Thursday, April 19, 2007

Rats like my books!


A few days back, I was working in my home. It was midnight and the clock below struck twelve. I felt an eye on me...basically a "presence". You know that creepy feeling.
I turned suddenly to catch what I expected was a ghostly apparition floating around. Instead there was a small rat staring at me. The rat was not particularly upset at being caught redhanded. He just twitched his moustache as if to say, "Whazzup", and then turned leisurely and walked away. I am serious - I have always seen rats running around like crazy but this guy was a well-adjusted rat.
I yelled for my protector, my wife. She woke up; said she had seen the rat a couple of times walking around. I was mad at her for not killing him; she said if I was brave enough, I should do it myself.
Now, this was a taunt - the last time a rat visited my home, my solution was to lock the bathroom (because he was in it) and not go to the bathroom for an entire day till the maid came in.
I ended up treating her taunt as an authentication issue and tried to close all our windows every night. But this rat apparently (like the velociraptors in "Jurassic Park") was engineered by a mad scientist - he could open windows. I saw him continously take his walk at 12 midnight. I basically gave up trying to convince him to stay outside. We just started locking our room in, so that he could take his walk undisturbed.
Now what has this blog post got to do with technology?
I have a pretty good collection of technical books - books that I collected in the USA. I keep them all in a store room and keep loaning them out to the team in Photon. Many of these books do not seem to be returning. I was beginning to get concerned - I generally forgot which books were loaned out to whom.
Anyway, I walked in to that room to get a book and found a weird smell assaulting me. It had been some time and I was sure the smell was coming from the book collection.
I took a book out and found what made the rat take his walk.
He was "marking territory"; doing the same thing most Indian males do when they see a nice wall; to put it crudely, he was using my book collection as a very private, custom built designer toilet.
I was outraged by this travesty - I mean any self-respecting rat could have torn my books to shreds or other wise leave them with a shred of dignity. This rat, as my wife put it, was using it as a septic tank.
As I held my nose and stared at my poor books, an idea suddenly dawned in me - as Buddha said, this could be used an opportunity. I saw the sunny side of the rat menace.
I plan to email the staff tomorrow at work and point out that my books are "polluted". I am going to narrate the story of the rat.
I am confident that all the books will be nicely packaged and returned.

3 comments:

Prakash said...

Hilarious!!

Jokes apart I think the big issue with book lovers is to keep them safely from Rats and other species that has got no empathy for collectors like us!

Rats as a population are menacing and its growing like hell!

I still remember buying a rat-trap when I was a kid!! You just need to put a "Bajji" in that trap and bingo the next day you will find a rat sitting in the trap with a innocuous look!

Prakash Gurumoorthy

Bala said...

Yes Prakash, the baji and specially roasted onions remind us about the rat trap.
Ram:
There is one sanskrit proverb, which says dont lend books and ***** (for more details you gota see Anbe shivam Movie, really its hard to track the books/CDs which we have lent. Unless they give it back its gone
Ram, I asked for one book !Remember??? Can you please lend it tmrw ...lol

Prathul said...

Ha Ha... had a good round of laugh. Good luck in getting back your books... and errr... the rat too. :)