Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Cockroach hunting

The ads on cockroach hunting for science project and Americas' funniest home video of a child swallowing a cockroach, brought back some memories from my childhood. My sis Asha was a show stealer. She always spoke or did stuff that drew mom's and everyone else's attention to her. I must at this point admit I was never too happy about it. I neglected her in every way possible and remained silent when I could warn her or mom from some danger Asha was in.

One beautiful day, for me, as I was lazing around figuring out what to play (I was 2 yrs old) Asha was crawling around trying to look cute so I would let her join me in play. I never fell for her charms so I kept ignoring her babbling, which sounded like 'chechi' (big sis). She fell silent after some time and I was mature enough a kid to know she had founded something new to amuse herself. I heard noises of her falling on and off and was happy to hear about her self harm games. But to cure my curiosity I decided to check on her, after all I could walk and the poor little soul crawled (Mom says I thought I walked from birth and considered Asha a dumbo for crawling). There I saw her crawling with the speed of a cheetah pouncing towards it prey. She had spotted a cockroach quite big for her and was chasing it like any kid of her age did seeing crawling bugs and beetles.

My database told me that mom forbid cockroaches and scared us that we would die if we put them in the mouth. Asha's courage irritated me but her foolishness made me happy. If she chose her death by a measly looking creature what could I do? But I never bothered calling mom. I erased that part of my mommy advice chips conveniently.

Asha looked like a puppy, scared of the cockroach yet trying to trap it with her dress when it moved and finally she caught it with her baby palms and pressed it tight .

I was having fun when mom came in, moms always have bad timing and nice intuitions, found us quiet and was curious to know what was happening. Now kids and dogs have something in common when they do something forbidden; they act reflexively in front of their masters. Asha perhaps knew mom would confiscate the cockroach so the moment Mom screamed looking at her she popped the cockroach into her mouth. I didn't know Chopin then but something similar must have played in my head in delight while I watched mom screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOO.

The next part of the tussle was mom trying to make Asha open her mouth, to spit the thing out and she stubbornly shutting it tight. But I felt cheated seeing her alive partially because I believed mom's story and never touched a cockroach and partly jealous at Asha's courage, even though out of ignorance, which meant she was ALIVE. Mom finally made Asha spit it out but the essence had reached her tummy.

Well years down I have killed as many cockroaches I could on my dissection table and rehearsed it many times at home to irritate Asha. Asha till date is aversive to cockroaches and I am still alive. As far as cockroaches are concerned, they have outlived the dinosaurs, hopefully will do humans too.

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