Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Dragon Slayers

When I was small, it was my brother who took on that role.

Delhi, like the rest of India, was not a stranger to insects, rats, spiders, lizards and other creepy-crawlies. And where I grew up, a flat in a government colony in Minto Road, New Delhi, there was no dearth of such creatures.

Often I would find roaches invading my study table. Or spiders in my cupboard. There was once a lizard floating in my bath water. No matter how hard my mom tried to keep her home clean, there was always an alien lurking somewhere to invade her space. My brother, who for some reason found such creatures rather fascinating, was the designated bug buster. Broom in hand, he would gleefully chase the offending creature, driving it away. I, being petrified of it, would stand on the tallest structure in the room, a bed, a chair or the table and try to direct him to his prey. " There, there, behind the T.V., strike, whack, swat..." Or, "There it is, climbing the curtains, kill it, kill it". Fear turns the best of us into killers. My brother, who was not a killer, would hold the creature in his hands, (eeewwww) and release it outside. That got him another round of blood curdling screams. " Why did you not destroy that damn thing? Now it will come back again."


For all his faults, (he was a weak wimp after all) he took his role as the dragon slayer rather seriously. His primary job was to defend his little sister and he never forgot to inspect the bathroom before her bath or the bedroom before her bedtime. He kept an hawks eye under the sofa, behind the curtains, inside the shoe rack and all other such vulnerable places. He spoiled me to such an extent that I'd often wonder how I'd ever cope without him in my life. Being a brave girl of the New World, I could fight my battle against any two-legged beast and win, but who would chase away the anthropods and the reptiles?

So, when I decided to get married, one of the first questions I asked my husband was " Are you scared of cockroaches or lizards?" If he thought I was mad, he never let me know.

Over the years, my husband has protected the women in his life, his wife and his two daughters, countless number of times. He saved us from those big brown cockroaches with beady eyes and long tailed lizards with clawed feet. He saved us from smelly rats and ugly spiders. Over the years, he has been able to gauge the seriousness of the threat by just listening to our screams.  He now knows whether to pick up a rolled up newspaper or a long handled broom just by hearing how much stress we put on our vowels when we say "Aaaaahhh" Choosing the right weapon is half the battle won.

So my house, thanks to my husband and my pest control agency is normally alien free. The problem arises when he travels. Like now. There is a big, revolting, lizard on my kitchen wall and I do not know what to do. I gave my kids bread for breakfast, I asked my mother in law to make the morning cup of tea and I'm here now, in front of the computer blogging, when I should be thinking of lunch.

The fire breathing, broom weilding Dragon Slayer is quite appropriately in China. And I'm missing him terribly.

57 comments:

Haddock said...

And that reminds me. I have to see that movie.

The Panorama said...

Aparna, I hate lizards too!I remember sometimes I had to pee and there would be a lizard in the toilet and I would not go...until someone chased it away!
I have a fear of reptiles and creepy crawlies too!

R's Mom said...

Awww! Thats so sweet...Roaches I am not scared...Lizards I dread...but if you stay somewhere in the suburbs of Mumbai, I can send over my dragon slayer (aka hubby) to drive that lizard away :)

rama said...

Hi Aparna,
Just look behind your chair, Oh my God there is a big spider, AHHHHHHHHHHHHH, scream and run now!!111

Destiny's child... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Destiny's child... said...

Lol..I am quite the dragon slayer in my home. I am not afraid of snakes, I have scared one out of the house (no, I don't live in a jungle) but rats scare the hell out of me. Your lizardophobia reminds me of my sister...a lizard once bit her little finger when she was small!

Nona said...

I'm forced to the reluctant dragon slayer at home! There were a quite a few dragons to be slain when we were living in Gurgaon! Luckily for me, I passed on some of the dragon slaying skills to my daughter during those years! She was more brave than her mother.

The Ketchup Girl said...

lol. i know the fear. esp the fear of spiders in Australia. Apparently there are quite a few poisonous ones. But the sibling love is so cute :-).

The Holy Lama said...

What a sweet way to say 'Darling, I miss you'. There I can see you blushing.:)

Aparna said...

Haddock, I haven't seen either. Is it good?

Saroj, I absolutely, positively and definitely hate lizards. I would rather not go to the bathroom if there was one in it.

R's Mom, yes, I do stay in the suburb. Please send me the dragon slayer, I beg you!

Rama, Aaaaahhhhh!

Destiny's child, you are a brave girl! And so is your sister. If a lizard ever bit my finger, I'd be dead.

Nona, why were you reluctant to play that role? Unfortunately(or fortunately) since I always had an older brother to slay my dragons, I never learnt to be brave like your daughter!

The ketchup girl, don't you dare believe there was anything cute about my brother. He drove me up the wall most of the time.

Holy Lama, *sigh* I do miss him and after 18 years of marriage I am beyond blushing!

PURN!MA said...

I'm petrified of lizards too. Rather I find them EEEEWWWWWWWW! Very rarely did I have to encounter lizardly issues when at mom's place. Windows had nets etc.

After marriage, when we rented an apartment in Pune, lizards made free entry and exits into the kitchen n bathroom through the open terrace. Boy, was I scared!!! I'd go "ewwwwww, Kiran, Lizzzzzard!!!!" and hubby would laugh it off. I was the one with broom in one hand and extra agile feet to jump 6 feet away if the lizard changed its position.

cockroaches ke liye HIT hai naa. :)

Nikita Banerjee said...

Cockroaches, lizards, rats and every one them...freak me out! We had a rat enter our house recently and stayed for a week. I did not dare to venture out my room in the dark. Its gone...ran out of the window so its a blessing.

Sakshi said...

See you reconfirmed my belief in my set of brothers (Yeah I firmly believe that they are wolves disguised as boys). While your bro saved you from such crawling creepy creatures, mine would make sure that such things were floating in my drinking water, corpse hidden between pages of my favourite book etc etc and thanks to them I soon lost my ability to scream and rather adapted to slaying all these crawling things :) Yup am the dragon slayer and unfortunately my skills are gathering dust in this country which doesn't let these creatures thrive...sobs!!

Aww you missing your husband? hmmm u said he is in China? Well am sure after reading your post he is gonna get you a CHINA MADE pest control device *laughing off madly at the thought*

A New Beginning said...

Ha has aparna, bloggers world sure is a refuge against pests :)
I hope your dragon slayer returns soon and the battle is won, until then I think you should just sign a deal with the lizard...."you dont scare me..I wont get u slayed!"...try it !!:)

UmaS said...

Cho chweet siblings bonding !!! Love it. :)

At my home, its me who's the slayer of insects !!! :)

Oh...these lizards are the worst...they are creepy and yuck...Oh !! How I hate the job of chasing them out of my home....

Aparna said...

Purnima, I guess the lizards won't bother you where you are now. enjoy your reptile free environment!

Nikita, rats not only are evil, they smell too. I can always smell a rat if it ever enters my house.

Sakshi, I wish my brother was not so protective, I would have learned to slay my own dragons then!
And I've been telling Ishita to update her blog or write more stories, but she never listens to me. Currently her favourite occupation is not listening to anything her mother says.

A New Beginning, I love the idea of making a deal with the lizard but I have a feeling that our talks will be like Indo-Pak talks, forever breaking down!

UmaS, there was nothing 'chweet' about my brother and I, we were always fighting! And lizards are the worst...

sujata said...

first reaction as you have guessed already is, " how dare she call mikidada a wimp!!!!"

this post crawled under my skin, i hate reptiles of any kind, cockroaches, i can still tolerate. this in fact gave me an idea for my next post.

KyungBivo中如 said...

Riches serve a wise man but command a fool.............................................................

ani_aset said...

hang a cotton ball with a thread on the wall..as it moves it scares the lizard away..btw very stark similarities between your brother and me :P I'm the one who knows the technique to hold a grasshopper by its legs :P

Swatantra said...

Cute one!!

BK Chowla, said...

I am very scared of all these friends roaming around the house.

Neena Sharma said...

So well written! Hope the Dragon Slayer reads it too.

Rinki said...

Hey aparna !!
My husband wants me to drag away(and not kill) the ugly alien creatures, not because he is scared of them, because he wants me to get rid of the fear of these ugly creatures(no offence lizards,cockroches, rats - we are just too scared of you guys).
Half and hour later, after non-stop pestering(both by me and MIL), the husband gets rid of the ugly creatures.

ps : I am commenting on your blog for the first time. Its always fun reading your blog :) Cheers !!

Sharmila said...

I am not scared of anything .. not lizards, not roaches ( i do find them eeeewwww though ). But yes ... a wasp or bee droning around is enough to drive me crazy .. am terrified of their bites. :-)

雅俊芬凱陳許 said...

人生中最好的禮物就是屬於自己的一部份............................................................

Aparna said...

Ha ha ha........... I am also very scared of Lizards, strange part is that my bro is also scared...... with both struggle to let them move out of the house

Nazish Rahman said...

haha..that happens with most girls!!

RicoLisi0802志竹 said...

支持大大~很有啟發性......................................................

walk2write said...

One of the reasons my mom wouldn't move to Florida with us was her memory of those giant cockroaches and other critters when she lived in south Florida years ago. That's beside the fact that we move around so much. I've told her that northern Florida isn't quite so bad for some reason. Maybe it's because housing construction has improved a lot in the last decade or so. It's funny that the guys have to assume that responsibility of slaying the dragons for us. My daughter is one of those people who captures spiders and then releases them outside.

林聿希林聿希林聿希 said...

幫你推個文~~期待更新!加油啊!............................................................

RGB said...

All forms of creepy-crawlies are repulsive. I remember when I was in middle school, I found something glittering in my guitar. When I inspected it closely, it was a lizard looking up at me and the next thing I knew I flung the guitar farthest away from me!

Funny thing is, I'm braver than my hubby, when it comes to chasing lizards out of our home:D

Is the Dragon Slayer back yet?

Aparna said...

Thanks every one for writing in.
I am taking a short break.
Best wishes to all of you.

珍盈洪 said...

你的文章給我力量!感謝您!!!..................................................................

Tomz said...

Dragon Slayers..apt title..:)
btw I am afraid of these creatures..I have certain kind of phobea..

豪偉軍樂 said...

做好事,不需要給人知道,雖然只是一件微不足道的事,但我相信,這會帶給我快樂。..................................................

Onkar said...

As brilliantly written as ever.

高黃吉軍向婷 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼....................................................

偉曹琬 said...

easier said than done. 一起努力吧!............................................................

The Holy Lama said...

An award awaits you at my blog

scarlet pimpernel said...

My mom is petrified of lizards while she is cool with chasing a rat, i dont see how a lizard can be mrore harmful.

♪♪HARINI♪♪ said...

**Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off!!!! I loved the post :))

You are so lucky to have a brother and a husband who take care of the insects. At my place, my parents ask me to kill them myself if I was so scared of them :(

怡屏 said...

Pen and ink is wits plough...................................................................

starry said...

You sure are loved and protected.such a sweet post.I am sure you are missing him.

R. Ramesh said...

once a lizard entered my kitchen sink and u should have seen me running out..:)

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Nikita said...

barbaric as it sounds, my mom has taken to using the red hit spray to slay the tacky lizards in the house. and it works wonderfully well :D

blunt edges said...

And now you know the importance of the men in your life ;)

江仁趙雲虹昆 said...

好中意你的BLOG阿~加油!............................................................

Tanvi said...

Nicely written post...i know the feeling of groom hunting :)even my husband-to-be is a cleanliness freak.:P

I follow your blog, but rarely comment. I know it might sound selfish, but I have tagged you on my blog, for the simple reason that I think you might do justice to the tag.

I leave it upto you to take it or leave it.

I would still follow your writing nevertheless. See u there.

靜錢錢錢怡錢錢錢錢 said...

肯定與支持你!!!加油囉~..................................................

王辛江淑萍康 said...

好文章就值得回響,如果可以常常看到您的更新,應該是件很幸福的事情~~...............................................................

Sucharita Sarkar said...

I am as terrified as you are of lizards. And the spouse manages to evade the issue by declaring that lizards are good because they eat up insects.

Can you please loan me your dragon-slayer in times of desperate need?

黃英吳思潔吳思潔邦 said...

用心經營blog,人氣百分百~^^ 加油

PURN!MA said...

We are expecting a refreshing blog post, now! :)

Nu said...

all well Aparna ? You've been on a longest break I guess !

R. Ramesh said...

omg..one day there was a lizard in the kitchen sink and my wife left the matter to me..i pleaded with the watchman and all others..no use..ultimately i removed it after removing my specs..hehe couldnot c the damn thing properly n it was easy..btw..thanks aparna 4 yr kind words..me too taking comfort in fact taht daughter n friends were not hurt during the theft..thanks again:)

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