Lizard legends

Lizzies have always been around, haven’t they? But somehow in the past 1 or 2 years, I have come to know them at a ‘closer’ level, which I suspect is closer than most people are privileged enough. They are always there, hanging by the ceiling or camping on the wall, staring at that dinner (aka mosquito) on your head or you – you never know and may never want to either. The moment you flicker on a light, and there’s a movement in the room, trust loyal lizzie to be there. Once upon a time I managed to step onto a baby liz after not having switched on a light. I was so repulsed by it all, that I kept hopping for 2 days after that, as if it was still somehow in contact with my footwear. I soaked my footwear clean and got rid of the no-lights-please-i-am-expert-at-playing-dark-room habit pronto. My orthodox relatives gave me a bigger shock by their reaction to the incident. Sympathy can be expected. Disgust even. But if one shares such misfortune with someone and gets a question back at that, asking something as ridiculous as “Which foot was it?”, one can’t be blamed for looking as stunned as lizzies themselves. I was told by my relatives that depending on which foot I crunched the lizzie under, it could be auspicious and hold different meanings. I just wish they got as lucky as me.

When I shifted into my house in Gurgaon I thought I would have no neighbours because of low occupancy in my colony. But I was wrong. I had lizzies for company. One even landed on my lap once as I tried relaxing in the verandah on a hot summer night. To say that I had springs attached to my behind would be a mild way to express the swiftness with which I got up. As expected I developed a habit of not sitting under the ledge anymore and I look carefully whenever I am near the porch. I tried being optimistic by thinking that at least they would help in some pest control by eating up the free hotel business setup by the mosquitoes. But no, they only ended up befriending the mosquitoes, the spiders and the rest of the gang. I can see them having their frequent picnics up there till I drive them out using a broom! Now they have started playing hide and seek and turn up when I least expect them. The only thing missing is the ‘boo’ or something.

Then there was this ‘bright’ one (Do they have any brains?) which made me think and rethink my opinion about them. There was this lizzie who for some reason developed an affinity to not only my invertor but a particular spot on that. Day in and day out I saw her perched right there, always holding fort. I could not understand the reason for it. Neither was the invertor too hot nor too cold. In fact it was the same temperature as anything else. I made my maid agitate her outside the house using a broom. As soon as that happened I immediately locked my fortress and left for my work place. No prizes for guessing what happens next. Brilliant lizzie was inside when I got back from my workplace. From where she penetrated the fortress I call home, I wouldn’t know. And of course as always she was right on the hot seat – that particular spot on the invertor. Do they have brains or what?! Not only did the lizard know the what and the where with such clear granularity, she also knew the how! No matter what I tried, she seemed to be stuck (not just with those vacuum pads they have for feet) to the same spot on the invertor. If I knew some variant of Parsletongue, I would have surely questioned her. Some days later she left as silently as she had appeared with a very “Woh kaun thi” type of aura left behind her.

If you dear reader, havent already been creeped out, I will take the risk of describing yet another profound encounter. One fine day, while driving, suddenly something loomed up large on my windscreen. Thankfully I didn’t swerve, considering that I was almost about to have the kind of reaction one has while watching 3D films. A big fat lizzy was right there on my windscreen right in front of me. Not only did it stare at me right ahead, it also did the disgraceful act of ‘flashing’ (not to forget the free lift it got)! As if the vision of something of this species appearing out of nowhere, that too while driving isnt enough, there was the extra revulsion due to the feeling that it was about to land right on me somehow. The thought of switching on the wipers sickened me even more thinking about the bloody consequences. With all that difficulty, I somehow kept my eyes on the road and hands upon the wheel. After reaching where I had to, I got some much needed respite.

Be they creepy or be they brainy, I just hope their motto in life is not Kabhi alwida na Kehna.

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