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Of Wings and Antennae

I hate cockroaches. Infact, hate is an understatement. The very thought conjures up a mental image of dark brown creatures creeping along silently, a question mark of an antenna quivering around, failing to tell them to just get lost before it’s too late.

Just that one image is enough to drive up my heart rate, make my hair stand on end and feel like throwing up the coffee I’ve just had.

Sigh. What is it with women and roaches?

Not all women feel this way, though. So far, I’ve had the bravery of my mum and my sister to deal with these creepy crawlies. I can’t stand the thought of a roach roaming around me while I sleep. The thought has been known to keep me awake at night. I can hear a roach scampering around books (In India if you have tons of paper, you will get roaches)and can often pinpoint accurately to the centimeter the exact location of the bug, without setting eyes on it. This helps the rest of the family during the crisis, because I’m often in another room, or outside, waiting for the all clear.

It’s that bad.

The absolute worst is when you spot one when you’re having a bath! What do you do then?! I’ve had a few super-fast showers in the past or have waited, rooted to the spot, while my tormentor decided which way to go.

When I shared a room with my sister, she sometimes woke up in the middle of the night to see me pottering about the room, dusting the sheets or staring at a point on the floor. I was often right about there being a roach. Some nights she got up and chased the bugger away. Other nights, she pretended she didn’t see anything and just went back to sleep!

I don’t want to give the impression that we had many bugs all over the house – far from it, actually. It’s inevitable to have roaches in India – the heat and the humidity brings them out (I know, I’ve done a lot of research on them!). When you live in a multi-storied building, it is other people’s houses that will contribute to the breeding, even if your own is spotless.

If you’ve ever had a dislike (!) for something, you know what I mean. I HAVE tried to deal with it on my own, shooing them away or using a broom to chase it away elsewhere, away from my field of vision. Silly creatures that they are, they fail to pick up human signals. Glaring and cursing at them doesn’t work either. I don’t think their antennae picks up words.

Having said all that, my nightmares are made of the ones that have wings. And use them. Eeeeeeeeeeeee.

Coming to England has been a blessing that way, because there are no roaches here, atleast where I live. Just spiders. But more about that later.

Roaches, they say, will be the only creatures that survive in the event of a nuclear fall-out. Just goes to show how strong their bodies really are, how resilient. If they can survive that,then what hope do we have with our chalk (works sometimes, though!) and sprays.


This is not a pleasant topic to write about at 8.30 in the morning. Will stop for now.


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