Saturday, March 24, 2007

Cockroach Conference

All characters in this post/narration are fictional and any resemblance to reality or reflection of anyone living or dead is purely coincidental. But everything in this post except the previous statement is true. (Ignore me!)

If you’re an e-cockroach and any of the characters in this post resembles you (wow, blogs are now popular amongst cockroaches as well, eh?), please do not jump the gun and register a complaint with the cockroach union in your city. Just contact me and I will throw some light on how I’ve been watching the cockroaches at home for some time now and that the resemblance in the characteristics, if any, may be attributed to your long-lost relative who ran away from home when he was no more than 2 years old. (If you’ve been waiting to meet the cockroach I am alluding to, I can help with the directions. Or just check Google Maps, I wouldn’t be surprised if they cater to the insect kingdom as well). If you are none other than one of the cockroaches I am going to talk about, I suggest that you hibernate for as long as possible and come back when you have grown so old that you are no longer recognizable. If you’re a human and don’t particularly appreciate cockroaches and their resilience……….and are also, unfortunately, imaginative and the kind who visualizes things, I am sorry about the scenery of this post. May your soul rest in peace.

The cockroaches in the house seem to have got into the habit of convening conferences at the shake of an antenna, which as we know is as frequent as the creation of blogs in the blogosphere. Yesterday, I happened to be awake reading a book when I felt thirsty and had to go to the kitchen for water. I tiptoed into the kitchen as I had already got wind of the frequent cockroach conferences therein and did not unnecessarily want to incur their wrath lest they decided to demonstrate how fast they could cover human ground. I got my water and was about to go back to my reading chair when I heard a sort of commotion. Many of the cockroaches looked agitated. And fortunately that had nothing to do with my quiet invasion, which had gone unnoticed.

One cockroach was standing up to his full height and telling his team something that sounded like “I am the king. You ought to be listening to me and doing just what I say. You don’t know as much as I do. Learn to respect my intelligence”. Now, there were about a dozen cockroaches altogether and it was interesting to watch the diversity in their attitudes, so I stood rooted to the spot eager to know more. One was quietly meditating in a what we could call a cockroach corner. He seemed to be aloof and away from the cockroach circle. The third was chattering away on his own oblivious to the complete absence of an audience. The fourth was, I can almost bet, busy dreaming of his adventurous dinner experience amongst the unwashed dishes, later that night. The fifth and sixth looked like rivals who had well reached the emotional peak of their own little discussion. The seventh seemed to be shrugging and wringing his antennae wondering how long the meeting would go on. The eighth had the best attitude, as far as I am concerned. He was lying upside down in a yoga-like posture and making reverberating noises and probably calling upon the Gods (at the frightening thought of attending many more such unproductive conferences perhaps?). The ninth was attempting to listen to everyone in the team and from the looks of it, did not seem to be getting anywhere. The remaining few seemed to be making some random notes in the air with their antennae. This completes the picture. And oh…yes, just imagine me standing there with a glass of water in one hand and a book in the other and gaping at all of the cockroaches in a dazed manner.

I know you must be curious to know what happened next. And you don’t have to tell me it’s because the scene above reminds you of some of the meetings you may have been a part of. I won’t keep you waiting. Here’s what happened. My feet started going numb after a bit, so I did a quick dance to improve the blood circulation realizing a little too late that it was the last thing I ought to have done in such a situation. The cockroach that was meditating was, not surprisingly, the first to notice my jig. The cockroach (my favourite amongst the lot) that was upside down proved my theory right by coming back to his normal posture and looking around with a reverence reserved for welcoming the Gods. The one that was trying to listen to all the cockroaches at the same time abandoned everything and stared in my direction intently, having understood that the world was coming to an end. The rival cockroach couple forgot their differences and hugged each other for support. The one who was dreaming of dinner awoke as if he had unexpectedly encountered a live human hand in the dish that he was dreaming of gulping down. The one that was chattering away increased the rate at which he was chattering as if this was his last chance to get some attention. The ones that were making random notes in the air froze like they’d made a fatal mistake. Here’s the best. The cockroach proclaiming to be the king and the Einstein amongst cockroaches stopped mid-sentence and flew away (He probably had no idea that flying cockroaches are the least popular).

Then, in what seemed like the most dangerous moment of my life, the world converged and seemed to have but one goal. To run me down. All cockroaches joined antennae and came towards me in what seemed to be an extremely brave move, to their credit. I quickly sacrificed the glass of water at the altar of earth’s gravity, but held on to the book tightly and jumped out of the kitchen in a flash (thanks, ironically, to my recent effort to get some blood running into my feet) closing the door behind me. I went back to my room admittedly shaken enough to imagine armed cockroaches coming towards me from all directions. It took me a while to recover and when I recovered I was glad to not find any representatives of the cockroach kingdom trying to strike a violent conversation with me. I have now decided to store water in my room and can’t imagine interrupting the regular cockroach conferences in the kitchen again – the kitchen seems to be the favourite venue for the obvious reason that it provides food for thought.

PS: I wanted to write something humorous and decided to talk about cockroaches because there are, truly, some cockroaches that have appeared from nowhere at home. When I started I had no clue whether I would be able to let my imagination go wild and find some humor but the way this post has shaped itself leaves me wanting no more - this is a sincere view and I don't intend to boast ;). I had to initially apply some thought to come up with the idea of integrating the theme of meetings with that of cockroaches and this was not very difficult even for a person like me because cockroaches seem to move around in groups. But the rest of this post just happened - I simply love this kind of animation; it is so much fun, isn’t it? :D


Sarita Shekhar said...

hahahahha... this is making me roll, too good an animation of those creatures. I specially liked the 'king'... :)

Thinking ants though, it could be a horror show! I have a mug right here, with left over coffee and there is a bunch of ants crunching the rim, in just a matter of a couple of minutes...! They SHOULD read your story of their rivals!

Loved reading this post demon! :)

Nimmy said...

:D Thanks a ton for leaving a comment Sari! :)
I really wanted to share some laughs with blog-readers and was hoping that this post had made at least a few people smile (if not laugh). But I thoroughly enjoyed this imaginative trip to the world of cockroaches. :)