Athithi Swagatham – Welcome Guests
Yours truly is scared of rats, lizards, wasps, bees and cockroaches. When I see them, I give one loud screech, loud enough to wake up the dead. My hubby holds me totally responsible when my kids too screech like banshees when they see wildlife. He says strong parents have strong kids. A theory I disagree with, as my mum and dad are very brave persons. They are not scared of anything. Yet, we four kids quiver like jelly every time we see unwanted visitors in our house! “THAT is because you folks are weird!” grins hubby dear.
When I was in the last stage of my second pregnancy, a huge rat entered my parent’s house. My little son saw it and happily conveyed the news to his nana and nani. He was thrilled. Now there was a dog AND a rat in the house! I remained firmly in my bedroom. I knew I would not be able to waddle out at supersonic speed!
“If it comes I will give it a BIG kick!” said my little son, holding my hand very tightly. Our dog pretended to be very brave. But she cowered under the sofa when the rat bared its sharp teeth at her. “Where did it go?” asked my puzzled father, wielding a walking stick. “It was here a minute ago.”
“BEHIND THE FRIDGE!” shouted my little son. He had deserted me to go to the drawing room and watch the fun. I was proud of him. Thank God, he was NOT scared of rats! The doorbell rang. It was my younger brother, who refused to venture in when his nephew yelled, “MAAMA! There is a RAT in the house!”
“Maama doesn’t want to come in,” said my son sadly. “Good!” said his nani angrily, smacking her broom on the fridge. “Both mamma and maama are better OUT of the house!” “Hey! Fat me is still stuck in this bedroom!” I muttered angrily. The rat jumped out of the open window. It must have gone deaf with the barking and shouting inside the house. “IT RAN AWAY!” shouted my son happily.
Some years later, we had gone out shopping with our two young kids. Two sis-in-laws were staying with us. One accompanied us. The other thought she would spend a quiet evening at home. Three hours later, we came home. We entered the house to find my sis-in-law perched atop our wobbly, old dining table!
“There’s.there’s a big, hairy RAT inside the house!” she squeaked in fright. “WHERE?” I screamed, joining her on the dining table. Hubby frowned angrily as his two kids promptly followed his cowardly spouse onto the wobbly dining table. “Where?” asked my youngest sis-in-law. “THERE! On top of the washbasin shelf!” said her tabletop sis.
Our Rani of Jhansi found a stout stick. She chased the stout rat all over the house. Finally, the desperate rat jumped out of the balcony.
“It committed suicide!” said my kids’ brave aunt happily. “I’m so hungry!” wailed her sister. “I’ve been sitting three hours on the table waiting for all of you!” “You should have taken the key and come out of the house,” said her brother unsympathetically. “It could have followed me!” “Then you would have had company!”
Time passed. Finally a day came when my grown up son was left alone in the house. He assured me he could fend for himself. His only worry was how to single handedly tackle our pet enemy, the RAT!
One day his worst fears came true. He sent me an e-mail saying “Ma! I think there is another occupant in this house!” I told him to invest in rat poison. “No time,” he wrote back. “I come back from work at 2 A.M. every day.” Everyday I asked him about the rat’s status quo. “I don’t know,” he said. “I’m UNDER the sheet!”
The weekend came. He said he would investigate where the intruder was hiding himself. Then on Monday, we got a long e-mail from him. Howdy people!
Last week was rodent discovery week and not much else happened so here goes:
1) Came home Wednesday night to find cement pieces lying next to the kitchen drain-under-the-sink.
2) Immediately had the feeling that something had got in. Avoided kitchen next day. Skipped Jeeves wake-up-potion.
3) Left a half eaten biscuit on the floor. Returned home Thursday night to find biscuit gone. Chilled to the bone.
4) Missed office bus on Friday … decided to go late. Woke up at 9:00 to hear wierd noises in the kitchen.
5) Half-asleep, went to investigate. Found large monster scrambling about. Screamed like my mum!
6) Gathered my wits and armed myself (ninja style) with jhadoo and long danda. Saw creature under stove.
7) Attempted to attack it (with a fist-of-the-dragon aiiiiyaa!!). Creature leaped like Spiderman onto red shelf.
8) Sorry to say, I screamed like the girls in our house!
9) Attacked it again. (eye-of-the-eagle). Creature escaped under pressure cooker kept beside rice container. Yours truly had tired of screaming by then.
10) Made one last attempt. Creature ran to safety behind gas cylinders.
11) Before leaving for work, I covered the kitchen drain-under-the-sink with a water-filled plastic mug.
12) Returned home Friday night to find that the mug had been toppled over. The drain-under-the-sink was now open. Chilled to the bone.
13) Kept a newly bought rat trap with buttered bread as bait. Covered kitchen drain with mug filled to the brim with water.
14) Returned home Saturday night to find bait untouched. Chilled to the bone.
15) Decided to do all my work OUTSIDE the kitchen on Sunday morning.
16) Psycho-analyzed my fear of the creature and came to the conclusion that I was not scared of the creature-per-se. Your son was apprehensive of the creature brushing against him!
17) Chalked out plan to tackle it head on. The creature cannot touch my skin if I was well protected, right?
18) Rambo-style, put on tracks and shoes. Tucked my T-shirt firmly into tracks. Then tucked tracks into shoes. Tied an handkerchief around my nose. Armed with ninja-weapons, started clanging everything in the kitchen.
19) Satisfied that it could only be behind the gas cylinders, decided to take them out (but not before making terrible banging and cat sounds).
20) Cylinders removed, saw black object lying near drain. Screamed like a banshee!
21) Realized it was just the.. the uh.. thingy-we-use-to-cover-the-drain-with.
22) In true commando fashion, attempted to tie mirror to long ‘danda’ to see what was inside the cylinder compartment. Couldn’t see ANYTHING, so making dreadful cat noises, stuck my head inside.
Did not find anything. It had dug up a lot of cement from side walls, but creature was nowhere to be seen. After thorough investigation of entire house, concluded that it had vanished down the drain-under-the-sink after finding nothing to eat and nowhere to hide (advantage of living in an empty house). Cleaned out kitchen. Sneezed.
And that, people, wrapped up the week as I fell into a deep happy afternoon siesta. Am feeling rather kicked that I had driven rodent away. Will continue to operate out of dining room and bathroom, though. Hoping against hope it actually is out of the house. Else you’ll hear my scream in Bangalore!! Love, Your brave ninja son!
Now there is only one cowardly person in the house. ME! My daughter learnt to fend for herself once she shared a flat with college friends. Hubby vows he’ll never allow his grand children to become like their granny. They will get in-house training. To be brave commandos from DAY ONE! NDS
Contributed By: HEMA RAO, Bangalore firstname.lastname@example.org
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