This really should begin like a series of Unfortunate Events book does, for it certainly is a collection of the few incidents that I “met” the .. err.. rodents.
There are those women who scream at the sight of the furry brown creature that streaks through the corridors, ricocheting off the wall like the car of the Men in Black did in the tunnel. I know men like that too.
By now, however, I really should be used to them, and I thank whatever Gods exist that I never was afraid of them. I’m wondering if it was the karma of dissecting a poor white Rattus norvegicus that has made mine a rat’s life. It was a huge specimen, the one I brutally cut up. Don’t run away just yet, I’m not going to describe the process in any sort of detail. Or at all. It was just that… it looked like a fresh sleepy rabbit once chloroformed – very cute and incredibly innocent.
Anyway, the tail continues to the day that sore with our life, we decided to catch a movie. It didn’t matter what was running (it happened to be Elaan) all that mattered was getting out and doing something with what seemed to be too much time on our hands. So off we went, two friends and I, and bought the usual chips (popcorn we didn’t trust – the hands that made them looked downright dangerously soiled) and settled down. We took back row corner seats, and we were delighted to find that in the run down theatre, there was a ready made dustbin in the form of a hole in the wall behind us. (There wasn’t a dustbin in the entire area.) and so after munching our chips, we gleefully stuffed it into the hole. Boy, were we sorry.
Just when Lara Dutta began a hot number (and I do not even know which one anymore) I felt something running up my front. Engrossed in the movie (though it pains me to admit it) it wasn’t until the rat bunched its talons in my shoulder and dug in that I noticed the brown furry creature. I stood up with – I suppose – a shriek. The rat used that momentum to leap into its hole. And to my stunned astonishment, no one even noticed that a female screamed in the theatre. One look at Lara Dutta’s skimpily clad figure told me why. The friend sitting next to me noticed, (obviously, I was now blocking a part of her view) and asked me what had happened when I sat down with a plonk. I said, “Rat ran up me.” She shrieked. No one looked up.
*sigh* That damsels in distress come second to the cavorting on screen… but I swear, it must have used the chair leg (as usual) to climb up and ignored a small inconvenience like a human sitting in the way.
Did I mention that my exam dealt with genetic sequences out of Mus mucasis (household mouse)? Well, here I was, relaxing in the hostel after a hard day at the examination hall. Our corridor leads to a dead end. Mine is the second last room, towards the dead end. They are (still) constructing a staircase behind the dead end, and as such, we have only a slab of plywood (well fitted, to be sure) protecting all the outrageous views of a Girls Hostel from the men on the other side.
We regularly get to hear loud conversation (speculating about what is happening on the other side of the wall and because they mistakenly assume that none of us speak Tamil or Rajasthani, a few giggles out of the translations), the smell of a cigarette burning, sometimes a beedi (thank god no fumes of alcohol – if the workers drank on the job, they’d be kicked out), the fumes of concentrated sulphuric acid, (for when they are ‘cleaning’)
So about a couple of weeks before this incident, we noticed a circular hole in the wall. We still aren’t sure what made it, because it was perfectly smooth and though it gave my friend and me a second thought – we did remember the Elaan incident, after all – We assumed its purpose was to let us catch a whiff of sulphuric acid once in a while and suffer dry throats for a few days and we ignored it. Boy, were we sorry.
Anyway, here I was, (like I said) relaxing after the exam. My room door was wide open, and I was lounging in someone else’s room, generally chit chatting. Out bolts this tiny creature and leaps into my friend’s room (yes, the same one) – the room in which I was lazing around. Screams cascade. The poor thing (mouse) leaps out of its skin and the room. I see it rush away from the dead end, towards the general direction where my open room is. Cries of “Mouse in the corridor” echo, doors bang shut. “My door is open!” I yell, struggle to get the friend’s room open, get out and get the broom. All the people who had open door while the creature streaked through the corridor, bouncing off the dustbin, are viciously attacking with a broom all the areas that the mouse could possible have hidden.
I think we were locking out room tight after that for a while … about two weeks or so. 🙂
I haven’t mentioned the one that was a foot long I saw in a village – I thought it was a mongoose for a few disbelieving seconds – or the time that one entered the second floor classroom and the class used it as an excuse to prevent the lecturer from teaching anything… but I think you get the picture.
Too many rats in my life. Perhaps not just literally.