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Blood sport

People meditate, read books or listen to soothing music before they tuck themselves in. I slay mosquitoes, writes Vandana Vasudevan.

india Updated: May 17, 2007 23:28 IST

Carcasses lie strewn in the room and the white walls have bloodstains on them. The smell of burning flesh wafts across as I savour my victory. This scene plays itself out in my bedroom every night, before I retire for the day.

People meditate, read books or listen to soothing music before they tuck themselves in. I slay mosquitoes. My weapon of mass destruction is a nifty little rechargeable tennis racquet bought from Chennai. Someone there must have been harassed enough to figure out that mosquito coils, repellents and mats are nothing for these murderous mosquitoes. Thus, out of sheer necessity was born this neat innovation. The racquet has a button on the handle. The moment I spot a buzzing mosquito, I aim and place my racquet on it. Then I press the button. A small light glows and a crackling sound is heard. And it’s done. Another demon is vanquished. Sometimes it falls lifeless on the floor, sometimes gets trapped in the wire mesh of the racquet. It’s most fun when the lights are off and I randomly sway the racquet. As it snaps and crackles, I feel a wicked sense of happiness.

Sprays and repellents are indoor pollutants, nets too cumbersome to fix and creams harsh on the skin. But this racquet is a cool tool. But, don’t think it is a mere insect-killing tool. It’s an addictive blood sport. After dinner, my eyes glow at the prospect of an half-an-hour of blissful carnage. I ask softly, “Where’s the bat?” Then I am unstoppable. Some attacks are fierce and the enemies are crushed against the wall. Others are more refined: the weapon softly touches an insect that I have spotted from the corner of my eye and then the final attack.

I am told that my movements are becoming more lithe, almost lyrical. The practice of mosquito slaughter is also therapeutic. No wonder, my family says that I have become calm and focussed. But, somewhere in Mosquito Land, it is Apocalypse. The news has spread that an alien is out to annihilate them. Probably that is why my catch is dwindling by the day.

But, the good news is that this gizmo is now available in apni Dilli. Last week, I saw a hawker demonstrating the gadget to a prospective customer in Connaught Place. I grinned and nodded approvingly at him. Perhaps more people will join the club and it will evolve into something of a cult with its own competition and a yearly award ceremony.