So, those of you who know me know I don’t use swear words. I don’t see the point – if swearing could work, we would have conquered the universe. Imagine when I found these words coming out of my mouth involuntarily – I want your blood NOW, you bloody sucker. And I have taken a precept not to kill or harm other beings – but with the discomfort that I was experiencing, that went out of the window. All I wanted to do was to squash the reason for my itchiness.

Enlarged picture of mosquito

Let me break the suspense – I am talking about mosquitos. That, too, is the one found in India or any other tropical place. They look like tiny black ninjas with multiple legs. Most important, they have an uncanny ability to fly away when you realize that they have not only sucked your blood but left a week of red itching spots as a going-away gift. For those of you who haven’t experienced a mosquito bite like that, there is no need to go on enlightenment experiences. The entire bite journey will do that for you.

As you can imagine, with all the advancements we have in place, we have various tools and weapons to defend ourselves against mosquitoes. We have mosquito creams – but if you missed a spot, believe me, that’s where they will zoom in. And then you have mosquito repellent liquids, but like any capitalist society, they support the very thing they are supposed to get rid of – just by the sheer ratio of cost vs. usage life. But the best invention of all is what my husband calls a mosquito bat. It is a fascinating contraption – it looks like a badminton racquet and has two prongs at the bottom so that you can plug it into a socket for charging. The idea is that when you see a mosquito or feel the initial spike of pain, you take the bat and kill the annoying tiny creature. The reality is that by the time you find the on button of the racquet, you see yourself waving it around like a mad person while the mosquito has taken enough sips of your blood to enjoy your mad dance before attacking again just when you keep the bat down.

Life is a queue of small irritations with the last door at the end.

Fortunately for the rest of the world, I am one of the few people who actually act as a mosquito repellent. We have something special in our blood or body that is like a beacon for mosquitoes, and if you have one of us around, you are safe. So, I arm myself with cream (whose smell brings back itchy memories) and a bat. And after a lot of experience, I realized that there are three kinds of mosquitoes. First, they are so drunk on your blood that you can just swipe at them with your hand, and they will die and leave an insane amount of blood, making you wonder how such a tiny thing has so much blood. The second ones, my dad informed me, are the uncivilized ones – as in they were born in the trees outside and somehow managed to find their way inside. Killing them is a hit or miss – it depends on your flexibility with the racquet and your ability to bear the pain when the bat hits you instead of the mosquito. The third type is the most annoying. As you enter the house, you can see them join with you. It’s almost as if they were waiting for you to open the doors to their favourite restaurant. And they are civilized just like us, so I suspect they know their way around liquid, cream, bat, and even AI.

If anything, what I got apart from a lesson in humility on when to accept defeat is that sometimes all it takes is a tiny creature to make you realize the true limit of your zen or enlightenment.

What tiny irritation do you have in your life that can be your path to zen?

Leave a Reply