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A long night indeed.

February 7, 2011

It was about 1 a.m, but sleep eluded Ashok, who constantly tossed and turned in his bed. His mind was abuzz with activity. And well, so was the room. It so happened that Seema* and a couple of her chums were hovering about Ashok. It was a Mumbai winter, so it wasn’t much more than nippy. He had his blanket over him; it was quite coarse, and itchy–very similar to the kind that coolies in North Indian railway stations wrap themselves with during the winters, which can be quite bone-chilling there. Ashok was irked as he was both itchy and warm inside the blanket. However, removing it would prove problematic too: he knew he would be bitten all over by the mosquitoes; in fact he had already received bites on his arms and face. Every now and then, one of them would pass dangerously close to his ear, at which time he would hear that most nerve-wracking shrill buzzing sound. Neuron-busting stuff really. Putting the ceiling fan on would help keep the mosquitoes at bay, but then he would feel cold. He checked the power point; it had a liquid mosquito repellent plugged into it. However, the liquid, which was what made the device work its magic, was over. Ashok was pissed. He knew he was out of options. So, finally, he decided to remove his blanket to escape the infernal itch and the warmth. He knew that it would only be a matter of seconds before he would be stung beyond belief, and recognition.

It proved to be a very long night indeed. A night full of self-slapping and crazed swinging of arms in the air in an attempt to keep the bastards at bay. And morning would find his body more bitten than an only bone inside a jam-packed dog pound.


*Seema was a mosquito.
Now Seema had more going for her than most of the other mosquitoes. She had been a precocious pupa at school, where she spent her free time pondering over subjects such as human psychology and anti-mosquito repellent science, to name a couple of her less esoteric interests. Remarkable, considering that the others couldn’t manage more than anxious chatter in relation to their impending metamorphosis. Or they aimlessly buzzed around. Or just got buzzed. A sad state of affairs really. Also, Seema was among the swiftest, and had great mid-flight manoeuvrability–abilities that put her among the best bloodsuckers around. While hunting in a pack, that she would draw first blood was clear, but from where she would draw blood first was a mystery to one and all…what an inspiring lady she was!

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