Summer is here !
Though different people have different preferences for their favorite season, my Mom isn’t particularly fond of summers. That is so, because the scorching heat of the sun drives everyone inside their homes, while the same heat seems to drive lizards out of theirs. During various hours of the day my Mom can be found jumping, screaming and running around at the sight of a lizard while I can be found shooing off lizards of all sizes out of the house for her.
In spite of my repeated attempts Mom refuses to accept my views regarding lizards being sober and harmless creatures. On the contrary, she warns me to have me sent to a mental asylum whenever she notices me trying to train and befriend the lizard which lives below our refrigerator.
My views about lizards, though appearing to be eccentric, are not entirely hypothetical. I found out the usefulness which a lizard can be capable of during my Medical college days.
There used to be a famous annual fair in the city for an entire month or so that used to start in the evening and carried on all through the night. During one of our visits to the fair I found a guy on a pavement, selling fake replicas of animals. I was specially impressed by the replicas of lizards he had. So, finally giving in to my temptation, I bought a fake lizard which looked completely alive until one actually touched it. (which wasn’t something anyone would do if it really looked real ! :P )
I didn’t actually know what to do with it until two days later I saw a probable use. One of my batch mates, who lived in our hostel, was a very naughty fellow. He was short, stout, extremely fair complexioned and a fashion-freak. But he had a huge weakness. Lizards ! The mere mention of the word could make his spine tingle.
Everyday, he used to come up to my room and knock at the door. He used to do that mostly at hours when I was asleep. While I used to groggily open the door, he would quickly hit the electricity switches beside the door, shut the fan, switch on the lights, grin mischievously, and run away laughing.
So, this very day, while I was inspecting the brilliant replica of the fake lizard I had bought, I got an idea. I placed the lizard strategically on the electricity board so that it just spanned the entire row of switches. As expected, the naughty guy came up to my room expecting me to be asleep while I was wide awake waiting for him.
I opened the door a bit more than usual after the knock, and saw his grinning face as he looked at me while hitting the switches. In an instant, he felt something was different. As he looked at the electric board and removed his hand, the strategically placed lizard fell down just as a real lizard would have fallen.
I have heard about how people pale when they are scared. And I never thought a person of such fair complexion could pale any further. But pale he did. And that too in a fraction of milliseconds. I wonder if you can imagine a person trying to swim, kick a football and do a high-jump back-flip all together. But I was treated to witness such a spectacle as he did all that and maybe even more which was beyond my comprehension. And as soon as he returned to the ground, he made a dash for somewhere as far possible as could be from my room. And for the next fifteen minutes or so, the inhabitants of our hostel heard the most spine-chilling shrieks till this guy found a way to make a dash for the open spaces outside the building.
I had become a big fan of my ‘pet lizard’. :-)
A few days later, our small batch of fifteen students was trying to survive a class of evening clinical teaching by a junior resident who seemed to have found the truth about ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ and was bent on imparting the divine knowledge on to us highly uninterested disciples.
I was seated in the second row of chairs while the first row was occupied by most of the girls. The resident was seated opposite to us with just a small table separating us. I thought it a good idea to bring some life into the proceedings when I saw my immediate neighbor borrowing a pen from the girl sitting right in front of me. This caught my attention as I was particularly fond of her. :D
I noticed that she had one of those small purse-like pencil cases in which she used to keep about fifty assorted pens and pencils. As she had handed the entire case to my neighbor to pick out his choice of pen, I quickly reached into my bag for my ‘pet’. I quickly took the case from him, and as he watched on, I strategically placed the fake lizard below a stack of a dozen pens. I zipped it up and told him to return it back to her.
After a few minutes, I asked my neighbor to ask her for a particular colored pen again. And as per my expectations, she decided to find it herself this time. I watched intently as she unzipped the case and dug in to find the desired pen. The only sounds in the room were the incomprehensible blabber of the resident, the ticking of the clock and the heart-beat of my neighbor.
It is strange how sometimes we never learn from experience. Just a couple of days back I had seen a guy freak out as never before, but here I was again, trying something similar in much dangerous circumstances.
And the next moment, there was a loud gasp. I wonder if you have ever heard a gasp. But everyone there did hear it. Which was instantly followed by a colored assortment of pens and pencils flying high up in the air. A couple of them landed on the resident’s head making him shut his mouth and bring an end to the ‘discourse’. While my neighbor got the desired colored pen which actually fell onto his lap.
The resident took off his spectacles and glared at her for an explanation as she tried to catch her breath and told him about a lizard in her pencil-case. The resident merely commented on her brisk reflexes and her ultra-sensitivity towards members of the reptile family and finally announced the dismissal of the class.
As soon as the initial shock subsided, the girl looked back to have my neighbor for an early dinner through her eyes. But he still had the courage to point a shaking finger towards me. The case was immediately settled as she realized that the devil mind behind the adventure was none other than mine, and she turned away and started to collect the contents of her pencil-case.
Though she knew it was a fake lizard, but no one else in the room could find out as I had noticed the lizard falling just beside her chair and which was now safely hidden below my shoe.
Though I never brought this up with her after that, but I take this opportunity here to say a little sorry with a smile. :-)
Ohhh… I just heard Mom scream and call out for me. So I’m off to lizard-shooing business again. Now… where’s the broom gone…….