It was mid-June.. The first rains had started long back and Tarapur was already facing the brunt of the monsoon.. a gale at night was a regular feature, and water-logging had started around the PHC as its in a low lying area..
It was one of those days ... when there was load-shedding in the entire tarapur-chinchni area.. So as a rule, i spent my entire day in Boisar..
Sakil had ditched me (again!!) and had gone to mumbai for his guitar lessons.. But id a great time watching bhojpuri film "Kahi koi gavna hamaar" in the local theatre... (Another blog in the making ;)
By 8 pm.. i reached my PHC... struggled thru pitch black darkness and slippery muddy road all the way to my room.. Garfield and family were chatting outside.. and Garfield was having a candle-light booze session with his another garfieldish pal!! [Garfield: the appellation given to the husband of a nurse,who used to work in our PHC...Garfield cuz 16/24 hrs he used to laze around on his Khatiya outside his room.. the other 8 hrs were inside ;) ]
My dabba was already ready at the door step.. The electricity came by around 9 after which i took a hot water bath and had my dinner and prepared to doze off...
Just when i was about to doze off, humming to the U2 numbers blaring thru my cheap 40Rs speakers connected to my Ipod.. My MO , Dr.Vivek Gupta called up to tell me that he ll be coming to the phc for the night shift as it was a pulsepolio going on and he had to report early the next day... Thank God! I wont have to wake up tonight for any emergency case... Time to doze off.....
Dunno when it happened, but i felt a distinct tug at the back of my head..
Go away ditcher.. I mumbled in my sleep.. thinking it was Sakil who had come back in the morning.. The tugging got a bit more stronger..
Shooo.. B******... lemme sleep a******
And then it started hurting a bit..
Who the f*** are u!!!
I then tried to grab what was behind me.. trying to disturb my precious sleep on a windy, rainy night when the wind and the rain were merrily composing an orchestra on the asbestos roof...
It felt soft.. hairy.. small.. a soft toy?? I dont ve a soft toy.. I grabbed it in my hand and flashed my torch on it...
There were 2 small eyes , glaring back at me.. menacingly.. they were horrendous.. they were yucky... and the creature with those eyes even had a tail.. a tail which was vigorously swaying around.. and 2 pairs of small feet.. that were struggling to let go off my dreamy sleepy grip... And those eyes meant business..
Ooops!! The creature proved to strong for me and i lost my grip.. and he fell right on my chest!!
Go away u f***ing rat!!!!
I hit him hard with the back of my hand... Thud!! I heard him banging against the wall..
Shit!! Is he dead?? I struggled to reach the switch to the 40 watt bulb in my room.. and turned it on.. and there i saw the devil.. up on the roof..
How did he get there?? so soon??
No buddy! he wasnt the same one... the one i just hit was in another corner.. and he was still glaring.. and now he had a vindictive look in those eyes.. he wanted to get me hard.. and get me back!!
Ok dude.. u win...
I frantically called up Dr.Vivek..
"hello.. Dr.Vivek??.. Parag here.."
" Ha bol Parag..."
"uh.. i have a small problem out here.. actually.. a big one.. Can i come over to ur room for the night? even Sakil's not here so was kinda feeling lonely.."
"Hey no problem.. come over.. we'll watch the Wimbledon together.."
"Ok thanx. bye"
Wimbledon???! What time is it?? Holy cow... its just 11???!! and i thought it must be hrs past midnight... aaaah thank God.. i have a whole 9 hrs of sleep left in front of me... :)
Then i gathered all my paraphernalia (read: spects, stethoscope,torch,ipod,watch and ha..umbrella).. and i braved the storm and an inverted umbrella to reach his room.. He was waiting outside..
"Hey dude.. what heppened??"
"Nothing re, there was a rat.. sorry.. a couple of rats in my room.. and bloody one of them was nibbling on my hair.. please, will you just check my head??"
I turned around.. and gave a boisterous laugh that id never heard from him for 15 days i was with him...
"Hey.. what happened??.. please tell me whats wrong.."
"Feel ur head.." he said, still laughing..
And i felt it.. everything was ok.. except a patch.. a distinct patch on my head where there were NO HAIR!!
Brilliant!!!!!! The Rat had his say after all..
As we spent the rest of the night watching federer thrash his opponent on the grass court.. I lamented from within my soul about my loss to a hairy, stinky, 4 legged "MONSTER"...
As for me.. i had an amazing sleep.. got up at 9 the next morning when the pulse polio inspectors were inspecting the phc and i was standing in front of them in a baniyan and shorts..Thank God Sakil had made it on time..
The hair grew all right.. the patch was just about 2-3 cm in diameter..
As for my MO Dr.Vivek, whenever he sms es me or scraps me on orkut.. he always mentions that,
"The rats in Tarapur still miss you.."
Yeah... and i miss them too!! :)