The Ringside View

My attempts at writing have always been stacked up in old diaries and scraps of yellowing paper.Time,neglect and phylum insecta however, always ensured that the gibberish i scrawled, never would see the prying gaze of an alien eye.Years later, i still scribble once in a while - this time in word documents stored in some obscure folder somewhere in the innards of my C drive.I am unearthing some of them and opening them up for the interested.To get what i call - The Ringside view.

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Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Enemy on the wall

Cousin came running out of the room like he had seen the devil itself. ‘It’s there’, he stuttered; looking as flushed as he generally looks at times like these. I instantly pulled up my dangling legs like a recoiled spring. In the middle of the cot with none of your body parts touching floor or wall, you felt slightly better; safer. Cousin had jumped into the cot as well. It was our safety bunker; far from the dangers lurking on distant walls. The cartoon playing on TV had suddenly turned uninteresting as cousin constantly peered at the bathroom in a ‘we are not safe yet’ manner. It was unsettling. ‘That is a big bastard’, he tells me at last. ‘Must have entered through the mesh door. It’s big and mean and spotted. I was just about to pick the mug and it was there; right on the wall next to me. I was lucky. Or else…’, he stopped mid sentence. I hated it when he stopped mid sentence.

I shivered at the very thought.

Like I shivered when summer vacations came and we visited mom’s relatives in sunny Alleppey. Not that it was a bad place. Nor was it that the folks there were mean. On the contrary, the tranquil rustic charm fascinated little me; used as I was to the prison like confinement of city dwelling. Running to fetch the honey sweet mangoes that fell every now and then with a leafy thud; hurling endless pebbles into the pond with a grim resolve to get that one extra bounce; eating omlettes made from fresh duck eggs , which aunts always claimed were so difficult to get these days. It was all nice and happy; as long as it was bright and sunny and daylight. The horrors started after sundown. I tried staying out for as long as possible. But at nightfall, you had to go back home. Even the hens and the ducks were chased back into their coops. Little me was no exception. I would sit there gingerly, staring at the ceiling. There they were; crawling about in great reptilian splendor. The bloody lizards. Menacing as they looked. Lurking around for the buzzing insects to make that one false maneuver. I would close my eyes every time they lunged for their prey. For fear that they would fall. Somewhere near me, on me, god knows where.

I count once more. Twenty three; twenty four. And the mat is rolled and the bed sheets are spread. There is one behind the tube light. Twenty six. I lie down quickly and cover myself with a blanket. The light is switched off but I know they are still there. Around me. Every where. In the dark, I can still see one lurking reptilian bastard on the ceiling right overhead. Prayer. Closed eyes and a shaky hope that the bloody reptilian grip is firm and trust worthy. And somewhere in time sleep happens and then dawn and then sunlight.

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‘Ok, now stop it you two’, mom scowled, eyebrows raised.

‘Please chase it out’, I plead. And when she realizes that there is no other way to get the two of us on terra firma again she takes out the WMD. But lizards are not meant to be killed it seems. So the broom is deployed to harmlessly chase them away. Cousin courageous ventures out to monitor proceedings. I wait. He would come back, smiling. ‘Chased the bastard out. Should have killed him. If it comes back again I tell you….’

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‘Have you gone to the bathroom yet? It’s time to sleep.’ mom shouts out after dinner.
‘I’ve gone already’, I lie. Why get out of the bed? Why take a chance?

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaha.. Lizards..disgusting ones.. my old house has a lot of them, as much as the cockroaches there, just to maintain the ecological balance and the food-chain ;-)

-Laxman.

October 02, 2007 9:52 PM  
Blogger Bikerdude said...

So I gather you aren't pally with the pallies ?

Muhuhuhahaha.

Ok I'll go away quietly now.

October 03, 2007 2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom used to make me eat food saying that if I dont gulp they(lizards) r gonna come near me...but u knw now as i grew up I learnt and understood tht "World is my Family n all the living creatures r my family members!!!" ..so kind of unable to hate it now. Anyways keep writing..its GOOD.
--Bebo

October 06, 2007 9:03 AM  
Blogger Krishna said...

One summer vacation my frn & i had tried to catch a lizard and broken off its tail! My mom had told me that dont worry it'll grow back and i'd left the lizards alone from that time.. from wikipedia , now learnt that some lizards not only regenerate tails, but also limbs!

October 06, 2007 9:39 AM  
Blogger Preeth said...

@Laxman -> Cockroaches are no problem at all. But my cousin induced the fear of the lizards in little me. Or so I claim :)

@Bikerdude -> I hate the bloody pallies dude.And don't laugh I say :)

@Bebo -> Hey, you can have exceptions to your 'I love all living creatures in the world' doctrine. Put an asterix and mention below in font 6 or something - 'Lizards not included'.

@Krsna -> Catching lizards !!! thats as creepy as creepy can get Krsna. And I thot Steve Irwine was the only one.

October 07, 2007 3:15 AM  
Blogger Sharad said...

things have changed bro! the reptilian grip has probably loosend while the cockroaches have developed red bull like wings..all from a recent experience back home.

October 16, 2007 8:35 PM  

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