Walking through the front porch I come across a small millipede about an inch long crawling away without a care in world and oblivious to my foot which might have stepped on it ! I too ignore it and go about my work unperturbed. Back to my living room ,I notice yet another crawly and finding it unsightly I push it out with my shoe. I forget the episode and day carries on.
Next day it is a bit cool with slight drizzle. I am all set to see my daughter off to school and then I see a dark spot on the pathway ahead. It’s a group of millipedes, some five six in number. I skirt the creepy crawlies and help my daughter board her school bus. I am still not much worried about the plant eaters in my lawn or on the pathway !
Another day breaks open threatening to be hot, humid and irritable. As usual I embark on the morning chores. Then…. I see a patch of dark brown colour similar to the one on pathway, wriggling, squirming ….a very revolting patch. Disgusted I spray an insecticide and they are dead!
My first act of violence after shifting to this bungalow….. and it doesn’t go unnoticed! The leader has been informed and the creepy crawlies are ready for revenge. The spies have discovered my immense fear of all sorts of insects, bugs, arthropods, arachnids…. you name it!
A planned assault on me, begins with the millipedes crawling in silently through the cracks in the bedroom window frame and the gap under the bathroom door, first in pairs and then in dozens. I too have become aware of their presence in larger quantities and taking advantage of my large size (as compared to them) I begin my fight. I squash them with my foot everywhere….crruunnchh, crruunnchh! The bedroom floor resembles a war site with dead bodies lying all around.
Satisfied with my carnage I bring out the broom and sweep away the carcass. But, I make a mistake of underestimating my enemy. Now they come in scores. They crawl up out of my reach on all the four walls of bedroom and the ceiling. I can not lie down on the bed and while I think of some way to conquer this menace ,a millipede falls on my shoulder from the ceiling . I scream…. they have surrounded me.
They are crawling in from every crevice, every gap of the house in hundreds! It’s like they show on Star Movies channel …. all bugs and creepies in extra-large size bent upon ruling the mankind, converting humans into some kind of hybrid , half insect and half human.
I arm myself with insect spray, phenyl, broom and big boots and go on killing these hideous creatures which are within my reach. My plight brings my valiant husband on scene armed with a vacuum cleaner. He climbs up on a high stool and sucks these things away. Suddenly the bedroom shines like new again as if nothing happened. I am extremely delighted and have wonderful noon nap and a very good night. Ah! I have won!
“That’s what u feel silly!! wait till tomorrow, ha ha ha…..!!” roars a big millipede. I wake up frightened ……now they were creeping in my dreams too?
But there is not a single one outside or inside the next morning. I relax my guard immediately….. mistake again!!! By evening the whole porch is again full of hoards and hoards of millipedes and all the corners now have some millions of eggs ready to spill out more of these crawlies.
I have given up! I am yet again training myself to share the house with a new set of crawlies. In Pune, it was termites…. the moment I stopped fighting them, they had been discreet and never showed up and ate only the false ceiling in such a way that I could not see them. In Bareilly it was the roaches and the lizards! In fact the lizards understood my fear and helped a lot by eating away all the cockroaches. The only price I had to pay was to see them roaming everywhere, even on the kitchen slab. Sigh!! And now here, till the monsoons stay, these millipedes will make my house their vacation spot. I can only let them enjoy at my cost and click vacation pictures for them!
But, I am secretly still hoping to find a sure way of getting rid of them. May be next monsoon I’ll be more equipped to fend them off or may be I’ll reconcile to the surprises the nature springs up on me!!
The status as of now is that the Arthropods have WON!!