Monday, May 30, 2005

The ghost of Jimmy Roach

I am quite fearless about most things. And people don't scare me ever... unless there is this madman with a gun in hand, in which case it is only fair to the guy that I let him scare me.

But there are 2 things which can scare me without any weapon and without even trying... roaches and ghosts! As a rule I never watch horror movies. Whenever I have broken this cardinal rule, I have regretted it no end and forfeited many nights' worth of beauty sleep. And here I have my imagination to blame. Even after the movie is long over, my imagination keeps spinning yarns around the story and the slightest of noises are accorded to this ghost whose sole pupose of existence is to possess me or kill me in the most yuckiest manner conceivable. Though I do believe the ghost will not need to labor much in that department, I will kindly save him/her the trouble of having to kill me. One look at a ghost and I will join his/her league.

And that brings us to roaches. Ek akela cockroach is enough to make life living hell (which I suppose is worse than dying and many times worse than being possessed). If a roach is foolish enough to appear when AG is around, I dispatch him, broom/bathroom slippers/baygon spray in hand to go play knight-in-shining-armour and murder the beast which scared his darling. There have been times when I have kicked him out of bed, reminding him of his duty towards his helpless lady, and motivating him with speeches about how it is his foremost duty to go wreak revenge on the roach who brought tears to the lovely face of his beloved and also how famous lovers have gladly drunk poison to prove their love and all he has to do is to go kill a puny roach. Though I have to admit, it is none of these things that inspire him to go and murder that disgusting creature but rather the murderous joy he derives on squashing the roach and seeing his entrails sticking out of him. His 'ha-ha-ha' after the shameful act is very reminiscent of the little boy who has crushed his first bug underfoot. (See!!!... goes to show how these guys never really grow up). Anyways whatever the reason be, I am not complaining, for I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

But then there are those nights straight out of scary movies when I am all alone at home. And as Murphy's law would have it, everytime I am home alone, a roach appears from nowhere to keep me company. I at times suspect strongly that it is the same guy who keeps appearing everytime and that he has this powerful sensor which lets him know when it is safe to come out of his dungeon and scare me. I even have a name for this scheming guy... Jimmy. (Methought, naming him might help me feel more companionable towards him and that would make me less scared, btw ... didn't work but the name has now stuck!). So Jimmy Roach is a survivor who lives well by his wits (I have to hand him that). He knows when it is safe to show himself and when it is advisable to stay hidden, biding his time. The other day when AG was in India, he came to visit in my kitchen cabinet. And I had to go hungry the whole night. Jimmy always appears in the very same cabinet and at the very same spot, between the frying pan and the wok. Last time he unprecedently made an appearance on a night when AG was home. So off I sent my knight-errant and waited safely behind closed (and locked) doors to hear the happy news of Jimmy's death. For a few minutes I kept hearing a lot of noises from the kitchen, vessels being moved and clatters and clangs. After some time curiosity got the better of me and I crept within a few miles of the kitchen and peeked in to check on what is happening. 'There is no roach here and now I am off to sleep. You might have imagined him.'... said AG on spotting me.

Well, on 2nd thoughts maybe Jimmy was a roach whom I got AG to murder many suns ago and now the ghost is back to seek its due vengeance. That is like my worst nightmare and Halloween rolled into one! I have been saying a prayer of repentance every night ever since!