Ah! You may ask me, “Can an intruder be welcome?” Why such a title to this post? Is it not that the intruders are always unwanted? No, some intruders are not unwanted as over a period of time they become a part of the territory and life they intrude upon. It just came to my mind to write a post about certain creatures that gain entry to your home and later become unwanted and unwelcome. But why to allow entry to such creatures that become a burden later on? A good question indeed. Even I was searching for an answer to this question that had become my top of the mind affair these days. I was tired of finding a viable answer to this question but the answer always evaded me. But I sincerely believe that when all earthly endeavours fail to elicit an answer, the answer comes to you through divine intervention.
When I returned home after being away for some days, the first news that my son announced was that a big lizard had somehow gained entry to one of the rooms. We laughed his fears off. He tried telling us as honestly as possible that it was true but taking it to be a fruit of his fancy, we just discarded his notion. Suddenly, illuminated at some new idea, he brought forward the Digi-cam and on its screen showed us the pictures of the creature that he had captured. Some pictures showed its tail only but the best was one showing it in all its majesty. It was not something to be laughed off as it indeed was a big reptile, sitting cozily on a heap of books, on the screen. A pedant, trying to impress us with its shallow knowledge, I thought. The most interesting part of the picture was that the creature sat cozily on the top of the book “The Great Indian Novel” written by Shashi Tharoor, a strong contender for the top UNO post! It seemed as if it was making a plea to the UNO authority, in the making, against unlawful imprisonment in an alien territory!
The most surprising part was that of all the rooms, it had settled for the room which has computer. How intriguing indeed! This creature made its presence felt when my son was working on computer and his attention was diverted by a ruffling sound near the table. Looking down he saw the tail of some creature and on closer enquiry, the whole was seen. My son cannot tolerate to see these gliding repulsive creatures and since he was alone at home, he had to accommodate the unwelcome intruder. It was not possible, even for me, to get that creature caught or killed as it had hidden itself in some corner of the room.
That night we all slept together in one room as we were simply put off by the fact that an unwanted guest had made home in our territory. I was alarmed as I had caught a look of the creature and it really looked scary to me. But to comfort my daughters I just put on an indifferent attitude. We all were concerned about its needs. My daughter was worried whether it would have something to eat? Was it not so afraid that it may die of fear and suffocation, were her main concerns. Even I was concerned but was unable to help it in any way possible and then, honestly speaking, I was afraid as well. What if the creature were poisonous and what if it would bite any of us when we slept? I was more worried about my kids’ safety than mine and that gave me enough courage to search for it on my own. It was not to be found.
Next day early in the morning, I called two mess boys from the hostel to ward off this evil creature from our home. We all, by this time, were on our toes. The boys searched well under the dewan, the table and every little corner of the room, but the creature seemed to have vanished. “It must have escaped through the window”, said one; “must have slipped out when the door was open”, added the other. Even I thought so. That night we slept peacefully as the mere thought that the unwanted creature was not in our home or our life was soothing. We passed whole of the next day peacefully. It was around evening when once again my son saw the creature. It had lost its virility and looked dull and slow but still smart enough to hide under the dewan. Once again the same boys were requested to come to our help. And this time they were able to find the creature. It lay in one corner. It was afraid. Now the question that we faced was whether to go for the kill or to let it loose in the wild? But how to capture it if it had to be set free? Killing it was a much easier option. But the compassion for everything living, howsoever disgusting, came to my heart. My kids, too, supported me to take this decision. We decided to let it be free to live happily among its own people. This was the most that we could do to it. Somehow over three days that it lived with us, it had become a part of the family. My son had also accepted its presence, albeit not very happily
It was with much difficulty that we caught it in the folds of a sheet and took it to the verandah. As we live on the third floor, we had no other option but to let it loose from that height. It fell down with a thud and God only knows what happened to it. Whether it survived or died, we are ignorant about it. But we did the best we were capable of doing in spite of the fact that it had caused us much agony, trouble and sleepless nights. My kids were agonized to think about what could have been its fate. I told them philosophically that this was the most we could do for it. Everyone is responsible for its state of misery and accept the aftermath of an unwelcome entry into someone’s territory.
I would have done the same to any other creature as well if it had become more of a cause of bother, worry and a burden to carry. And more so if it had become dangerous to my kids’ safety!