Mosquitoes and my toes

So last night I went to bed early because I wasn’t feeling well. I fell asleep and dreamt of a drone engine coming towards me… it got closer and closer and the humming grew louder and yet it would not land. It then went silent and I woke up to a mosquito bite.
I abused, I cursed, I let my hostility be known. I went back to sleep. That “tyaaaaaaaaaaaaan” increased again, came closer. I slapped in the dark. My ear suffered a bit of collateral damage, but the enemy wasn’t hurt.
I woke up and searched around my room for a mosquito repellent. I vividly remembered having seen one somewhere at some point of time. My brain (whose conversation with me you have read before and who you know is not an ally) cooked up images of that Good Knight in every corner of the room. But I couldn’t find one. I didn’t want to rack my brain- one enemy is enough.
I went back to bed, and then I heard the engine roar back to life.
Just a note here on the mosquito. A mosquito is a very important species. It’s every atheist’s trump card. In a room full of religious people each arguing over whose theory of creation is right, an atheist will walk in, look around at every one’s faces and ask which God in the right frame of mind would create a mosquito. Refusing to even touch the blunt that’s being passed around, he can get up and walk out, leaving everyone scratching their heads. And while a few of the believers inside may snigger and say “what a silly question”, none of them will have an answer.
In spite of its relevance to human discourse, nobody likes a mosquito. Nobody. Not even the atheist who used its existence as a trump card to mystify an already mystified debate.
I had to get rid of this mosquito.
The tyaaaaaaaaaan continued. I turned on the light. I followed the sound, from right beside my ear to around 180º to my right. I saw a thin form, hovering in the air. Unafraid, undeterred. I reached out for my glasses. Because for me to spot a mosquito in my room without glasses is as difficult as it is for an Indian cricket fan to spot the fallacies of the BCCI.
I wore my glasses, and then I saw her. This mosquito- slim, dark and with legs that had a sinister, perfect curve. She was from that race- the one whose hind legs are curved at the bottom- like a pair of Jodhpuri shoes worn back to front. We’ll call her Anophela, because I don’t know her actual name. I clapped in thin air- my palms came together in perfect unison, creating a reverberating clap when they hit each other. And yet, like in the last scene of a Nicolas Cage movie, Anophela had flown right out when she had sensed the two huge walls closing in on her. I had failed, she had escaped. She sniggered, and flew away to the other corner of my room. The corner that is so full of stuff that I can’t find the corner in that corner.
I needed to sleep. I couldn’t spend an entire night chasing a mosquito.
It then struck me. And I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before. There are mosquito repellent apps, right? I checked on play store. In spite of the bad reviews, I downloaded an app. The app claimed to produce supersonic sounds. It had options ranging from 14kHz to 22kHz. I turned it on at 22kHz, laid it on the table beside my pillow and went to sleep.
Supersonic my foot! The short bursts of noise that it was emitting was halfway between a Banshee sobbing and noise you would get when your old Nokia phone vibrated inside the pockets of an unidentifiable pair of pants in your laundry heap.
I turned on the light and saw the mosquito sitting right ON the mobile phone. It flew away. My tubelight’s a better repellent than that app.
I had to kill her. There was no other way. I was losing my sleep and besides, a mosquito can, according to Nana Patekar, turn a man into a transgender.
I threw away the blanket and waited, hoping that the heat of my body (literally, not metaphorically) would attract this tiny but potent enemy into the lair. In the meanwhile, i thought of jokes- bad one, as usual. I even logged on to Facebook and put up a poor joke as my status, Some read it, some laughed, others sniggered. A thousand kilometers away, an ex went “ufff, hawrey” and pretended to ignore. Some would read it later; The rest of the world didn’t care. I felt a sting. I looked down, and there she was- gently sitting on my knee. Poised, proboscis inside my skin, attempting to draw out blood in a maneuvre that would have given a lot of male mosquitoes a lot of ideas.
I had read somewhere that if you clench your muscle while a mosquito is sitting on it, it’ll get stuck there. I tightened all the muscles in my leg and slapped the spot she was sitting on.
It turned out to be an internet myth. I had killed nothing but the moment. She had won round two. I sat there, ready to face the ridicule of a creature more than a thousand times smaller. She was doing a small victory dance, mocking me. She flew past my face. Instinctively, I slapped the air with both my hands.
My hands didn’t even touch each other properly. There was no resounding clap. Just a slight brush of palms. And yet, when my palms separated, there she was. Still, lifeless.
What an unpleasant way to die. How quietly, after raging a fierce battle of tactics for more than two hours. I looked at my hand. The smear on my palm had stripes of dark grey and brown- as though the natural designs of her body while she was alive were imprinted on her grave.
I felt a little sad; but then I remembered the number of artificially manufactured broiler chicken that get killed and pass through the fires of hell to travel down my digestive tracks and turn into shit, I realised how small this crime was. I lay her cadaver on the table- in its entirety. I realised not a drop of blood had splashed from her corpse while being hit. She had died hungry- lying still in death, like a miniature black peacock.
I turned to the wall and saw another mosquito. This one was not as grand as the first one. She seemed disinterested- just stuck to the wall like that, posing no threat. But I knew once the lights went out and she smelled me, she would turn into an enemy. I slapped the wall. She died at once, without warning. I was not so gentle with this one- her head was separated from her body- much like Ned Stark at the end of season one. I laid her to rest beside the compañera; let her be there until a tiny current of air made by the lifting of book would blow her corpse away.
I went to sleep. All that is left now is an ugly smear on my wall, reminding me of the less important death.
In the morning, the mosquito repellent app asked me if I want an update.

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