Saturday, July 23, 2005

Roach motel

The first night was terrible. Large noisy insects buzzed about the blue room, so I left the light on for them to race into and knock themselves out. But then it was impossible to sleep with the bright bulb illuminating the entire room. I pulled the ragged sheet over my head, and off my feet. This was bad because between the foot of the bed and the wall was a cavity where light did not penetrate and, in a place like this, there was every likelihood that something crawly lived there. To accomodate both head and feet I curled into a ball. This raised the temperature by several degrees but I was now completely covered. It would take great effort for them to bite me.

Every now and then, I recall now, a buzz would sound close by my ear and then it would stop abruptly. Then itches and lumps would form in various places. I resolved to not scratch or react. Four hours had passed since I first lay down, and I fell asleep wondering if the entire trip would be like this. Whether my entire life would be like this: the sound of something whizzing by followed by lumps and bruises.

It was late - the television in the hallway was no longer audible - and I woke up in a wet bed. So was the blanket and everything in between. That's because the electricity was cut. Fed up - I did not care what bit me; even Dracula was fine - I pushed at the closed windows, which budged an inch but not more. A giant spider scurried inside. Really. Why. Was. This. Not. Surprising. Anymore. ?. !. I gave up and fell onto the bed, which was bad because it was a sheet on a block of hard wood. It was also bad because my foot slipped into the cavity between the wall and the bed. Inevitably, something scampered up my trousers. I stayed awake, writing, until the birds began to sing.

At daybreak I rushed down the corridor to the communal shower. That's what the sign outside said. Inside was a Silk Smita porn set. A red bulb. A tap. And a cracked window from where mosquitoes poured in, overjoyed at this massive early morning meal. We fenced. But there were too many. Watching this were the spiders hanging from the ceiling.

As I left, a guesthouse employee asked whether I'd be staying longer. Apparently he had heard something from his mates. There were things that could have been said. There were things that could have been done. But I just said no. It took a lot of restraint.


Anonymous said...

Rahul, the buzzing of the mosquitoes brought back memories of many a sleepless night spent cursing the MSEB in Pune.

Sometimes we take little things like a decent nights sleep for granted isnt it? These are the times when it is impossible to sleep of course, and you spend the dark torturous hours wondering what all that brouhaha about India being an ecomonic power was! Boy do we have a long way to go...

On a side note, I have been visting your blog for some time now and follow your stuff on Cricinfo too, you write very well and more often than not say things that I would like to, except that I could never hope to express myself so well!

Hope you keep writing! :-)


amit varma said...

It isn't easy constructing fun memories!

amit varma said...

My previous comment was ambiguous, but is meant in admiration. That's a superb trip you're making, and really nice posts. Sleazy rewards await your return.