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This is a blog about those who have bitten me, at one time or the other. Yeah, you heard right! Bitten me as with teeth.

And right on top of the list comes the name of my sister. Yes, the one who goes about proclaiming she’s the one and only one I have! Psssst…here’s news for her, I am the only one she has too!!

My earliest memories are of this huge gloomy double storey house we stayed in, in the midst of a vast coconut grove, at a place called Manjeswaram, in northern Kerala. No immediate neighbors in sight, except the caretaker and his family who stayed nearby. His children could be seen running around and playing, having a whale of a time. We of course were not allowed to mingle with them. So it was each other for company for my sis and me.

My sis was two and I four years of age at the time of this story. We must have had lots of fun playing together. I don’t remember much of that. But what I do recall is that she bit me! Whatever the reason, the provocation, with quick reaction that was her hallmark in this habit of hers, she plunged her teeth into the soft flesh of my tummy, just above my belly button and left her mark. I remember looking at my mother in the classic manner of the injured elder sister, while sis stood on one side, eyeing me warily. Being only two and cute enough to charm those around, she escaped the wrath of my parents much to my dismay.

Did she stop with her first bite?! Oh no! Having tasted blood with that first bite, she included biting in her modus operandi in her dealings with me, or any who opposed her. Biting became the best weapon in her armory. If things didn’t go her way, she bit. It took years for her to conquer this habit of hers and emerge the victor. But emerge she did as sweet a sis as they come.

For the next few years of my life I remained free of bites. Of course I am not including here those annoying mosquitoes or the odd insect that took it into its head to come and have some fun at my expense biting me and make me go all red, while they went away chuckling. But would this idyllic situation last long??

One day we siblings were playing badminton. Chinchu, our dog was idly or so it appeared to us, watching the shuttlecock go back and forth. He was actually dying to have a go at it. But each time it fell it was some distance from him denying him the chance. His opportunity came soon enough. It fell right under his nose and he ran away with it to a corner where he proceeded to chew on it with relish. All of 18, and hot-headed, I was not going to take this nonsense from him!!

“Chinchuuuuuuuu!” I thundered and snatched the shuttlecock from right under his nose where he had dropped it when he heard my shout! I got the shuttlecock, (which was of no use anymore. But it’s the principle of the thing that matters. I couldn’t have him think he could get away with it, could I??) and he got my hand! Bit me soundly on my forearm in the fleshy part. I still have the mark to prove it. And then he ran away knowing that he had done a grave mistake. My hand pained a good deal in the following days, giving me one or two sleepless nights. But what annoyed me was that he bit me!!!

Years again rolled by with nary a bite. I was back at my parents’ place for my first delivery. I was glad to meet up with Simi, my dog, whom I had to leave behind when I left with my husband. She deserves a blog of her own and not a portion of the ‘those who bit me blog’. My ‘molee’ (daughter) is what used to call her. I adored her and she adored me. It was a cozy arrangement, a mutual admiration society. On my return, I found that Simi was in the family way too!!

The dogs, Chinchu and Simi are both let out at night. But Simi is the indoor girl, not for her the great open spaces. On most nights, aided and abetted by me, she sneaks indoors, and I keep her with me. So the night in question, when I went up to her with the intention of chirruping to her some before retiring for the night, why she would take it into her silly head that I had intentions of throwing her out I wouldn’t know! I clumsily sat in front of her and started stroking her when she lunged at me and bit me right on my face! I naturally lost my balance, big tummy and all. With one hand I pushed her away while I tried to get back on my feet supporting myself with the other. She bit the hand that pushed her and then retired in a huff to the corner. The tears sprang to my eyes…I was loath showing them to my parents who came rushing out to see what the commotion was all about. There was much tut-tutting and shaking of heads and you-should-have known-better-than-to-land yourself-in-this looks.

“What will we tell Mohan?!” my father kept repeating.

“And on the face too!”

The bucket of water in which I dipped my hands turned all red from the wound on my finger, where Simi’s tooth had gone right underneath the nail of my middle finger. The time was past 10 p.m. and in this small village of Ethanur, in Palghat, it meant no doctors at that advanced hour.

“Why the heck had you to go and sit in front of the dog, and with such a big tummy to boot!!”

Well, I didn’t expect her to bite me did I now?? So I had no answers to that one. I myself was distraught that distrust had sown its deadly seeds in the mutual admiration society we had going. Imagine my ‘molee’ biting me!

I finally got around to taking a look at myself in the mirror. I still carry two tiny scars on my face where Simi bit me.

Out of the three, the last one was the worst of the bites, and the first, the one I least minded.

What do you guys feel??

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