Sharp at 8 p.m., last Wednesday, our house plunged into darkness. Since I was really tired I decided to make the legendary two-minute noodle meal and hit the sack at the earliest.
I looked around for my Emergency Light and switched in on…it was still dark because I had forgotten to charge it. I looked for a candle and found a single birthday candle hidden in a corner, which I couldn`t use because the wick had been pulled out.
Though ‘dark` had been a deterrent in the earlier days of my life now I had grown up and knew how to brave it. I no longer hid inside cupboards and no longer looked into the water inside the potty for crocodiles.
Groping in the dark, I got a hand on the kadai and a packet of noodles. With a bit of guesstimate, I managed to light the gas and start cooking. Without my knowledge, a lizard was taking swimming lessons in my kadai till the sport got too hot to handle.
I don`t know if you have ever tried cooking Maggi noodles …if you have…you probably know that the two minutes funda is all wrong. It takes well over ten minutes to cook Maggi noodles. Especially, if you are cooking in the dark.
It took me lesser time to eat. I ate it in the dark and thus didn`t see the lizard till I felt its tail on my lips. Being mustache-less helps to spot lizards in your food.
The house was still dark.
Oblivious of the house owner standing right in the middle of the kitchen, a bunch of cockroaches had started painting the town – which for them was my kitchen – red. Perhaps they thought it was 11 p.m. and the house owner was in bed.
I decided to follow an average cockroach`s night life and put on my night vision goggles, bought at the local fair. Believe me, it feels good to have technology by your side. Ask Anna Nicole Smith. Oops! My condolences. She is no more (and no less).
A mad cockroach chose the wrong time (and wrong person) for a bite – I felt a tinge on my ankle and even before I could shake it off, it had sent across a trickle of cockroach-poison into my blood stream. I turned and twisted in the darkness till I became a cockroach. Yes, I knew I had become a cockroach because my night vision goggles were suddenly too big for me. And I could see in the darkness without them.
Even as I was getting a grip on the situation (which was easy because I now had sticky hairs on my legs), a teenaged cockroach yelled: “Hey stranger, coming to Fatso`s party?”
I shook my head and saw my two long antennas bobble up and down. Now I know why none of the cockroaches nodded their head when I held a ‘Bagon Spray` in my hand and said: ‘Look here pal, I am going to blow you off Earth`s surface!”
I tried to turn my neck, but couldn`t. If I had to see behind my back…I had to move my whole body. Being a cockroach wasn`t easy.
I decided to go to the party….after all, what better place to get to know a few people …oops…cockroaches…than a party. I looked at myself – was I properly dressed? I was draped in a shiny brown skeleton. Instead of the regular two-piece suit humans wear, I was now wearing a three piece-suit…for my head, thorax and abdomen.
What would be my transport to the party? I couldn`t possibly walk to the party…or could I? “How about flying?” I kidded myself and looked around if I had wings. Thank God, I was a male…I had wings and I could fly to the party venue. I wondered how the female cockroaches visited the parties. I had read in my biology book that they had vestigial wings – underdeveloped and of no use.
Flying is fun, especially, when you fly low to the ground. I could see the landscape…the kitchen`s door mat looked like a couple of acres of ripe maize, the broom leaning in the kitchen corner looked like the Eiffel Tower, the water dripping from the sink`s tap looked like the Niagra Falls….the scenery was breathtaking. The flight was short and I found a good landing strip next to Fatso the cockroach`s house and slowly glided in.
The moment I landed I knew why Fatso the cockroach was the party organizer. He was definitely trying to show off his lake-side view house under the refrigerator. I say lake-side view because I was sure the cockroaches could see the wet wash area from where they stood. I joined the party animals (or should I call them party insects?) and had the time of my life. We had all the food we wanted in the refrigerator….all we had to do was brave the cold and make a dash for our lives as soon as we had something in our mouth. In case you didn`t know we cockroaches have mouths that open horizontally.
We had drinks as well – a grape which had fallen between the refrigerator door was serving as the rum drum. There was music and dance too – we were dancing to the beats of the seconds hand of the wall clock on the kitchen wall. We partied for long and I loved every bit of it. The only time I was sad was when the lady cockroach I was dancing with commented that I had six left feet (for those that don`t know…men who don`t know how to dance are said to have two left feet).
The party came to an abrupt end when the lights suddenly came on and we had to run helter-skelter. I warmed up my engines and flew away to safety.
I woke up on the kitchen floor in the morning. I was a human being again, and the lights were still on. “Must have been a dream”, I told myself before getting up. It was then that I noticed my night vision goggles and my clothes on the floor. Just to be sure, I looked underneath the refrigerator and there was a black grape – the one I had drank rum from the previous night.
Keep it to yourself, but I have a feeling…I am the cockroach man! I am thinking of designing a super suit with a big ‘C` on my chest!