Heavy Showers Driving the Rats Homeless !
It’s raining cats and dogs ...AND RATS in Mumbai, and while monsoon was my favorite season all along my childhood, I am kind of fed up with this incessant downpours. Whoever has heard of a 125 mm rainfall in Mumbai, in September? I’m not too sure, but I think that’s a record of sorts. What say?
Now coming to think of it, it is surprising, why me, of all people have started to bother about the rains. It’s funny, but I am actually a person, who would prefer to walk my way down when it is pouring, along a path which I would travel in an auto rickshaw in a normal sunny day. My colleagues stare scandalously at me walking in completely drenched ( the little KC Paul ladies umbrella is no good, I tell you, in Mumbai rains) dripping profusely , and looking back sheepishly. Okay the real question in still unanswered –
Why have I started bothering about the rains?
The answer, my friends, is a seemingly insignificant, yet immensely powerful creation of God – A ROOF RAT! Let me confess here, that although I am ready to take on anybody who dares to even suggest that women are in any way inferior to men, this is one area I readily concede defeat - fear of rodents ! ...and reptiles…..and err…arthropods… and ...annelids… okay, most members of the animal kingdom. AND that categorically includes roof rats.
It so happened that a few days back my little son dutifully informed me about the presence of a Stuart Little in the house. The only difference was that this one was not at all willing to be friends with him. This small piece of innocent complaint was enough for me to spend a sleepless night and rush to the neighborhood Choudhury Medicals to get a pack of Mortien, first thing in the morning. After having placed the cubes at strategic locations, I trotted off happily to work, satisfied with the timely corrective action taken, and expecting a sparkling rodent-free home upon return.
(Wo)Man proposes…God disposes. Afternoon, am in the middle of an important report to be sent to a client urgently (TAT was yesterday, as usual) ….call from home.
“ Mamma! Stuart is sitting on the sofa….not moving!” I jolted out of my Standardization Report, jumping up, by reflex.
“ He must be dead !” I exclaimed “Don’t touch or go near it…give the phone to Laxmi Aunty”
Laxmi, my lifeline confirmed the bad news with an excitement matching that of Shubham’s. “But in the TV, they say Chuhe ise andar khakar ; Mare baahar jaakar how could he just die inside ? I blurted, as the choice of brand was particularly based on the tag-line.
“TV nahi dekha rahega”….was Laxmi’s wise observation. So true! Whatever happened to my common sense! Ofcourse, the Rat hadn’t watched the commercial !
Kaahani mein twist! Even as my conversation with Laxmi proceeded, Mr. Stuart decided to move. He was alive, but drowsy, probably recovering from the effect of the rat killer. But while he was too lethargic to move, he was conscious enough to remember his basic lessons – offence is the best defense. As Laxmi with her moral responsibility, and Shubham with all the enthusiasm in the world tried to check its status (alive/ dead), it lashed out in defiance – This duet went on for a while till it was enough to scare the wits off poor Laxmi. The details of each and every move and counter move of the rodent -who has now achieved Terrorist status – on the phone is no less exciting than a commentary of the last over of an Indo-Pak One dayer with a close finish.
That was it – I decided. This is one of the few event which required some adult male intervention. And who better than the usual community helping hand - the watchman? This situation can be classified as an EMERGENCY, and anyways I am not sending him to buy milk / bread (or beer bottles for that matter) from the neighborhood stores, I justified to myself.
So, one phone calls, and enters – Watchman – The Superman, in the current scheme of things. Then onwards, things started moving fast. Mr. Watchman needed only one help from the duo – a plastic bag of 100 or more microns (of course he explained it in his own way, and Laxmi understood it in hers, and both implication and interpretation were correct). Laxmi brought a satisfactory bag in a matter of seconds- Now it was the final countdown. In half a second, Shubham’s Superman caught poor Stuart by the tail and tossed him inside the bag….to place him in the roadside drain. Curtains down, finally allowing me to put my phone down and concentrate on work.
A small bulletin from Shubham on reaching home in the evening – “Mamma, Stuart has 1 more brother, who is hiding in the commode in your Bathroom!”
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi Everybody!!