Wife in shining armour: When broaching the roaches!

This post is dedicated to all my friends and colleagues who are mortally afraid of the ‘lizard’.

Eons ago, the sister and I, having made our peace for the day, sat watching the Discovery channel on an afternoon. It was a hot day in May, a month into our summer vacation.

We were watching a show that showed us the evolution of creepy and crawlies, i.e. butterflies, bugs, small reptiles and the likes. As soon as the butterfly hatched from its cocoon, my sister groaned. She couldn’t watch it. The act scared her witless. She couldn’t even watch them hatching. Sigh… that was the end of watching Discovery channel in her presence! In reality, I too couldn’t stand the presence of a lizard or a cockroach. The latter always caused me to let out a bloodcurdling scream adding to the hilarity of the situation. Thankfully, my dad came to my rescue.

And because my dad rescued us from all the roaches and reptiles, I felt my brothers and future husband would handle the bugs too. I was so so wrong! 

My cousin brother from Kolkata was mortally afraid of cockroaches and lizards too, a family trait. I remember this incident distinctly – we had a family wedding in Mumbai, so the entire Jingbang from Kolkata had come over. So on an evening of cards and games, some poor jerk accidentally left the main door ajar, and we were soon greeted by flying cockroaches.

The cousin brother, albeit a tall teenager who had previously boasted of a few muscled abilities, had a cockroach flying up to him. He was on the bed, and his instant reaction was to push me off so he could take shelter in the blanket. His mom on the other end tackled the flying beast by opening the umbrella and taking refuge behind it. My dad saved the day as he killed the roaches, but my brother was the laughing stock of the wedding.

Fast-forward to half a decade, and I got married to this hatta-Katta Punjabi boy. Blessed with ‘fairy-white’ complexion and sturdy built I would have never guessed that creepy crawlies scared him shitless and how! Well, so here I was supervising the maid who was washing utensils one moment and the next… she was screaming incoherently. My MIL rushed in to check and joined her. The reason? They spotted a baby lizard just above the tap. They were behaving like they spotted a zombie or something. And the husband seeing the thing just backed off. Hence, I had to step in. I took the broom, using it like a bat; I swiped the creature right off the wall into the verandah. But that wasn’t enough. The MIL yelled at me to check if the poor dead thing had its tail. Apparently, if the rear is left behind, it calls out to other lizards. WOW. So I managed to find the tiny bit and picked it up in a sweep. Turning around, I showed it to the MIL to confirm that I had it and was going to chuck it. As I turned around, she just fell on her butt screaming. Frankly, I laughed the hardest. I still do when I think of the time.

Another time, we were on our honeymoon in Mauritius. We had booked our stay at a five-star beach resort. It was gorgeous but being hot and humid, we were greeted by many creatures. On our first night, at about 3 AM, the husband wakes me up and asks me to go check on the 'tar-tar' sound. First of all, I am a sound sleeper and have a tough time waking up. And what kind of a new husband wants his wife to go hunt/check on some bug in the dead of night? Apparently, mine does.
Next, we were at the beachside restaurant, waiting for our pizza when my husband started yelling. He was so frantic that a couple sitting nearby panicked as well. They joined him. However, I still did not know what was wrong! Finally, he managed to tell me that there was a lizard on my shoulder. I quickly checked, but instead of yelling, I was mesmerised by its emerald green colour. The creature then fell into the sand and disappeared. Getting no reaction from me, the husband lost his cool. He could not understand why I never screamed! Lol.

The tryst with lizards and cockroaches over the years with my husband has turned me into Arya Stark… seriously! I always thought he would save me but here he is the damsel in distress, and I have to fight the reptile with a handy jhaadu. There is no reasoning or placating him on this matter. It is a mental block that cannot be resolved. So each time I hear the husband screaming or behaving erratically (read shaking/shivering), I check for lizards. 

There are many more such incidents over the years and because of his reaction to them, I can never prank him. Sheesh.


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