I was down with flu like systems and after trying all the contemporary medicines, decided to try the receipe of  'within body' heat generating concoction, that has been passed on from generations through word of mouth. I had most of the ingredients, but 'tulsi' leaves was missing. So I decided to get it from my balcony garden. There is a tradition not to pluck flowers/ leaves at night.. for reasons unknown as usual. For once though, I wish I had not defied this adage, but did it , just being myself.

I  opened the balcony that is attached to our master bedroom and stepped out to pluck few leaflets of my tulsi plant. I had switched on the light in the balcony and very confidently plucked the leaflets. As I was doing it, I realised there was some action happening in the background and I heard a whisper of a hustle and some movement in the air . I couldn't pin point what exactly happened.

As I was done with the task on hand, my hands involuntarily moved in the direction of the sound and I realised a huge brown bodied cold blooded creature slipped into the bedroom. I unknowingly let out a curse word and ran into the room to look behind my back and see what "that thing" was !

Since childhood if there is one reptile I have dreaded to spend even a tenee wenee bit of time with, it is the cold blooded lizard. Numerous encounters I have had with them.. and this one was yet another . Last September on one of my outdoor camps, I touched a snake and was not filled with as much disgust as I had felt just now.

I think the undecisive and vulnerable nature of the lizard makes it all the more disgusting. This guy  who had entered my bedrooom with no prior intimation took an overlooking position on the wall and started inspecting the room. I was at the other end of the room with my eyes fixed on the uninvited guest who had now become the short term goal of my life- goal of displacing him from my bedroom.

The range of all my interactions with lizards are proportional to their sizes. If its small, I remain at closer proximity and as it grows bigger, the interactions also become approximately long ranged. So here I was 10 feet away from the intruder by length and 4 feet away from by height and still trying my best to drive it out.
This brown bodied gentleman was so lost that he was moving left few steps and right a few changing his course every second; annoying me with his indecisiveness! The concoction which was the reason I ventured out, was boiling on the gas burner. I was in no way going to leave this room, lest this pest escape somewhere in hiding. So I let the mixture boil and continued to eye the lizard. When he moved closer to the wardrobes, I would make coordinated noises with my hands and legs, expecting the brown bodied guest to change course and move away,

My aim was to retract him to the way he came and let him back into the balcony. And the only weapon I had with me were my sense organs, all of which hung somewhere between the 'fight' and 'flight' syndrome. I realised I was following this beast since the last 20 minutes and was not getting anywhere. I knew my husband was on his way and would be home any moment.

So here I tried my last straw. I started speaking to the lizard and told him that he needed to decide on the course of his future.. Either he could go back the way he came or meet his end in the hands of my unforgiving husband. I spoke to him earnestly and tried luring him to a life that had has to offer a young lizard ,since he seemed to be somewhere between 5-7 years, say in his mid life!

Acting like a rebel he started moving closer to the curtain above our bed. I cursed him again and pronounced the ultimatum- looks like you are destined to die today! He stuck there on the wall with his four sponge -like limbs for over 2 minutes! It was like he was absorbing something.. and suddenly after that he turned around and rushed out of the door into the wilderness beyond my balcony!

I stood in numbness for a few seconds not believing what had just happened... Had my tryst with one of my lifelong 'love to hate' buddies just ended...just like that ??? Had I been able to confront the situation and come out of it victorious? Was it really a win- win situation ? Had he actually just heard me???

Then I rushed and closed the balcony door and switched the lights off and wished the brown bodied beast a 'good night'. The tulsi leaves then went into the 20 + minutes boiling mixture and I heaved a sigh of relief .

Dec 16th 2015


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