I am next only to 'Thenali' Thenali with my numerous phobias but at the top of the list is my insects phobia. I have always wondered if smaller things scared me more(During Deepavali, I could get myself to light many a 'damaal dumeels' but never hold a cape Gun!) though I have not(touch wood!) encoutered T-Rex or KK kinds!
Anyway, coming to the topic, for quite some years now, I have not had to face the daunting task of dealing with 'karapps'. In the NE, the only uninvited guests during summer were ants or some tiny wriggleys! The ahimsawadhi I am, especially after I became a big fan of Kratt brothers and their lemur-friend, 'zooboomafoo' and to not reveal the scare-d-cat that I am to my daughter, I dare enough to guide them outside shivering & holding them in a long sheets. But now, am having to go against my virundhombal traditions (Valluvare mannichidunga!), having to show faces (and brooms!) to my uninvited guests who crawl from outside.
One evening last week, I was 'dheme-nnu' checking mails, when my husband commented, 'oh, so you've got company!' and that was when I saw Mr. Brown coat big moustache-walla after many years!! With my daughter sleeping in the other room, couldn't let out a scream too. That's when I realised along with good weather comes these free bonus too.
As far as I can remember, I don't have many memories of roach encounters in Chennai(Guess, it is Lizz(ard)y amma pettai!). But boy, did my Mumbai life compensate for it!! The nice big wardrobes in our Mumbai flat was a big attraction to us bare-shelf Madrasis. But soon I realised how it housed numerous Brown-coat-wallas too.
There used to be regular Pest control exercise in our Apartment community involving huge efforts almost equalling a mini-move! Almost the whole day we would spend at neighbours and return home only in the evening to see a battle-ground scene with hundreds of dead roaches. For the next few weeks, the house would be free of bugs but then those smart ones which moved to the floors down/up to other apartments during the extermination would start to return when the effect starts waning!
During close encounters, my mother used to be my only saviour! The Maha-ahimsawaadhi my father is, would just walk past it and at the most announce it to my mother if she was not aware of my 'cornered mouse' status! To my brother, it used to be the perfect situation. He would get all 'vaakurudhis'/ promises from me before the rescue mission! Ofcourse, these days, it is my 'Ennavar-Knight' who comes to save this damsel in distress!
Meesai aaNNmaiyin chinnamenbadhu
***************Warning - not for delicate hearted souls*****************
Nobody needs reason for the gross feeling for roaches but I have a horrible story. During the late eighties, one of my neighbour, an avid Junior Vikatan reader, used to scare us with the stories she read on 'Ju Vi'. One such was about how kids were kidnapped and made invalid to make them beggars.
Please, last warning to those you who think they can handle #$$#%# things to not read further. I have not been able to erase it from my mind.
Anyway, what I heard was that the kidnappers blind-folded the children's eyes with roaches in them to make them blind!!! I am not sure how true this was but rips my heart everytime it comes to mind.