Sunday, June 16, 2024

A tribute to the mosquito

An uninvited guest everywhere.

An uninvited guest everywhere.
| Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It was the late evening of my early research scholar life. After mailing my supervisor about my completion of tasks, I was dismissed for the day. Packing my charger and earphones, I was about to leave the cabin. My mother called me enquiring about the day and warned that if I skipped lunch again, she won’t talk to me. Mothers and mosquitoes never stop bugging.

Before hanging up, I said, “Ok, it’s already eight, the security guard will lock the scholar’s room, I have to leave, bye.” On my right hand, just above my wrist, tapping a mosquito to death, I washed and left rushing to my flat. Later for dinner, I video-called my mom asking for help cooking dinner, “Add three tumblers of water to the rava, no less; stir well,” she said. I missed mom’s food. Ah! Again, a mosquito, cha!

I remember having a bump on my cheek when I was in fourth class. It’s all because of a mosquito bite. “Take care of yourself, boy,” the science teacher told me. By the way, I would have lost one mark in biology if I had not chosen female Anopheles over other mosquitoes in the MCQ section of one-mark questions. Every single mark in the board exam mattered to my school. Marks neither worried my mother nor mosquitoes; for them, it’s always the “diet”.

Watch | Delhi’s mosquito menace over the years

Not also for me then, I realised, after some years, in college, during Shakespeare hour, the professor discussed current affairs one day. Probably because of the then-ongoing India-China face-off at Galwan valley. He informed us that two persons can meet Prime Minister directly without an appointment, one the Finance Minister and the other being the Defence Minister. “But, what about mosquito, sir? Does it require an appointment?” It never had the guts to fear and think, ‘To bite or not to bite?’ before sucking my blood for its dinner.

“Are you eating or not,” mom shouted. “This much upma is too much for one person, Maa.” Mom hung up only after I ate. The bigger task of washing utensils is never devoid of deep thoughts. A few days before, on Twitter I came across tweets praising Rajinikanth’s photo with Rishab Shetty spotting a mosquito bat at his home. Will I get a mosquito bat even on my 25th birthday? I don’t mind being an innocent killer again. All I can say after tapping a mosquito, maybe with some compassion, could be “RIP, my friend.” But what to do, dengue is still worse, and “even Rajinikanth can’t get rid of mosquitoes”.

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