Friday, December 02, 2005


This really should begin like a series of Unfortunate Events book does, for it certainly is a collection of the few incidents that I “met” the .. err.. rodents.

There are those women who scream at the sight of the furry brown creature that streaks through the corridors, ricocheting off the wall like the car of the Men in Black did in the tunnel. I know men like that too.

By now, however, I really should be used to them, and I thank whatever Gods exist that I never was afraid of them. I’m wondering if it was the karma of dissecting a poor white Rattus norvegicus that has made mine a rat’s life. It was a huge specimen, the one I brutally cut up. Don’t run away just yet, I’m not going to describe the process in any sort of detail. Or at all. It was just that… it looked like a fresh sleepy rabbit once chloroformed – very cute and incredibly innocent.

Anyway, the tail continues to the day that sore with our life, we decided to catch a movie. It didn’t matter what was running (it happened to be Elaan) all that mattered was getting out and doing something with what seemed to be too much time on our hands. So off we went, two friends and I, and bought the usual chips (popcorn we didn’t trust – the hands that made them looked downright dangerously soiled) and settled down. We took back row corner seats, and we were delighted to find that in the run down theatre, there was a ready made dustbin in the form of a hole in the wall behind us. (There wasn’t a dustbin in the entire area.) and so after munching our chips, we gleefully stuffed it into the hole. Boy, were we sorry.
Just when Lara Dutta began a hot number (and I do not even know which one anymore) I felt something running up my front. Engrossed in the movie (though it pains me to admit it) it wasn’t until the rat bunched its talons in my shoulder and dug in that I noticed the brown furry creature. I stood up with – I suppose – a shriek. The rat used that momentum to leap into its hole. And to my stunned astonishment, no one even noticed that a female screamed in the theatre. One look at Lara Dutta’s skimpily clad figure told me why. The friend sitting next to me noticed, (obviously, I was now blocking a part of her view) and asked me what had happened when I sat down with a plonk. I said, “Rat ran up me.” She shrieked. No one looked up.
*sigh* That damsels in distress come second to the cavorting on screen… but I swear, it must have used the chair leg (as usual) to climb up and ignored a small inconvenience like a human sitting in the way.

Did I mention that my exam dealt with genetic sequences out of Mus mucasis (household mouse)? Well, here I was, relaxing in the hostel after a hard day at the examination hall. Our corridor leads to a dead end. Mine is the second last room, towards the dead end. They are (still) constructing a staircase behind the dead end, and as such, we have only a slab of plywood (well fitted, to be sure) protecting all the outrageous views of a Girls Hostel from the men on the other side.
We regularly get to hear loud conversation (speculating about what is happening on the other side of the wall and because they mistakenly assume that none of us speak Tamil or Rajasthani, a few giggles out of the translations), the smell of a cigarette burning, sometimes a beedi (thank god no fumes of alcohol – if the workers drank on the job, they’d be kicked out), the fumes of concentrated sulphuric acid, (for when they are ‘cleaning’)
So about a couple of weeks before this incident, we noticed a circular hole in the wall. We still aren’t sure what made it, because it was perfectly smooth and though it gave my friend and me a second thought – we did remember the Elaan incident, after all – We assumed its purpose was to let us catch a whiff of sulphuric acid once in a while and suffer dry throats for a few days and we ignored it. Boy, were we sorry.
Anyway, here I was, (like I said) relaxing after the exam. My room door was wide open, and I was lounging in someone else’s room, generally chit chatting. Out bolts this tiny creature and leaps into my friend’s room (yes, the same one) – the room in which I was lazing around. Screams cascade. The poor thing (mouse) leaps out of its skin and the room. I see it rush away from the dead end, towards the general direction where my open room is. Cries of “Mouse in the corridor” echo, doors bang shut. “My door is open!” I yell, struggle to get the friend’s room open, get out and get the broom. All the people who had open door while the creature streaked through the corridor, bouncing off the dustbin, are viciously attacking with a broom all the areas that the mouse could possible have hidden.
I think we were locking out room tight after that for a while … about two weeks or so. :)

I haven’t mentioned the one that was a foot long I saw in a village – I thought it was a mongoose for a few disbelieving seconds - or the time that one entered the second floor classroom and the class used it as an excuse to prevent the lecturer from teaching anything… but I think you get the picture.

Too many rats in my life. Perhaps not just literally.


Blogger Harish Suryanarayana said...

Few Facts about rats :
1) Rats complete the courting ritual
and the whole romantic
relationship thingy in about two
minutes. Thats what you call

2) A happy RAT will chatter or grind
its teeth.

3) Rats eat chocolate

4) Rats have belly buttons .

Aint they cute ? :P

10:27 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Leon said...

That was hilarious.. and well written.. lol..

//I know men like that too.
I might almost be one of them. If a rat had used me as a running post, I wouldn't have shrieked maybe but I'd have been numb with shock.

All that fuss for Lara Dutta.. I'm surprised.. :p

Do let us know about the non-literary rats too.. :p

10:27 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Leon said...

No Harish.. they are not.. :p

And did you notice we both posted our comments at exactly the same time?!

10:29 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

harish ~ puhlese. Keep going that way and I'll think you're talking about some (one?) thing else. :D They are cute in certain circumstance. For instance, just before they die. (die, you rat! die!)

leon ~ Thanks. :D I normally ruin a good funny incident. Well, stuck in the middle of nowhere, even Lara Dutta becomes attractive. Ok, she's not bad.. but still. And you do hear about the non-literary rats. All the time. Every time I bitch. Didn't you notice?

10:57 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Incognito said...

One of my encounters was when, we had a family scuttling all over the house looking for more snuggler places to live. We set rat food(poisonous) all over the place. After eating they are supposed to be drowsy, when u could take advantage of them. Only then did I find them cute. Imagine, rats just crawling, really drowsy and going in circles. I must sound really sadistic :P!

1:34 am GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

incognito ~ :D Yes, the only time they look cute is when they are about to die. My poor chloroformed Lab Rat and your entire family (of rats, of course) chasing itself around the place.

4:34 am GMT-8  
Blogger Harish said...

same pinch :)

I meant the choice of subject for our posts!

6:31 am GMT-8  
Blogger Abhi said...

Wow.This was
.Hilarious.Yeah.This was hilarious.

And although I agree that most men are rats when it comes to taking their beady eyes off Lara Dutta and helping a distressed lady , would you let go of John Abraham to help a guy with a guy with a rat on his shoulder ?:)

Anyways , I need to study for my exams now.Life is a rat race these days.

8:50 am GMT-8  
Blogger WA said...

Oh Camphor you are to be blamed if I have the horrible rats in my nightmare tonight :)

9:50 am GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

harish ~ Imagine my surprise when I saw your post about the cheese. :)

Jughead ~ thanks. :D
I would. (don't like John Abraham much) BUT the point is that the traditional knights in shining armour have been male. :) Traditionally, I'm only supposed to screech for help every once in a while and wait while someone comes and rescues me. (Bah!)

WA ~ Oh, I'm so sorry! Are you afraid of rats?

7:08 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Apoorv Gawde said...

Well this is one post that i would need to copy and paste on a word document, 969 words long is it?? funny though.keep going

9:53 pm GMT-8  
Blogger Noetic License said...

Anyway, the tail continues to the day that sore with our life, we decided to catch a movie. Surely, you meant 'tale'? Or was it an intentional pun? :P

2:00 am GMT-8  
Blogger the Monk said...

that was funny...hmmm, i never had any trouble with roaches or spiders, but i draw the line at rats...

10:41 am GMT-8  
Blogger Camphor said...

apoorv ~ I added a few words to it after that. It probably isn't a 1000 words, but only just.

noetic license ~ pun. Intended. Even I don't make typos like that. :)

monk ~ Yes, there is that freindly lizard in your room used to scare of juniors, right?

6:33 pm GMT-8  
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12:04 pm GMT-7  
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5:25 pm GMT-7  

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