Thursday, June 30, 2005


I have a lizard…in my house. (It sounds rather cute when you sing it to the tune ‘We have the whole world….in our hands.’)

This is how I found out.

I came home one night, inebriated with the joy of a job well done. I chirped merrily outside the door and entered my dark apartment. The willowy frayed white curtain was swaying like a little spectre – the bai had left the window open for…Phantom, I think. Reached and switched on the light and in a voice that sounded like Batman and Cher, went ‘Yeeowiao.’

I had seen the lizard.

It was on the wall behind the rocking chair. It ambled about in the dim light like a little reptilian Lara Croft. Zwap-zwap-zwap went her padded feet and then she looked up. Scaly but supremely confident.

I, despite the yelp, stood frozen there like a dork – neither like Cher nor Batman. But someone had to make the first move…and Liz did that. Now, a lizard is despicable enough but one that’s given to sudden movements makes you scream cold murder! Which is rather apt because a lizard is a cold blooded reptile..but more on that later.

I ran and shut the door. This proved to be a good idea because I could not see the lizard anymore; but it was a bad idea because I was out of the house…and that was a rather unlivable situation.

So I went back in. I could see Liz in the corner of a room looking at me askance. Her main object of attention was a fly that buzzed around cluelessly – there clearly is room for only one kind of creature in a Mumbai flat.

I kind of dived onto my bed because I didn’t want to walk the same floor that had been ‘zwapped’ on. Eeew! and all that!

Once there, I wondered who to call for solace and advice. Who, after all, could know how to get a lizard out of a house? My pal,

VK and I worked for a legal portal a couple of years back. She is a sweetheart and helpful, a true-blue friend, and a practicing lawyer. The last bit is important because this means she knows how to handle reptiles.

Tring Tring (or rather that infernal ‘Wo Lamhe’ ring tone)

VK (husky): Yes..

Me: Hi, this is Muk..

VK (not so husky now on identifying a female caller): Hey Muks! How are you?

Me: I came home to see this lizard in my flat ya! How do I get it out!

VK (is that panic I sense?): Where are you? I’m coming!

Me: I’m on the bed and the …

VK (shrieks): What the hell! Get out of the house!

Me (was there more to Liz than met the eye?): Why? It’s in the corner!

VK(somewhere around her glasses must be shattering): Goddamnit woman, it’s breaking and entering..that man is …what the hell..why are you..

Me( getting a cramp from suppressed guffaw): Idiot! It’s a lizard – a house lizard..

VK (slumps down on a mosaic floor): A WHAT! Oh, I thought you meant it as a metaphor or some such…

Me: V, I’ll find a man in my house, and you think I’ll call you up and talk in metaphors. Is there something you want to talk to me about, sweety? Is there a lot of stress?

VK(spent now): Oh shut up!

Me: So how do I get the lizard out? It’s dirty and creepy! I feel filthy just looking at its slimy skin.

VK(intelligently): Lizards don’t have slimy skins.

Me: Eww! But its yucky, V. It’s sick!

VK (soothing): Okay, okay – don’t lapse into a coma and all. Just go and open the door. That lizard will just get out.

Me: What if another one gets in?

VK: No it won’t idiot!

Me: Why not? An open door is open – things can get out, things can come in. What’s so improbable about that!

There were several moments of silence. Vk was perhaps thinking of a constitutional implication in my argument.

VK (with sudden vengeance): You know why that doesn’t happen Mukta?! Its because people are selfish! They have no heart! They just walk out. You leave a door open and they goddamn leave! Who the hell stays? Who the hell walks through an open door, Mukta? Who? Doors are just open so that they can walk out.

I looked at Lizzy in the corner. She seemed to be still and lifeless and a lot easier to handle than my pal.

So I hung up and called Ma.

Ma : What happened now? (This was my first call to her in the whole day.)

Me: There’s a lizard in the house.

Ma: Is it dead? Just throw it out.

Me: It’s not dead.

Ma: Then kill it and throw it out. (Don Corleone, anyone?)

Me: K..gnight.

Ma: Make sure you wash your hands later (Ma Baker, perhaps?)

Me: Okay..

And that is why I live with Lizzy.


Rabin said...

How do you know its a she? If you do have a cat in the apartment, it should solve your lizard problem. BUT how would you solve the problem of a cat in the house? You should get a dog too. That ought to keep the cat in the clean...But..ok..I think this solution is going to be a bit complicated.

How about just asking the lizard if she (or he) would like to share the rent?

Mukta said...


Its a she, I think, because of the Lara Croft resemblance. Hee hee!

Hmm, mammals to get rid of reptiles - interesting.

And as for rent - yes..that idea does have merit!

Gangadhar said...

Nice post,Mukta!!

anumita said...

Not learnt to share yet, huh? Let the poor thing be. It's not like sleeping on your bed or eating your food.

Nagesh Pai said...

Hey Mukta,

Lady lizzy reminded me of Lord Draco, a full sized beige garden lizard.. chipkalee in sipmler words, who was an evening company at my friends balcony in New panvel. We used to study together there and this chap used to cling on to the ceiling right about our head hunting bugs around and also small lizards. We used to be afraid that he would fall on our head. so once my friend threw cold water on him to get rid of him. he fell down with an awful phachaaak sound, and escaped only to chandelierize our balcony the next evening..


PS : It was a "He" coz he had the arnold biceps.. May be a perfect pair with Lara.. Baat chalaooon?

nin said...

what a blog...
very very nice post...
keep it up..

Ash said...

Hehe, awesomely funny !
But poor thing, I can certainly sympathize with your plight, lizzies creep me out too !

Mukta said...

Hey Nagesh,

How did your study sessions go?

Avik - hello and thanks

Ashweeta - thanks for the empathy.

Anumita - hmmph! Lizards ARE scary!

Gangadhar - thanks

White Magpie said...

OMG!! Ye have a godamn knack for writing. I was rolling over the floor over the conversation with yer friend..Sweet jeezez..why didnt I read thy blog when ye were in Mumbai...Darn!!Ye gawt me hooked to da site now..Big hug!!

Joy Forever said...

Wow! That conversation with your friend was just too much. I'm still recovering.
Lizards are little cute harmless creatures that clean up your house from pests. Why are you so afraid of them? I mean they are not spiders, are they? I know a person who claims to have been bitten by a house lizard and taken anti rabies injections for that. Even if the account is true, I really don't know how she managed to get herself bitten in the first place, 'coz they always run away if you get close.

Deep said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Deep said...

lol... extremely funny!

for something u hated so much, u did manage to give it a very sweet sounding name, lizzy :P

Mumbai Diva said...

awesome post!!