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An itch demands to be scratched, and we usually oblige, pronto. But the worst scenario is when the itch is in an unreachable spot on your back requiring the services of ‘others’ to scratch it for you. In such circumstances it may take quite a few hit and misses, and many ‘No, not there, a little more to the left/right/above/below’ and such other instructions before satisfaction can be reached, if at all.

The problem with this way of getting at the itch on your back is that when the scratcher’s back itches, as it definitely must sometime or other, you will in all probability be called upon to return favors. Of course a lot of people don’t actually mind scratching other backs in return for having their own itching back scratched. Give and take and all that you see.

Me? I prefer that little thingumabob you see in the picture above. It sits unobtrusively in my pen stand, among the couple of unused pens and pencils, a few paint brushes, a peacock feather, a pair of scissors, a screw driver, some visiting cards and the like, at arm’s length. It even goes with me wherever I go, secure in my bag among the salwars, stoles, trousers. When my back itches I whip it out and scratch.

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©Shail Mohan 2015

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