Wednesday, September 16, 2015

It's a bugs life

Whilst the Syrian refugees had faced and were continually facing conflict, I was facing an immeasurably smaller yet significant one myself with a wasp. Yes, a three inch insect had taken great affinity towards my room, and more importantly, my body.

I am not too fond of insects. I have nothing against them, but, let's be honest, they outpopulate us by a mile; there are about 10 quintillion ( don't know how much is quintillion? Neither did I) of them creepy crawlies on earth, and for me that in itself is unnerving. What if someday, a bug attains a higher level of intelligence? 

Insects are resilient, disciplined, combative, and extremely well coordinated. Take ants for instance. Impressive little suckers, aren't they? Now imagine them being controlled by a highly intelligent bug who is aware of the human population hell bent on eradicating and taking over "their" land, so to speak.  

For almost a week, we were up in arms, the wasp and I. The moment I opened my window, it would enter, and after hovering around the room as if searching for a budget apartment in Mumbai, it would then enthusiastically attempt giving me a wasp hug. At first, I thought it was threatened by me, so I left the room. It lost interest and went out of the window. Back I came in, back came in the wasp! It was almost like it had developed a crush on me. I didn't want to kill the critter by swatting it away, but was not too enthused by the idea of it clinging to me lest it sting- like my wife's words- me. 

I attempted to brush it away extremely politely, something which it took offence to. The buzzing became louder and angrier and I swear that, amongst the buzzes, I almost heard a "Challenge accepted" jibe. Still not wanting to harm it when it was obvious it didn't reciprocate my feelings, I hurriedly left the room again so as to allow the wasp some time to cool down!

This went on almost for a week. It used to wait outside the window-hidden somewhere- and the moment I opened the window ever so briefly for much needed ventilation, it would saunter in for a joust with me. I came close to swatting the shit out of it about twice, but somehow the spider that too had made itself home at the corner of a wall reminded me that with great power came great responsibility.

I then contemplated letting the bugger sit on my forearm or something, and if that is what it wanted, bloody hell, let it sting me. It would, erm, sting, yes, but hopefully that would give it some closure. However, the realization dawned upon me that most insects that can sting use it as their ultimate defense mechanisms, and are liable to die after it. Mr Google helped me allay those apprehensions; wasps could sting more than once. And the stings were extremely painful. 

I have to admit it was uncomfortable sleeping with the window closed, but I persisted for the lack of a better solution. It was so uncomfortable one day that I took my first world problem to someone who had seen death, misery, and had grown up in a warring state, but had still managed to hold on to her innocence and was wise beyond her years.

Reciting to her the whole story, and not expecting a lot of inputs, I jokingly asked her what she would do. "I'd change my room, she said. Maybe you are intruding into its space, its house and it doesn't like that". And here I was, thinking all the time and complaining how the wasp was intruding into mine. By her answer, I was stung. And it was more painful than any wasp sting could have ever been.

 This led me to ask myself some poignant questions. Who were here first, them or us? Who was encroaching whose land? And technically, who were the actual pests? Are there any other species in the world that invade, encroach, destroy as ruthlessly and selfishly as us humans? 


Anant said...

I'm literally teary eyed after reading this.

Kartik said...

So was I when it happened.

Unknown said...

very well written brother.... its the vocabulary that i am impressed with every single time u write rather than the story in itself.... keep it up...

Kartik said...

Thanks mate. As long as the words convey what I want to, I am glad.

Anonymous said...

Brahmasatyam jagat mithiya jivbrhamaivanapara