by Thilak S. Fernando

Is queasiness a thing that we create in our mind? Dislike, antipathy, repugnance or abhorrence or whatever term one likes to define it with, it is something that is peculiar to an individual or a group of individuals. Basicially queasiness is simply a human emotion. It is abhorrence towards certain people, objects or others¹ behavioral patterns. According to Charles Darvin disgust can be aroused by quite a few varying factors such as an emotion shared by different cultures which are radically diversed. In this regard a particular culture which considers flagrant can vary tremendously by another. The permissiveness prevalent in Sri Lanka today, for example, is capable of shocking our grand ancestors from their peaceful graves!

The psychological reaction towards queasiness is often associated with body language or gesture of some sort, particularly by hand. This is an automatic reflex action to shield against the repulsive object. In extreme cases the person who is getting affected can react in many forms. For a start, his or her facial contortions will take different forms until the mouth drops open, followed by spitting and vomiting in severe cases.

Once at the House of Commons Public Gallery in the UK, during a vital debate on an important Bill, an Irish lady who appeared to be heavily pregnant got up from her seat near the balcony at a peak moment of MP¹s augment, raised her skirt and poured Œhorse excrement¹ over the balcony, as a means of protest, towards the members of parliament. For the elite section of the British MPs, the Irish Woman¹s reaction was the most disgusting thing that they ever witnessed or had heard of, from the House of Commons ever! I personally experienced queasiness recently when I entered one of the popular shops at the heart of Nugegoda, on a very hot afternoon. The moment I entered the building I was grossed out with the beastly body odor emanated from the customers who saturated the entire ground floor!

Psychologists tell us that queasiness in a human being develops in children between ages four and eight years. Queasiness is very prominently displayed when it comes to food, especially the type of meat one eats. Even among meat eaters the reaction can vary if pork to a Muslim or any kind of meat to a vegetarian is offered. In certain countries dog meat, cat soup, frogs legs, pig faces, ox penis, monkey brains, snake flesh, birds¹ nest, and snails, which are considered delicious and adored by some can make others puke even at the thought of it, apart from seeing or eating it.

Sex and lovemaking is generally regarded as Œdisgusting¹. When it comes to kissing it involves exchanging of millions of germs through the mouth apart from swallowing masses of someone else¹s spit. Just imagine having to kiss someone who has bad breath or who is a chain smoker. Wouldn¹t it be worse than rubbing your mouth on a toilet commode? Or in the case of a chain smoker like licking a stale ashtray!

When it comes to sex, or lovemaking to put it in a decorous term, people tend to put this feeling of disgust on hold temporarily. Except for sanitized sex, the thought of promiscuous males who will stick their tongue into the mouths or virtually anywhere in a woman will make one creep with nausea.

There is a common link of disgust in our every day life, for example when we come accross an un-flushed toilet, to touch a dead body - however much one loved when the person was alive- or to hear of some one who can make love to a corpse!

However, in certain circumstances in life, there are situations where one has to put up with disgust in one¹s area of work. Hangman chooses his job to kill people not because he is enthralled in seeing people die right in front of his eyes but because it forms a part of his livelihood to earn his bread and butter. So are hospital orderlies and nurses who day in and out have to deal with incontinent patients all the time and forget about their feelings of disgust. A dentist may not like to pork his hands into all kinds of mouths of his patients if not for the money he makes out of them; same can be said about gynecologists ! The peculiar puff coming out of departmental food stores at times , similar to that of lavatory stench, could generate from ripe French cheese.

Queasiness has today become domesticated. Whether it has become hypothetical and complex as love, it has uniquely become guilt as human. The best solution, therefore, would be to stop doing something socially undesirable or taboo than to make your act something disgusting. This again raises the twenty million-dollar question as to find out what makes disgusting to a third party ­ individually, socially, globally or ethnically. For me personally, nothing disgusts than to see a huge rat running across right in front of my eyes. How would you react if a dish full of devilled cockroaches or a grilled cat is placed right in front of your plate on a dinner table? Yak !! Š.DisgustingŠ.. ŠŠ!