Weather wise and work wise, everything has just been super intense lately.
First, we shall address the weather in India: It is hot, humid, and full of insects. The winter would be described as the best season ever. I now know why birds migrate. To those of you on the east coast of the US questioning the very existence of a spring and praying to see spring: I am sorry.
The weather has been consistently above 85 for the past two weeks. Why does this matter? Sonipat, has no spring; there are two seasons winter and summer. Accept it. Embrace it. Enjoy it. The winter for me was great- highs of 67 degrees and lows of 50s. Perfect weather that still prolonged the hibernation of the many insects of rural India.
Well, Old Man Winter has died and his angry son has come in and beats down upon you. He has sent in his demons and mongrels, in the form of mosquitoes, wasps, bees, and garden lizards upon the local population.
Many of my personal acquaintances acknowledge my disdain for heat. I do prefer the cold weather. I also hate insects flying around me. Sonipat knows this, and seeks to test my sanity. I am in a bitter fight to the end with nature. Modern technology can only do so much. My weapon of choice, the air conditioner, has become my best friend. The power goes out, yet the generators come to life as the Titans of the Earth and empower the campus. The AC is my lifeline. I am winning (for now) the war on heat! Hoorah!
The insects however are Sonipats’ Special Forces unit and they have found a way to evade my attempts to smash them. The insects are defending the homeland and I am the occupying force. They recognize this and seek to attack me at my home base – my room. There recently was a wasps’ nest, built on my bathroom window. After the installation of this forward base, I would encounter wasps crawling in through the windows and ceilings. The worst was when I woke up from a deep slumber, and went to relieve myself. As I opened the door, a giant wasp, hovering at about eyelevel was waiting for me. Thank God for instincts! I immediately closed the door and waited. My bladder beckoned and I armed myself with two size 11 Nike running shoes. I entered the bathroom with one shoe in each hand. After a short tussle, I smacked the wasp to the floor, and finished him off with a crunch.
It is not over- Ants!! This infantry of insects is always present, constantly pushing forward with no understanding of pain, or rejection. Ants are everywhere in the bathroom coming from the base of the toilet, they clamber up in search of sugar and food. The second occupying force resides in the crack of the walls, in the bathroom. At night, they launch a routine raiding party, seeking to take my resources. Nevertheless, they are unfulfilled and often end up dying after being stuck in soap.
The insects even took to attacking in class. To the dismay of other students and myself, wasps are often found bouncing off of the windows with such a large thump and a distinctive hum that it makes the hairs on your neck cringe. I am not alone in this war on the yellow monstrosities. Many people swat and dodge the six-legged dragons and ultimately they fly away erratically.
The university recognizes the war, and sends in a specialist. The specialist, is an exterminator who uses insecticide, as if it were holy water and he is the Pope. He will bless any spot that even looks as if would be a threat. He kills indiscriminately – wasps, flies, mosquitoes, bees, and anything else. Mercy is not in his repertoire. He is the walking death. Insects flee in his path and die in his wake. He will come and create a nuclear desert in your room. All you have to do is sign on the dotted line, verifying his presence.
Then, just like that, the war is over, and the insects have been slaughtered at least for a short time period.
OR SO I THOUGHT.
I went to sleep one night, excited to wake up and attend classes. During the night, the bugs launched one last offensive tactic in an attempt to force me to surrender. I woke up and went to breakfast, returned to my room and showered. As I was bathing, I noticed that my foot felt very abrasive. A quick inspection revealed that I had been bitten multiple times on my leg and foot?.
Unsure of the exact cause and assuming it was the result of mosquitoes, I ignored the bumps. But they started to spread over my body. I thought to myself, “Is it a new form of chicken pox? Could it be some farm disease?” At last I realized that it was the last insurgency of the insect horde – bedbugs. Seeking a final blow, I promptly went to the medical center, to get some anti-itch cream. I returned and informed the warden of the problem.
My warden had a concerned look after seeing the vicious and deceitful attack on my limb while I slept. The insects had violated the last code of honor in this war. The warden immediately picked up the phone, and made a call. He informed me that within the hour the problem would be solved. The exterminator has been called in for a special mission.
Thirty minutes later a knock on the door produced a new mattress. There is still one problem: We have destroyed the last insect base, but the guerrillas remain. The exterminator arrives, and applies the most liberal application of pesticide I have ever witnessed throughout the room. I know nothing will survive. After the first visit, there were dozens of dead mosquitoes and a few wasps. Now I know there will be no future for these insects.
The exterminator applies insecticide directly to the bedframe. Then does the room once more, as if to find any stragglers and put them out of their misery. The fallout is so strong that he advises me to leave my room for a couple of hours then return. I come back and see no more signs of the living, just the carcasses of the 6-legged damned.
This was just the first phase. My classmates have informed me that the weather in Sonipat can rise to be 120 degrees. I am not pleased with the forecast of the future. I realize that this heat will be a struggle; I accept this challenge and wait silently as the days get longer and hotter.
My classmates have also informed me that the insects by the end of May will be huge. Huge as in mosquitoes the size of quarters! This genuinely worries me. I fear the future. I know an arms race is imminent. As such, I have to seek funds to purchase a flamethrower to suppress the future insect insurrection. Donations are kindly accepted. Please use PayPal. Just kidding!
Without all the exaggeration, the last few weeks weather wise have been a big change, concerning the heat and humidity. The university however, is prepared with air conditioners on stand-by and merciless exterminators. The best part of the weather is the sky. At least the sky is usually clear with a few clouds and a beaming sun.