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the war against sleepless nights

Some time back I used to face a dilemma about whether to use a rejuvenating radiance night cream or an age-defying repairing night cream: now I don’t need to choose, now I just reach out for the odomos mosquito repellent cream.
The past few weeks have seen a humongous rise in the population of mosquitoes in Madurai. It’s pretty much all we think and talk about. We wake up groggy, we reach late to work, we are grumpy amongst friends and we have little patience with our patients, we have solely the mosquitoes to blame. Of course we have found new and innovative ways to deal with them as well. So when the good-night “active” with XTRA power, and new and improved odomos, and medicated mosquito nets have stopped working we bring out the Bhrama-asthra – the mosquito bat.
It’s a tennis racquet shaped electrified bat which is used to zap the mosquitoes. Gone are the days of the fly swatter, the new age mosquito bat is faster, and more effective. It not only zaps the pesky things but effectively incinerates them. Unlike the all-outs and other mosquito repellents where we have just the word of the advertising world that they work, here we can rely on evidence- the piles of dead mosquitoes. Thus, the bat not only satisfies our quest for blood (of the mosquitoes) but also appeals to our scientific bent of mind.
It’s a great hit amongst children and adults alike, every one attempting to break their personal highest record of killings. We have officially given up gully cricket and mobile phone games and taken up swinging the racquet. Infact I have acquired an admirable back hand, and am contemplating taking up tennis. The daily dose of ‘kill the mosquitoes’ is my quota of cardiovascular exercise as I run after the buzzing things, and my daily dose of stretches as well, when I reach out to the ceiling and bend low under the bed.
It’s a hit amongst my otherwise non violent jain friends as well, as they let go of their inner angst and swing for a mosquito free night of sleep. A friends fiancĂ© actually gifted her a full set of mosquito killing devices. Come to think of it- the mosquito bat is the ideal gift, it’s thoughtful, handy and comes in pretty colours. A few of the cricket enthusiast had only one complaint that the mosquito bat should have been shaped like a cricket bat, but apart from the general concept of more surface area, it think the racquet shape is the greatest boost for Indian tennis since Sania Mirza.
The mosquitoes reminded me of a story told to me by Dr VPR. Dr VPR met me more than a year back and after hearing about my writing skills, extracted a promise that I would pen down his stories. Unfortunately I had been unable to do the same un till today. His story is titled “mosquito my darling”.
It seems that many years back Dr Vpr was facing a similar situation of sleepless nights due to mosquitoes. He cursed the Gods and the mosquitoes alike, until he received a message from higher sources. He realized that mosquitoes are the true indicator of our society. It is not enough to keep our house clean; if there is filth in any part of the neighborhood, the mosquitoes will come to your house as well. Thus, mosquitoes teach an important lesson that we cannot isolate ourselves from the evils of society. The only solution for a mosquito-free existence is cleaning the whole city, not just your home.
Mosquitoes are very much like terrorists. Because of some unrest in various parts of the world amongst religious people with vested interests, people having a happy time in Taj mahal hotel in Bombay get gunned down. Madurai at this moment pretty much looks like the endemic areas of terrorism, every day there are casualties. On one side a nurses son succumbs to Dengue a few days before his first birthday, on the other hand a few hundred mosquitoes lose their lives at our hands. We give as good as we get, some days we lose some days we win.
I know that the real solution lies in peace amongst people and in Godliness (which we all know is close to cleanliness) , but for today I can’t help in feeling a sense of satisfaction when I whoop in glee as another mosquito bites the dust.


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