Three days ago, I came home in a pool of tears, terrified I was going to lose my right hand.
I could see a vein pulsating in my wrist. My thumb, index and middle finger were on the verge of numbness. At the slightest twitch of my wrist, a dreadful electric shock ran through my arm.
In a wave of panic, I imagined doctors shaking their heads. They would have to amputate my right hand. I wouldn’t be able to write, type, play keyboard, draw. Literally everything I was half decent at would slip through my fingers.
The more I thought about it, the more I wept. I had never quite wept that openly before. My mom panicked along with me. My dad meekly suggested an ointment for want of something to say.
Today, nothing about my hand has changed.
The numbness isn’t gone. My right hand lies limp on my thigh as I type with my left, backspacing and retyping to get the spellings right. The self-diagnosed carpal tunnel still taunts me.
But I’m not crying anymore.
Because I spent a day with this dog.
This is Chap.
He is a Cocker Spaniel. His mane is handsome as a lion’s. His fur soft as a baby’s blanket. His demeanour, adorable as a puppy! But he doesn’t have the gorgeous big puppy eyes that people fawn over. Instead he has his eyelids stitched together so they don’t get infected.
Chap is a blind dog. He was born blind.
When my friend adopted him as a few weeks-old puppy, he thought his eyes were infected. Eventually, the vets had to clean out the cavities completely and stitch them up so they wouldn’t get infected again.
I’m not writing this so you sympathize with Chap.
I’m writing this because I’m in awe of how Chap goes about his life.
Chap walks around his home with a striking sense of familiarity. The confidence in his gait, the sureness in his paws when he leaps onto the gate and the menacing growl he has in store for strangers will hardly make you sympathise with him.
When he smelled me, he trusted me at once. He propped his shaggy head on my knee as I sat down. I gingerly placed my right hand on his head. He licked my arm, the warmth of his tongue comforting my brittle arm.
To me, it felt like he was pitying me.
Pitying me for the little discomfort in my hand.
And suddenly, everything seemed so ludicrous. My tears, my panicked state, my overstated emotions that trapped all those around me. I was put off by my own desire for attention.
A hand pain. Seriously.
I went to the doctor today; he gave me pills and sent me off. Said it’ll be alright.
It’s going to be a while, though, before I can wave it off as a setback, like Chap has done with his sight.
Isn’t it amusing how life throws so many lessons at us and we almost always turn a blind eye to them?
A few years ago, I saw a meme that said, “When you see something that disgusts you, say, a worm or a lizard, and you want to kill it, just pause and make a Disney movie in your head from its point of view.” Or something on those lines. And for some godforsaken reason, that meme has remained etched in my head from that day.
Initially, I didn’t think of it much. But it was one of those thoughts that become louder and louder as years pass by. Now, it’s just messed my mind up badly. I think from every animal’s point of view, and since it’s a Disney movie in my head, everything is hopelessly cute, even a snake, even a worm. Every animal has a family, a child with an adorable baby voice and big eyes, waiting for Daddy Worm to come home. To give you a perspective, I make a Finding Nemo movie out of every animal’s life.
Looking at it from this point of view has made me think a hundred times before doing anything. Before I sit on the ground, I look for ants to make sure there are none. Before I pour water into a plant, I make sure there aren’t any catterpillars on it. If there’s a spider web in my room, I let it be. If a rat scuttles by me, I don’t mind. If a mosquito bites me, I le- ok no, mosquitoes gotta die. Every single one of them.
Anyway, it’s all right with me that I don’t want to cause harm to these beings. But what’s getting to me is that if I harm some living thing by mistake, I won’t hear the end of it from my brain. My mind tortures me about it for hours. The other day, I was doing the dishes, and just as a poured water into the sink, I noticed a small insect in the sink and before I could do anything, it got washed away and went right through the drain. I got into its head for ten seconds, I got flushed down a dirty black pipe. I grew depressed and shed a tear for it. Another time, I injured a big black ant by mistake and broke one of its legs. Immediately, I went into the ant’s head and saw a huge, monstrous me, out to finish the world, raising its hand and breaking its leg.
Clearly, I don’t know where to draw the line.
For instance, when the beef ban was announced in Maharashtra, I was celebrating like never before. But then, I read this article yesterday about how the economy of the country will be affected and how many people will be left unemployed. On the other hand, I read this article about how eating less meat is the best way to tackle climate change and saw this effective campaign by models in China fighting for animal rights. After reading these, I didn’t know what to think.
There are many other things that add to this mind-boggled state of mine. My colleague, Vivian, was once telling me about sheep and cattle in the Himalayas, and how the shepherds there make a living from their products. When they’re alive, they provide milk, and subsequent milk products, they help control the landscape by grazing excessive vegetation. When they’re dead, their meat is eaten, their wool is used to make warm clothes, their skin is used to make leather, their horns are used for something else. Every body part of the dead animal helps the shepherd make a living. And they’re all well taken care of, as I saw for myself.
I’ve even read a lot of James Herriot, who was a countryside vet. He wrote in one of his books about how a few farmers would weep to send their ageing cattle to slaughterhouses because they were too attached to the animals. This made me realise that a lot of these people don’t want to kill and use these animals just for the heck of it, but they have to make a living out of it.
So I’m left in a very confused state. Is it OK and ethical to breed them, take good care of them and then kill them after they’ve had a good life? Or should I get into the animal’s head and be shocked at wtf is going on when I’m being taken to the slaughterhouse? I’d be enraged if I was the animal and not having my Right to Life. But I’d be equally upset if I was a broke farmer, who couldn’t put bread (or meat) on the table.
One thought that came to my mind when I read the above mentioned article about the beef ban was that it’s ok to have beef. But it’s NOT ok to slaughter them unethically, illegally and heartlessly.
My friend, Sanjana, once did a documentary of illegal cow slaughter in Chennai. Slaughterhouses are supposed to follow a process that involves sedating the animals and then killing them. But none of that happens in most of these butcher shops. They just take the animal to the backyard and chop it’s head off with a blunt knife and most times, the head doesn’t even get chopped off fully. I do not want to be inside that cow’s head, or outside it. Unfortunately, Sanjana witnessed this first hand and was really upset for weeks together.
As you can see, this topic has really put me in a fix and I sure am glad that I’m neither an animal farmer nor someone who makes the rules. Even as a mere onlooker, I’m muddled up.
I’m not arguing for vegetarianism or against meat-eating. That’s a completely different topic. But I just had to put these confused thoughts down.
I wish my mind would stop wandering and entering other being’s heads. Sigh.
They say that a dog’s behaviour is a reflection of its master’s.
My first dog was a rascal (I don’t mean to be rude, Simba. But you bit someone). This one, I call her Puppy, is a darling. Every time she sees someone enter the house, her ears fly back and her tail smashes everything in its vicinity with excitement. She has learnt to be the most friendly dog in the neighbourhood.
Her eyes are the most adorable, truthful eyes I’ve ever seen.
You all know, by now, that I love dogs. If you don’t know that yet, read this.
The day before yesterday, my Puppy got bitten by a bully. You see, Puppy is a 4-month-old Indian dog, who lives on the streets and sleeps outside my house when she feels like it. I keep a bowl of milk and a bowl of water for her. She drinks when she feels like it. Basically, she is free to do what she wants, go where she wants and live how she wants. No leash, no collar – freedom.
But like I said, she got bitten by a bully. So for two days, she hasn’t been her usual self – jumping, running about and going berserk when she sees me, or mom or dad. She has been lying low, not walking, not talking, not eating, not even wagging her tail. The bully bit her on her inner thigh. So she is finding it hard to sit and stand easily. She sways while walking too. But she’s a strong little puppy. She’s holding up, without complaining. Not one sound from her. No whining, no growling.
We took her to the vet this morning, to CUPA. My dad and I. My dad is helplessly in love with her, although he won’t admit it. So he drove us down. Puppy sat with her front paws and head in my lap, her eyes wide open, gaping at everything she could see through the window. You know dogs like Marley? How they stick their heads out of car windows, stand in the seat, wag their big tails and make a mess? Puppy did none of that. She sat quietly, ready to accept whatever came to her.
When we reached CUPA, we parked the car. We lifted her and put her down, because she isn’t currently strong/brave enough to jump about with the wound and everything. She walked towards the lawn and peed there. My dad and I began to walk into the building. All we had to say was “Puppy, come,” and she followed, although a bit hesitantly. At the entrance sat a scared Golden Retriever with its two masters. A Rottweiler soon followed, drooling all over the place. Puppy, naturally, was a bit scared of other dogs, because she’d just been bitten by one. So she sort of hesitated and went off-path. so my dad carried her to the waiting area. There, we set her down, just near our feet. There was a Labrador, a Pomeranian, a German Shepherd, two Golden retrievers and a Dachshund. All these dogs were snarling, growling, a few excitedly whimpering and straining at the leashes of their masters. One of them peed right there, just at his master’s leg. Puppy sat there, at our feet, without a leash or a collar that we could hold her by, just looking around at things with amusement. She was curious no doubt; she didn’t show a sign. I’m blessed that God put such a well-behaved puppy on my street.
Inside, all went well. The doc gave her two shots. Before we got into the car, puppy, who was following us, took another detour to the lawn, to pee again. I have no clue where she learnt that she mustn’t pee where humans walk. She sat in the car as she was told to and slept outside after we reached home.
You might think that she is this subdued because she’s wounded. But that’s not true at all. The first time I took her to the doc for a general vaccination, it was the same scene. She was very good. And although playful and enthusiastic all the time, even with other dogs on the street, she has never caused problems.
Now, I don’t see a reason for her to listen to me or my dad. We are not her masters. Yet, she does. She doesn’t do anything to piss us off. When she is thirsty or hungry, she holds her bowl in her mouth and stares at my mum. Even my mum, who isn’t as into dogs as my dad and I are, has fallen in love with her. Even if the amount of dinner is just about enough for the three of us, mum keeps a bit aside for puppy every night. That’s the only time we feed her. She fends for herself otherwise. She hasn’t been trained, hasn’t been made to stay with us. But she does.
I’m not bragging about Puppy here. In fact, I’m telling you, she isn’t mine. She loves me, I love her and that’s about it. She is an Indian dog, and I help her when she needs it. It’s all you need to do, because Indian dogs are bloody intelligent and street-smart. If you’re wondering why I don’t keep Puppy inside my house, I have had bad experiences in the past, and I feel it’ll reduce their immunity. Besides, last night, I tried bringing Puppy inside. She came inside. When I shut the main door, she panicked and wanted to be let out. It was 1 am and I couldn’t leave the main door open.
But a lot of puppies aren’t lucky like this girl. Many puppies are left in other dog’s territories and when that happens, they are bitten and sometimes, killed by other dogs, because like humans, dogs are extremely territorial. So when you see abandoned and helpless puppies, do what you can to help them – be it adopting them, or rescuing them for adoption through online forums – because no one can love you and stay equally detached like Indian dogs can. It is the most ideal relationship in the world.
You know that cliched line, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If it doesn’t it never was”? I think whoever wrote that had an Indian dog.
So if you’d like to adopt puppies or help adopt abandoned ones that you come across, you can check out this Facebook page, Let’s Live Together. They do really good work. Or hand them over to CUPA. The number is 080-22947317. Or post pictures of the puppies on Put Me In Touch or Bombat Dawgz, both of which are groups on Facebook. That’s also helpful.
PS: I have nothing against foreign breeds. I go gaga over them too. But Indian dogs need help where they can get it. So do try and help.
FYI, Kuntea is my doggy, and she visits me every evening. When I come back from work everyday, she is waiting on the road in front of my house and greets me with mad wagging of her tail and excited whining. She can’t jump, however, because she’s limp. (Kuntea in Kannada means limp.) That doesn’t make much difference to her though. This road, this matriarchal road, is her Prideland.
But today, she’s bloody annoyed with me. Every time I go stand in front of her, she turns away. She’s enjoying my caressing no doubt, but she’s being very indifferent. She has caught the scent of another dog at my doorstep.
A couple of weeks ago, my dad and mom showed me a new puppy in the area. A tiny and hyper white puppy with big black spots. I’ve named her Puppy. She’s a bomb of energy when she sees people, jumping as high as he can, sometimes lifting all her paws off the ground. But when there are no people around, she’s a sloth. Sleeping all the time. I invited her last Tuesday to sleep on my doorstep. So she comes and goes as she likes, sleeping on the gunny bag or the door mat that has been kept for dogs that like to rest or those that like some shelter from the rain.
So Kuntea has caught her scent, because Puppy has been increasingly resting at my door. I don’t know how to handle the situation. I love them both equally. And they’re the only dogs that I love so much, I mean it. I don’t know how to make Kuntea believe that. Puppy, I’m sure, doesn’t care. She’s an excited little puppy and if she sees Kuntea at my door, she’ll go and bounce happily around her, smelling her and ready to play with her. That’s what she does with my other dog, Piccolo.
So Piccolo is a dog that sleeps ten steps away from my house. Puppy is a big fan of him. She’s always following him around and copying his style. Piccolo is her role model. Piccolo is a handsome, muscular, well-poised two-year-old. He’s completely black, with a large white patch on his chest. He doesn’t care much about anybody. He sleeps around all day, eats the leftovers from the Momo and Omlette stalls around the corner, and perhaps some from the chaat shop close by. He’s a calm and composed guy, who’ll perhaps flick his tail lazily if you speak to him. I love him also, despite his indifference towards me. Anyway, he isn’t the only black dog around. There’s Chinnu, Munnu and Blacky of course.
These three dogs, two Newfoundlands (Freddie Ljungberg has one of these btw) and a Great Dane, Blacky, live just 20 steps from my house. They are big, handsome dogs. Blacky is still a few months old. Before him, there was Danny, a grand old Great Dane, whom they have donated to someone else because he didn’t get along with Chinnu and Munnu. All these live in the same fancy house, where the owners couldn’t care less about their pets. (I do NOT like such people.) The watchman takes care of them however, although I don’t really like how short their leashes are, which would be around one metre. But the dogs are the most “awwwwww” inducing dogs. They get so excited when they see me, they pee all over themselves. They jump on me and they’re huge, so I fall down. I stop my bike to greet them everyday, before coming home after work. This isn’t the only threesome around though.
Munnu, the peaceful one
Eeky dog love
Chinnu, the restless one
On the other side of my house, there are three new labradors – Dhrona, Rani and something else. Didn’t quite catch the third name when the owner told me it, because I was still digesting the name Dhrona. These three curious fellows jump and peep from their compound wall every time I go past their house. It’s the most adorable thing. Then I put my hand through the gate, pass their trust test and pet them for a while.
If you continue to stick your head out of the gate, Dhrona, someday you’ll be stuck there forever
Peeking at me over the compound wall
That’s around 10 dogs eh? No wonder Kuntea won’t talk to me. Damn!
I used to have two other dogs, that lived inside my house, unlike all the others. One of them died and the other was stolen. Both were adopted. Simba was the one who got stolen. He was a beautiful golden dog with a pink nose and charged up eyes. Gunda, the cutie who died, was a docile fellow, caring and loving. He also had a pink nose. It’s a pity we had to lose him. : (
This is Gunner, an absolute sweetheart!
I had to get onto Orkut to get pictures of Simba. We had him in 2008.
Isn’t he a darling?
My blue-eyed boy, Simbla.
But that’s all I got in Malleswaram. This is a form of therapy for me when I’m pissed about something. Nothing can match the selfless, honest and blatant love that doggies have for you. I fall to pieces every time I look at them all, but I love Kuntea and Puppy the most. Then, of course, I have dogs in different areas. In JP Nagar, on Brigade road, in Koramangala, in Chennai, everywhere. Hehe… In Guttahalli, there is this furry dog that I’m a huge fan of. He doesn’t even know I exist. He’s a stray, but he’s beautiful, with flowy and surprisingly clean brown fur. I give him my positive vibes everytime I ride on that road.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of him. But I have pictures of so many other dogs and I have a thing or two to say about each one of them. Here are their pictures, along with captions.
This is perhaps the happiest dog in the world. They all live on the beach in Besant Nagar, and feed on fish, chundal, corn and anything they can get their paws on
Scratch my belly, please!
Fishy trying to tame the over-excited doggy
Someone’s been naughtily getting their hands dirty
I found these puppies in Pavagada, when I went to cover deprivation from college. I held the entire team up for at least ten minutes because my heart melted looking at them. I just couldn’t let them go
This is a puppy that I found in the backyard of one of my aunt’s houses. I didn’t bring it home because it was still with its mum. I don’t like separating them when they’re together
That’s that. These are just doggies, whose pictures I have. There are more of course, like the one at SN on JP Nagar, and others, whose pictures I haven’t been able to click. The entire species itself has had a huge role to play in my life and affected my general outlook behaviour, and the way I think. I take inspiration from these dogs.
I just want to thank God for making these four-legged creatures that are way way WAY better than human beings. I hope that someday, I can be as loyal, selfless, caring, protective and loving as a dog.
Of course, I’d also give anything to just laze around all day like them, wake up to a beautiful sunny day on the road, and sleep under any sort of shelter, anywhere.
Think then, what my reaction was, when I heard my mum wake me up with, “Swathi, there are four kittens on the terrace.”
I’m the kind of person that likes to laze around in her bed for an hour after she wakes up, just reading a book, or WhatsApping people or going through my Twitter timeline. But when I heard her say ‘kittens,’ my ears pricked up. No wait, my entire body shot straight up! I yelped and ran to the terrace to find these.
Have you gone ‘awwww’ yet? Aren’t they the cutest things in the world?
I just wanted to go pick them up and hug them. But I didn’t, of course. They were scared. They are still in that infant phase when they take time to focus on things. They detect big movements, but small movements go unnoticed. Slowly, they got used to us (two little girls from the neighbourhood had found out about the kittens and come up to see them), and after a while, I picked up one of them. Unfortunately, it liked me too much and caught hold of my dress with it’s really sharp claws. It refused to let go. Normally, I’d have been extremely pleased with the scenario, but today, I was getting late to work. Imagine going and telling my editor, “I’m late because I was playing with kittens on my terrace.” If I was the editor, I’d have probably empathised, but i doubt I’ll be at the other end of that empathy with anyone.
After five minutes of the most delicate wrestling, I got the kitty off my back, quite literally. I left them all there but they began walking hastily after us, tumbling awkwardly and getting up to keep up. We climbed down the stairs and one of the kitties just fumbled down one step and landed with this legs splayed there. Assuming it would go back to it’s hiding spot, I came downstairs and got ready for work.
After getting ready, I went up to check on them. That kitten lay on that step sleeping, because it couldn’t go back up. It was such an adorable sight; the cat having succumbed to helplessness with not a word of complaint. Such cute, innocent creatures! Even yesterday, I was at my aunt’s place in Jayanagar and a dog has had puppies outside that house. I told my aunt that in order to wake me up, she just had to say the magic word, “puppies!” Unfortunately, she forgot. I woke up at ten, when I had to be at work by 11. Sigh.
This post is also a celebratory one because India has finally passed the law to stop testing of cosmetic products on animals in India. They’re probably going to use lab-developed human skin-like thing itseems. Animals are any day better than humans and they ought to be given more priority than they are given now. Hopefully, some day, non-animal lovers will realise how harmless they are, unless you cause them harm.
Oh also, my sister hates cats. A lot people seem to think cats are evil. Well, there’s a difference. See this cat, it’s evil.
See this one? He’s just like chocolate pie. You want to eat him. No you non-vegetarians. Not literally.
Anyway, I had read this line somewhere. “Accidents don’t happen. They are caused.”
The same line can be applied here as well. “Animals don’t bite, unless they are provoked.”
In the case of these kittens, I could have taken them away from there and kept them inside my house. (The little girls did do that in my absence, for which I taught them that they should never separate siblings or babies from mommies. “You want your mummy no? I want my mummy no? Even the kittens want their mummy.”) So all of you who dislike animals, it’s alright if you don’t like them, but please ensure you don’t cause them harm.
I have to think of names for them. Oh! And I can make personalised bowls for them after I’ve named them! I must figure out how many are girls and how many are boys before that.
Let’s hope they’re still there when I wake up.
Good day/night people!
Thanks for stopping by. Go give an animal some love today! : )
Ok I’m going to attempt to paint a picture in your head with just words. So this is basically a picture post, except there isn’t a picture. I’m going to make you exercise your imagination. Here goes.
I’m sitting at the Englischer Garten in Munich. It’s a garden of tremendous size and lush, highly saturated green. It’s pretty much a forest of sorts. You could get lost in it. Su, appa and amma are away, taking a walk. I’m on a bench, reading Wodehouse and casually watching passers-by. I see a cute-ish guy jogging. He’s wearing a dark blue dry fit t-shirt. It fits him perfectly. He ran swiftly past me. The smell of his deodorant slightly lingers.
There is a boy who looks American sitting on the bench beside mine. He is wearing a skull cap and a scowl. He doesn’t look like he wants to be here with all his uncles and aunts and kids. He’s a teenager for sure. He’d rather be with his friends. He looks disgruntled. His family has left him to sit here and gone for a stroll. Just like mine. Except I’m not angry. I’m loving every bit of the sun.
Oh yes! The sun! It’s a warm day. It’s the Tuesday everyone has been looking forward to for weeks because the weather forecast guy told them to. Sixteen degree Celsius is a blessing in disguise. Girls are lying in the grass, barely clad and sun bathing. I sat in the moist grass a while ago. My black jeans now have dirty green and brown patches on them.
The atmosphere is very pleasant. It is of the kind the word “spring” brings to mind. Birds chirping, children laughing, the gush of flowing water (there is a stream that flows within this garden), shadows of trees swaying happily, cycle bells ringing, bottles clinking, dogs barking and panting, women’s heels clucking, basket balls bouncing and ringing…
Everyone is dressed colourfully. The sky is blue, the exact blue that it ought to be on a typical spring day. I see red and green trees. Flowers are in the pink of their health. I see a couple holding hands and walking. He is in blue, she, in a beige dress. There is a black guy on a cycle, casually cycling past the two of them, wearing varicoloured patch-work clothing.
The wind that’s blowing is cold. the kind that rises off the surfaces of a cold river. A touristy old couple is walking in my direction. “Wodehouse!” the old man exclaimed brightly, noticing my book, as he walked past me. He’s holding his wife’s hand. Even after all these years, they still hold hands. Makes me feel good about being in love.
I hear many languages. German topping the table. I can hear English and a little bit of French here and there. And oh! A familiar voice. That’s Kannada of course. I can hear my family even from two kilometres away.
Change of location.
I see a thin, shirtless guy with long curly hair. My kinda guy. Hehe. And my my! The number of dogs! Poodles, blanket-face dogs, pugs, bull dogs, golden retrievers, German shepherds, mastiffs, mutts- some playing fetch, some running about in carefree glory. There is just one silly little mister that is carrying a log that is a tad too huge for his mouth. That is no twig. It’s a huge bark of a tree. There is another dog swimming to fetch hiss ball from the pond behind me.
I hear the cluck cluck of a horse running. It’s a horse-drawn carriage. A beautiful black horse with flowy, shiny hair and thick muscular hooves.
I absolutely love this garden! I wish to have a dog someday, bring him to this garden and watch him stick his tongue out and gallop about wildly.
Whereas me, I’d rather just sit on a bench, absorb the pleasantries of Munich, put this notebook away and get back to reading Ukridge.
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.
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.
Well, hope you aren’t appalled like most people are. I hope to spread love for reptiles and make butterflies not-so-mainstream.