07 September, 2008

The Mad Scientist

Every kid somewhere in his life would have played God, and I did play my part too.

The month was April of 1994 and I was searching for new pets after my four fishes had suddenly died due to untraceable reasons.

(Mostly because of the food ,apparently the fishes hated fast food .............in fact it's turned out to be as dangerous as Aishwarya Rai dressed-up as the "The Grim Reaper")

So I found my next victims (earth worms), I dug them up from a wet place from my back-yard. I had initial doubts about their new home, after some research, I thought the Tulsi pot was a nice place as my grand mother kept the plant healthy, the plant did not mean any "Jack Poop" all that meant was the soil was wet 365 days a year, Which made it a zero maintenance venture, thanks to grandma. I placed them into the pot and saw them wriggle into the soil.

The next morning I wanted to see them so that I could do a status check on their health, so in process ended up emptying the pot and left the plant unattended in the hot sun, I found the worms alive and kicking, so I eventually put them back in the pot and replanted the Tulsi. However the whole incident had taken a good 1 hour and 30 minutes and the plant looked like "Woody Allen" after electrocution. I went back had my break-fast and left to explore my neighborhood, And when I came back Grandma had taken-up the "Rudhra Kali" avatar, she was fuming after Witnessing the "The Great Tulsi Tragedy of 1994", I asked grandma for forgiveness with my usual puppy eyes and innocence, To which she acknowledged in her very own choice of words, which were

"I'll break your hand if you touch the pot again"

After that I was like "Indiana Jones" looking out for the hidden treasures (pets). That year we had a mountain out of a mole kind of a problem brewing up (At least to my mom) it was a pregnant vermin (mouse) against our family. My Mom was aggressive when it came to guarding her turf like every other mother; her "Kitchen" was her fantasy theme park after a hard days work. For some reason she felt relaxed inside the safety and comforts of her "Spice kingdom". The constant fragrance of "Filter Coffee" (Freshly brewed South Indian Coffee) and the Sweet but yet burning fragrance of all the spices (esp. Pepper).

And then there was this mouse waging a war against my mother. Pillaging her grocery and sabotaging the rice sacks, day after day. Dad for some reason had a fear of rats as soon my mom said "damn mouse", dad would tactfully raised his leg from floor and place them on living room table and yell back "honey kill the damn pest!!!". The next week were like scenes from the movie Rambo-First Blood .Mom set up the rat trap and waited for victory ,the first week the rat had smelt "a rat" and never went for the dried coconut piece, nor for the little sugar cube. This mouse was no ordinary mouse, I guess if this mouse was a man, it would be "Rambo", carefully tip toeing the booby traps and land mines, avoid detection and successfully sabotaging the enemy supplies and getting back before the 9:00 P.M supper! But the mouse had a weakness and it was "The Masala Vada" . So the trap was set, the masala vada hanging out was like attracting women to the glass windows of 50% discounts stores. The rat fell for it after fighting its urges for 3 weeks.

I was handed the job of relocating the mouse to the near by "Sennappan Thota" (Sennappan Orchid), so I did as I was told. That night my mom heard the squeals of a mouse from the kitchen at around 11:00p.m ,Mom feared the most ,She thought the mouse had relocated back, but when we opened the cardboard box there was a surprise "Tiny pink mice ,may be 3 -4 days old(cute as hell). Mom felt miserable about the whole incident and put down her weapons, but dad wanted the tiny mice-lets out the next morning, That night I put them in a small box and pretended to throw them away but little did they realize that I would raise them in a secret location and they would grownup to be splinter from " The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" two days later they all died in the box, may be due to indigestion (Idlies this time!!!).

I felt I had no control at all, no control over life, death, luck or anything for that matter. I hated my self and needed some one to blame it all on .And right about then an ant bit me and then another and another...I was sitting on an ant colony ( Big black ants with scissor hooks as their teeth) and right about then I had found my arch rivals for the season. The primal man inside screamed out loud a battle cry and I had turned into an exterminator. I was Hitler and ants were going to see a genocide that the ant world had never seen before. My rage exploded manifold when I realized that my sister took care of these ants and feed them rice grains and sugar crystals, the ant bites hurt me even more.

I went straight into the bath room to get the bug spray (Baygon Spray) and was back to the frontlines to face the enemy ,There was no return ,eye to eye with my enemy ,I pointed the weapon and sprayed ,I had unloaded the entire can and felt relieved ,Like unloading 42 rounds of bullets from an AK 47 on a national terrorist. That night I went home and slept like a baby.

The next day ,after I came back from school went back to see the hell I had raised the previous day and all I saw was that the ants had built back their colony with never before determination and zeal with the help of my sister ofcourse, My sister had taken over the command and I had my new enemy.

That week I took a special interest in making her life miserable and would hide my self behind the door for hours just to pounce on her and hit her on the head; Of course this gave me a sense of achievement, salvation, and relief. After about a week of torturing my sister, I got back to the ants. I used to put all the captured ants into a bucket of water and placed a stick and the brainiest used the stick as an escape route.

I saw a reason in everything around me. I saw my friends running into the bushes to catch butterflies. They had a parthenium plant, For some reason they called it the CONGRESS plant (May be due to the reason that the plant was introduce to India via the world food program (Wheat) in the 80's) they would place the plant on the butterfly and trap it.

Later they would catch the insect by running their hands into the parthenium plant skillfully and would hold the insect between their index and thumb fingers and raise it above as a toast to the victory gods. Then my beautiful mind later figured out that the badminton racket my parents bought me could serve as better technology to catch butterflies and therefore I never used them to serve their original purpose.

I have a list of pets I've lost due to mishandling
(The way I lost them were Kid-dish but some were gruesome experiments)
1) Two Frog
2) Couple of Butterflies
3) Four Mice
4) Earth worms
5) Dragon Flies
6) A Pigeon
7) Some Fishes
8) A Crab
*The ones that did not make the list are survivors;
I now have a happy and healthy 4yr old Labrador (I am using this statement as an alibi).
I can give you a ball by ball account ....but I don't want my memories to sound cruel and violent to the average reader.
In my later years I read the list of Top 10 Evil scientists , I was happy to see my name 'Not Listed'.
Those long summer days seem like seconds now, these memories are like beacons helping me guide through my thoughts.