I do not like insects , roaches , snails and earthworms. I do not know if it is plain fear , lack of love , disgust ,something else or all of them . I never wanted to know. The “not liking” part is so severe that I planned to keep this post picture -free.
If I see anyone posting something about them , I keep myself away from WP reader that day.
During growing up years ,other people found it difficult to understand . I was mostly a fearless girl ; I traveled across states, countries all by myself.
“Why do you avoid them?Are you scared?Try to overcome it.” – They all suggested.
I also never hit any mosquito during camping , picnics . I said : ” I do not like killing it. I am a peace lover! “.
I tried and successfully fell sick during “Lets look inside earthworms and cockroaches ” session in school.
Once I requested my dad to take transfer to other city because a tree outside our house was full of pre-butterfly caterpillars.
[ Till now,when it rains and I find long earth worms during walk , I feel sad : ” Man! What are they doing in a developed world?” . I avoid muddy sidewalks when it rains. I wear sneakers with heels when I go to hike, to avoid encounters with insects . ]
All these were part of the life. And life moved on perfectly because I was never alone. I always had my younger brother as the savior , to protect me from things I did not like!
Then, one fine day, I turned 18 and went to do Engineering. Suddenly , it was an adult world with words like “responsibilities”, “independence”.. The engineering hostel was full of girls who looked different , thought different.
Some were extremely geeky and their only friends were either semiconductors or bugs [Literally!] . Some girls came to have just fun ,away from parents ; some found their soul mates on the first day itself ; some expressed that Y2K was just..okay..just another kind of bug or roach from another country. 😉
In all these, I found 3 other girls ( S,P,M and together we called ourselves SPAM thereafter) as healthy neighbors [& BFFs later] .
On first night, we 4 girls found out that – along with many other things the “not liking many creatures” part was common too. ” In a wonderful world we all like to dislike the same thing !” – I concluded out of happiness.
Then , first rainy season came and I panicked finding two earthworms coming slowly towards me. M , the most introvert and lean girl in the lot dragged me aside and saved me from a panic attack and researched a lot to find another route to college.
When everyone took the shorter route to save themselves in rain, we four girls sang our rain songs and took the longer path for the rest of four years.
During a trip to a national park , S hit all mosquitoes with her two hands and saved all 4 souls.
“How did you survive your fear? “- I asked them ,one day.
They both mentioned that seeing other people so afraid made them kind of stronger! “Also united we stand divided we fall! When we all are together , nothing is scary, you know! ”
It was a picture perfect engineering life after that ; we spoke in Java, C , C ++ ; we tried to measure wavelengths with our thoughts ; we planned to use artificial intelligence in real life ; we tried to search circuits and micro-processors in every big thing. Together , we were winning all frightening things quite easily.
One fine day, we heard story of a flying cockroach in our hostel . It arrived with someone’s luggage during vacations.
Till then, I avoided reading about cockroaches on biology book [ because of their images on books] . “That thing can fly too.” – I said ,while planning to Google “Does Cockroach bite?”
The next night was memorable one in our engineering history . M came to our door crying : “Co…ckr….oach ..on my study table. Help.”
We all went to M’s room. And there it was .. a big size cockroach resting on our new drawing assignment sheet. S whispered : ” Lets call security. If he cant handle…then , maybe polic..”
Before she could finish, I walked ahead .Suddenly I did not know what happened to me. I took a glass tumbler and slowly walked to the cockroach and covered it with the tumbler , partly. I kept the tumbler slightly tilted so that oxygen could enter.
“You know right , I do not like killing things.” 😉
I was treated like a hero in the hostel for next many months. Slowly we found many teary-eyed, cockroach fearing souls asking for help . We were treated like saviors in our newly cockroach infected hostel.
Each time we helped someone , we found the fear disappearing slowly.
Months passed .
I went back home that summer and shared the cockroach story with my brother.
“Even I was very scared of them. I never liked how those insects walk ; how ugly their eyes are!. I never liked snails and earthworms too. But seeing you so afraid, I had no choice but to be strong . ” – He expressed easily , adding an honest smile.
It will be a decade old story pretty soon. But , it’s still fresh in my memory. I remember it whenever I find someone struggling with something; I try to drop in ; try to protect , knowing that I may not be the strongest person in the world.
I still avoid insects . But , the fear does not exist anymore.