wait for it to leave.

In practice, things aren’t easy. Some illnesses are obstinate things and Uitzieken doesn’t prove effective against them.

Sometimes I discover that the hard way. 

But there are many times when Uitzieken does prove its efficacy.

The ancients used to say that the body was capable of healing itself. They have to be right some of the time.

Do you consider Uitzieken effective?


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