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The Lizard Chronicles

After what seems like several light years, I- the prodigal- step back into the blogosphere and this time my return has been inspired by extreme psychological pain heaped upon me by my seasonal four-legged, scaly, tail-shedding, beady-eyed, stealthy, slithery…..et cetera, roommates. Please excuse the mutant compound statement; writing is an effective way to vent one’s emotions, which are currently a bit dysenteric, for lack of a civilized word.

Well, let me start at the beginning. I have an irrational disgust for (NOT fear of) house lizards. Agreed, they have never harmed me or mine, but even thinking about them makes me break out in goose bumps and cold sweat…..in short, gives me a panic attack. Even my worst nightmares do not involve flunking the exams or a failed experiment, but invariably star a 6-inch monster- the lizard, that is. So, I am careful to keep my room clean, keep doors, windows, cupboards, drawers locked tight and in general, perform every ritual in the Gospel according to Paranoid Lizard-phobics. But I have had my share of bad moments. The highlight being when an exceptionally large and ugly one planted itself inside my laundry bag and I stared at for one whole hour, willing it to climb out of the bag and my life. Yes, that’s confession number 2 – if I feel that a lizard has truly violated/ is on the verge of violating my territory, I stare at catatonically for hours, directing certain thoughts towards it- like don’t drop onto the table, turn left, not right, and so on and so forth. Yes, I know. Those of you have who have actually read this far are either appalled by my craziness or are shaking their heads in pity. The hostel cleaning crew and my dear labrats are well aware of my traumatizing relationships with lizards.

With this background, I proceed to narrate the events that took place on April 27th, 2011. A few days before this ill-fated date, A big fat you-know-what crept inside my bathroom, however, I didn’t bother me much as it seemed to be the peace-loving sort- spent the night in one corner and left with the first rays of the morning sun. As the afore mentioned day dawned, I sauntered into the loo and stopped smacked in the middle of it, my head trying to do a fair impression of Linda Blair’s head-rotating act from The Exorcist. There were four lizards in all four corners of the bathroom. First, I stared at the old inmate and this damning thought popped into my brain- “You betrayed me by bringing others into our home.” Yes, I actually thought that, no, its not poetic (or bloggerectic) license. And yes, I know, I probably need therapy.

Anyway, I took a look at the next scaly-bane-of-my-existence hovering over the cistern. All normal biological urges fled. Even a rookie like me knows better than not to turn the back on an enemy. The third one lodged under the wash basin obliterated all thoughts of teeth-brushing. And that’s when I looked at the fourth one.
It was smaller than its counterparts (which is absolutely irrelevant as even a newborn lizard sends me into paroxysms) and perched upside down on the doorframe between the bed- and bathrooms. And its hold was shaky, rapidly loosening. Once it fell, it could rush straight at me, or it could enter my room, where there was an infinite number of hiding places. I concentrated my telepathic powers on directing it towards the loo, definitely the lesser evil. It didn’t work exactly, it just managed to shifted to the cemented partition where it had a better hold. In one hop, I landed straight from current vantage point onto the bed (It’s a small room, so no need to admire my athletic prowess). And then, I slipped into my catatonic-cum-telepathic state.
To cut a very long story short, one by one the demon spawns disappeared. I finished up all the morning’s interrupted work in record time and by then, was somewhat back to my sane self. Then I scoured the internet for potential solutions to my problem. The most sensible one which I found was to spray the room with bug repellant. Once insects are exterminated, the lizards won’t get free lunch no more and stop patronizing Ye Ol’ Arpi’s Loo. Simple, and much more practical than telepathy.

So I got dressed for lab. Then I placed moth balls around the wash basin, over the cistern, in the corners and on the sill of the only window. My little chemical bouncers, please do your job. Then, I came back into the bedroom, holstered my laptop (yes, that’s the term I use. Don’t bother to mark it as an affront to the English speaking world), took the lock and key in my left hand, switched of the fan, switched on the mosquito repellant, closed the back door, unlatched the front door and picked up the can of bugspray. Holding my breath, I liberally sprayed the loo with the insecticide, darted inside, closed the door and repeated the maneuver with my bedroom, tossed the can on the shelf, locked the door and took another deep breath. I don’t have anything personal against insects, but every war has its casualities.

Over to evening. I came back, saw to my immense satisfaction that my bathroom was all mine. My relief was transient, as, when I picked up my bucket, I saw one of the Evil Ones, propped on its hind legs, staring at me. I dropped the bucket and leaped inside the bedroom. It took me 15 minutes to gather the courage to peep inside the bathroom, trying to make out if the bucket still housed an unwanted guest. It took me half an hour to gather the courage to tap the bucket with my broom. Immediately, “It” leaped out, poised at the edge of the commode. Telepathy time. I prompted it to slip inside so that I could flush it, also asking God for help. Yes, I know. Natural disasters are wrecking lives, incurable diseases are on the rampage, psychopaths are devouring the society, but yours truly was praying for deliverance from a palm-sized animal.

The lizard, of course, was deaf to my appeals. It slithered over to just below the window. Again, I silently cheered it on, but alas! The ultra-lethargic organism repeatedly fell off before it could reached the window sill and, lacking perseverance, changed directions. I watched in horror as it positioned itself in close proximity to the commode…..

…….and did not move for the next 4 hours, 12 minutes. Once again, I am not joking. I kept track. By this time I was in a very bad state. I was panicking- what if it did not move even in the morning? How would I manage? I would have to go to the lab to…you know…..brush and bathe and do other stuff. The rational half of me was appalled at my behavior, but the phobic was in dire straits.

In frustration, I snapped the light switch on and off, and noticed that this thing freaked the lizard and forced it to move. Using this technique along with stamping my foot, I nudged it closer to the commode. Then, in a rare burst of courage, I picked my broom and hurled the “Thing” over the edge and immediately flushed it. Of course, I did not sleep the whole night and kept on checking the bathroom for sign of any reptilian activity.
This morning, there were no new occupants other than the old fat one, who, I suspect had become bolder, as it did not run out the window in the morning. I am almost scared to wonder where I will find it when I get back. My room has suddenly become very unwelcoming.

But the bigger concern is my own reaction to these organisms. It is abnormal, and I have to do something to change it. Hopefully, I will shift to the US next year, where house lizards will not be a problem. Till then, the battle continues. And oh, dear readers, please do me a favour and give me some advise how to get rid of house lizards.

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Categories: Reality bites
  1. April 29, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Nice blog ….`

  2. Shama
    August 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Hiiiiii …Arpi dearie.. exceptionally witty piece of writing… and TOTALLY YOU… 😉 .
    You know what… being with you I have shared a lot, we shared that ardor for reading, literature … remember spending more on novels than clothes?? (A plethora of girls will find it illogical!!) On that shopping binge from Hazratganj to Aminabad…! and.. God ! You devoured them all within a week!! We had so many uncommonly common things in common.. In fact we shared our idiosyncrasies…and oddly enough they are meant to be specific!! We shared gorging those gorgeous chocolate balls….(MISSIN…!) and of course HERPETOPHOBIA…! I remember this incidence which made me realize that we have it.. so, there was one of your beautiful friend, cozily lying down on my bed,
    NO!! Not betraying you by calling them beautiful and more so friend..!! just thinking of those momentary expression that must have passed on, by now on ur face 🙂 ..but indeed that one was a rarity, had more than needed tanned and speckled skin!! As well as the condition were.. “On A Cold December Night” . And after staring for long that beauty form the top of your bed, we started analyzing possible ways of getting rid of it… but the efforts went futile… then we thought of calling auntie and she brought that beast, Princess(too ironical a name for her!) to scare away our beauty! But instead of scaring away the beauty, the beast scared off… 🙂 ..!! but in the end with all the efforts it moved out of our place , though turning it in to a high alert zone for such species…!! BUT BUT BUT …Dear you never shared the possession of these incredible literary skills..! went through many of your prose, all truly amazing with emotions just overflowing.. Gud Work! KEEP IT UP…Watiting 4 more of ur post! God Bess…

    • Arpita Myles
      August 4, 2012 at 10:28 am

      thanx Shama……..your words brought back so many memories! Miss you a lot…deaarie

  3. Shama
    August 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Welcome… mon amie… U R Always Welcome… MISSSSS U TOOOO….!!!

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