My India Blog

My Photo
Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

I'm here working on some film projects. (writing screenplays and movie trailers for Hindi and Telugu films) I write in English, they do the translating.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Mosquitoes Know

A friend asked me if I was going to keep a journal while in India. I kept one the last time I was here, and my plan was to type it all out, importing pictures to go along with it… I got about ten pages into the typing, got busy with something else and never opened that file again. So, no journal, but instead I’m doing that hip and trendy thing that everyone is doing now- no, not, the other hip and trendy thing- posting a blog on the internet that nobody but me and my mom will read. (One of the best blogs I've read that the general public would enjoy is Josh Friedman’s.

So, my India blog, I’m thinking, will be comprised of stuff that strikes me in one way or another. Like the mosquitoes. George Carlin has a comedy bit where if he makes it to Heaven, one of the first questions he’ll ask God is, (I’m paraphrasing) “Why the mosquito? It doesn’t spread pollen, it serves no useful function in the food chain, and its entire purpose seems to be to irritate mankind.” But if George Carlin experienced the mosquitoes in India, he would know that they know. They know everything. They know ancient torture techniques, kind of like how a few drops of water on the bridge of the nose in Chinese Water Torture can turn a normal person into an invalid, these conniving, devious, little bastards know every vulnerable part of the human body, and how to exploit it. They know that a sting on the tip of the elbow will leave the victim scratching their elbow on anyone or anything they can find. They know that a couple bites on the back of the hand will result in at least three straight days with no sleep. They know that a sting on the webbing between the fingers will provide enough aggravation for any human to turn over government secrets, divulge the location of the hidden microfilm, or surrender the plans to the Death Star. But who told these little cannibals about the tip of a finger? You know, the actual padding of the finger? I can only think of one location that could possibly be worse and because this is a family blog, I’m not at liberty to “bring it up.” The one on the tip of the finger will have you scratching it through all waking hours. On pen caps, on the spine of a book, on the edge of a table, on your other fingers and even on your teeth! The only soothing relief I’ve found is when pressing it to the scalding hot surface of a ceramic cup filled with Chi or South Indian coffee. The most bizarre thing about it is when it’s gone. Part of you misses it and part of you has a phantom itch, thinking you feel it on that finger and on ALL your others. So, I find myself habitually scratching the tips of all my fingers now.

Indian mosquitoes also know about evolution, and if they evolve themselves to be the weight of a gnat, no victim will ever feel them land on their skin, nor the puncture from their stinger. But the venom they release itches three times as bad as an American mosquito. They also know where to congregate. If you get on an open air lift- watch out. They’re waiting. (Translation for Americans, lift = elevator, open-air = those hand operated, retractable gate doors that we see in black and white films and movies set in England.) The mosquitoes know that you’re in that 3 ft. by 3 ft. cell for at least 30 seconds, with nowhere to go, and that you’re all theirs. These pesky deviants of the animal kingdom are so ruthless, when you’re in their jail, they don’t wait for you to drop the soap.