My four-legged family member – Stevie, the crocodile

Yesterday as I walked into the elevator leading from my office to the basement, a weird thought struck me. What if there is a moth in this lift? My eyes naturally grew wide and with a sense of foreboding I threw my eyes all over the interiors of the lift (which weirdly has Bollywood song Soldier soldier for elevator music).

Phew! Nothing. I got off the elevator with thoughts about the previous night. I dunno if it’s the monsoons or what but there have been too many cockroaches around of late. And i’m terrified of them. Terrified is an understatement. Not just cockroaches, but butterflies as well. Basically anything that has too many feet and can fly. Like butterflies, grasshoppers, moths, etc. Maybe it’s not more phobia than it is an aversion. They’re just so repulsive!

The previous night, I stepped out of my house and just as I opened the door, a HUGE flying cockroach sat in my hair! I screamed my lungs out! And it whizzed away with its sickening brown wings like nothing abnormal happened at all. And just the night before that I had woken up my mum at ungodly hours to kill a cockroach in the bathroom.

On another night, my cousins and I had a sleep over at my grandpa’s place. That place is infested with cockroaches. It was about 2pm and I had to pee. All four of us were terrified and one cousin went on about how cockroaches are the only creatures that can survive a nuclear war.

So my cousin, Sudarshan, if not the bravest, the most concerned out of the three, came with me. We walked with a newspaper and a chappli in our hands. And lo! A cockroach in the passage leading to the bathroom. We were determined to kill it. Sudarshan went ahead with his chappli raised high. But instead of whacking the cockroach with the chappli, he stood three metres away and threw it limply at it. (And he’s the genius in the family!) The cockroach caught the air from the chappli and scurried threateningly closer to us. The two of us obviously didn’t stand and watch in horror. We were all over the place, Sudarshan’s deep voice in a screechy high and me normally screechy. We ran clumsily as far as we could and jumped onto sofas. We stood watching.

The dumb, obnoxious cockroach had somehow managed to turn upside-down. It lay there wriggling it’s hairy feet to try and turn over. We rejoiced thinking we’d conquered it! We hi-fived and everything! We thought finishing it off wouldn’t be difficult anymore. I went closer to it to squish it under another chappli. But one good look at the awful creature sent me jumping back on the sofa. It was just so hideous! Sudarshan, fed up, took the chappli from my hand, held his hand a meter above the cockroach and dropped the chappli.

Spot on! It miraculously landed right on the karappan poochi (Tamil word for cockroach, translating to ‘black insect’). Of course it wasn’t dead. But at least it wasn’t in our sight anymore. I bravely put on my socks and shoes and put all my weight on the chappli until I heard the small crunch and phthck. I dusted my hands and bravely stomped to the bathroom. Sudarshan and I took turns to stand guard at the door to send in a shout and run if there was a cockroach around.

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Uploading this picture because cockroaches are ugly

Such is the drama that goes on if there are insects around. I run out of my house, make my dad drop his spanner and leave the garage if I spot a butterfly inside, to make him shoo it away. I just can’t handle them. At first I thought I didn’t like them because they emerge from caterpillars but I’m not scared of worms of any sort. It’s just the thought of so many hairy legs resting on my arm that freaks me out.

On the other hand, I’m not scared of tiny beetles or spiders or dragonflies. In fact, I have caught spiders and made them my one-day-pets before setting them free. Same case with silk worms and tiny bugs.

And of course, the whole world knows I love lizards and any sort of reptiles. Harmless little poochies! Also, did I mention I have a pet crocodile? He is now sun bathing in all luxury at Madras Crocodile Bank Trust. He’s a very cute salt water croc and lives with two of his family members in his pond. I have named him Stevie, after Steve Irwin of course.

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Well, hope you aren’t appalled like most people are. I hope to spread love for reptiles and make butterflies not-so-mainstream.

Good day!


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