Murder, On My Mind

Funny I read actor and former VJ Rahul Khanna’s fabuloulsy written post on encountering a cockroach just at the time when I am these days faced with similar problems – albeit involving a completely different species. Rahul’s tryst with a cockroach is funnily narrated. But my daily face-to-face with lizards hardly tickles my funny bones.

My enemies are not the cockroaches; I can bear them, buy information pills medicine and they look pretty mild, patient as compared to the animal that seems to be here, there and everywhere in my house – the lizard. When the mercury soared this month, I had to open the windows and doors; else I’d have died of suffocation and heat. But instead of any cool relief, all I got were these creepy crawly things running over the walls, and sometimes on the floors.

I have a total lizard-phobia; so much so that my heart stops whenever I see one in my room. It’s something from childhood, or probably inherited from my mother, who has an exponentially higher quantum of fear towards the reptile. When we lived in Delhi’s R.K.Puram a neighborhood lady once came up with a solid black mark on her cheek. “A lizard walked and pee ‘ed on it,” she explained ever so casually to my utmost horror, even as I struggled to catch my dropped jaw and dropped heartbeat. Whether she meant it as some perverse joke or no, but that night I barely slept, digging further into the flimsy sheet I had wrapped myself in. Then, there was a movie where a lizard jumps into the kheer. Lately, at Jim Corbett National Park, two passionate lizards – either fighting or making love, I didn’t bother to ask them – made a dive onto the bed with a repulsive plop; I stood watching aghast in a shocked stupor.

At home, my father is the lizard-catcher. I often look at him in awe as he goes about ‘the mission’ , doping the animal with an insect spray, picking it up between two brooms and throwing it out of the house all this, while I peep stealthily from a respectable distance! I tried doing this in Nepal (and here too) but the very sight of a live lizard wriggling at the end of the brooms is enough to freeze the blood in my veins!

It’s ok when the reptile stays within its bound territories far up the wall, in the drawing room. But when it assumes the role of a conqueror (or rather a CEO of an expanding company) surveying its territory and increasing its base, my own animal instincts valiantly arise and I have to protect my terrain (read my bedroom and bathroom!)

Now, I simply call a friend when I find the menace rising a bit too much out of control. Last week, he was here to do the cleaning up job, and I watched with amusement as he directed two perky lizards out of the drawing room with the tip of a broom – all along I jumped and pranced, like those extras behind a hero in a film song, and offered much sound, but no help!

Rahul gives a philosophical twist to his tale of the pesky cockroach:

I’m a firm believer in non-violence but I m also aware that we all have limits we can be pushed to. I have often wondered if driven to it, could I kill?

Frankly, I never gave it this deep a thought. But when I see the thing rushing all across the wall, I am sometimes ready to murder, though I don’t think I will be able to really give result to such a thought ever. Yes, it’s murder on my mind, but it simply remains there rather than transferring it into my hands. I don’t want a Lady Macbeth-ish guilt in my hands. Plus, a dead lizard’s sight is worse than a living one!

My moot question – when there are sprays and other assorted means to wipe out a mosquito or a cockroach (even a rat), why hasn’t anyone invented any such easy device to repel a lizard? My ideal would be some sort of a machine that I put on, and they miraculously disappear – no running after them, no dead bodies to account for!

I accept they are part of the grand food-chain and have an important place but can they (and their food, the mosquitoes) please do this great ecological cause out of the confines of my home?

Related Reading – Nocturnal Sounds – The Initial Nights in Kathmandu
A Snake In My House

18 Responses to “Murder, On My Mind”

  1. Taarika says:

    hi dj..

  2. Taarika – Morning ji 🙂 Gold aapka 😀

  3. Taarika says:

    haha..well i know its not all that funny when experienced.But hats off to your narrative..something as simple as lizard encounter becomes unbelievably hilarious.It reminds me of my childhood days,when i would keep warding off crickets from the devilish lizards’ reach to ‘save their lives’..especially in raining season.
    Oh by the way,its after so many days that i m able to open your comments page.Surprisingly i could read your posts but as soon as i would try opening the comment box,the windows would stop responding n i had to exit the page.Your ranikhet post was quite soothing too.

  4. Taarika – Really? I hope all the changes i did in the theme (mostly invisible) hasnt angered IE… I use Firefox basically, so here it’s working fine.

    Thanks for liking the post … I was sorta inspired by Rahul Khanna’s post to do this…

  5. Taarika says:

    fatafat replies???aaj velle hain kya?

  6. Taarika – LOL nahi, i m in between getting ready for office (well, short distances in Agra do help sometimes 😉 )

  7. Taarika says:

    i know they at last u do agree theres something good about agra..not that i myself love the place.At one time infact,i hated the thought of moving here.but then things started falling in place n place started feeling immaterial.Its the inner peace that matters at the end of more early morning lecture..have a nice day!!!

  8. Mehak says:

    OMG….SAME PINCH DJ…I am petrified of lizzies like crazy…I can’t bear the sight of them in my house….I call my maid/watchman n the last resort is to wait forl T to come back home from work & then start the mission….he sprays HIT & then with a broom n dustpan throws the lil thing out.
    All this while, I am on top of the sofa or the bean bag….screaming but not moving.

  9. Madhu says:

    LOL. Same here! Even i have this ‘lizard phobia’. When someone is there in the house I assign this ‘lizard killing/driving out’ job to that person but when I am alone its a battle for me which I HAVE to manage and win , no way out. I require boiled water (to throw on lizard), Baygon spray, broom. No matter whole tin of spray gets over in this operation. After the ‘murder’ that sight of dead lizard is ‘eeyaawwkk’ for me. I cannot have food after that!

    My cousin bro uses ‘goondha hua atta’ to kill lizard. If he sees lizard on the wall he will take big ball of atta and throw on it. Atte ka ball sticks to the wall easily and lizard gets caught in between. 😀 After some time, he takes off that and throws the whole shit, lizard is dead by that time. Eeeeyaawk!

    Nowadays, I have found the best and easy solution. Naphthalene balls! Yes, they do wonders! Get lots of them and start throwing them in kitchen in the corners, on the shleves, on top of the refrigerator, even in/and behind the cabinets, etc. Also everywhere in the house and loft. And then see, not a single lizard will enter Ur house. Also stick them on the windows. Seriously, try it out! I am doing it for the last few months and now I can challenge u ‘come and find the lizard in my house’. 🙂

  10. Madhu says:

    By the way, now I have kept three ways in front of U to get rid of lizards. Now its upto U which one to follow. And I am sure U will opt for the last one. 🙂

  11. Taarika – Very truly said!

    Mehak – LOL, i can so imagine that!

    Madhu – That ‘aata’ thing freaked me out…by the way, stopped at the local kiraana store to buy a few stuff, and it had one more purchase …not hard to guess, i reckon 😉

  12. kaush says:

    I wish there was a repellent for some people Deej!

  13. kaush says:

    Thankfully THANKFULLY! I havent encountered lizards in the US of A. In India though, god forbid I saw one, I refused to enter the house, my mom and dad would use the dustpan broom trick..we used to live on the 7th floor so they would toss it out the balcony….amazingly some of them would splotch on the 1st floor terrace (haha, bechaaras must be wondering where the lizards would come from) and start limping again! but this side of the atlantic does have its share of creepy crawlies!

  14. Anz says:

    @ kaush….you missed the word ‘like’ in the first comment 😛 *ducking*

  15. Kaushi – LOL on the first line, i wish too…

    Hmmm, now I know y living on the first floor (in Delhi) we get our more than fair share of lizards 😐 he he he he … but then, the ground floor guys would be wondering the same 😉

    Anz – Grrr, don’t forget there was murder already on my mind!

  16. Juneli says:

    so you are reptile-phobia.

    Whenever I see cockroach or lizard or spider I have some kind of strange feeling – Mix of fear and DON’T like. Fear portion is very less that I don’t shout or scream seeing them.

    I shiver but the shiver is not due to the fear exactly.

    We don’t have such creature here in our house. I think it comes more in hot place.

    I also made a post on Chhipkali
    and Satyagrah – Mera Ghar Chhodo, Chhipkali Bhaag jaao (Nuska).

  17. […] Chhipkali O Chhipkali – Kaun si hai Teri Gali I read, Deepak’s Post Murder, On My Mind about Lizard. And this post is related that post. And this post is for you Deepak. […]

  18. Anz says:

    ooohhh ab sachai kadwi hoti hai 😀

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