Monday, 1 April 2013

Slapping mosquitoes

I am a lover of old sayings, maxims and idioms. They are always pregnant with meaning. The exciting thing about them is that the truths they convey are eternal and universal. Surely their creators were a wise class of people. It won’t be wrong to call them judges and prophets. One such maxim is quoted below.

"Even a mosquito doesn't get slapped until it goes to work"

I am living in a hilly place in our state. My residential area is surrounded by rubber plants. Rubber plantations are favorable breeding centers for mosquitoes, beetles and such insects. There is nothing we can do to stop them breeding. Pesticides have little effect. Rubber is a cash crop in my state, but mosquitoes are a great nuisance. We use a lot of methods to chase them away. We use herbal smokes, electric devices, mosquito nets etc to escape from the attack of mosquitoes.

The humming sound of mosquito is called ‘song’ in our local language. It is not a sweet song. It is a war cry. We rather have a peaceful day time without more than one or two mosquitoes around. A good slap finishes it. By dusk they swarm up to our house through open windows and ventilations. Since ours is warm country we prefer to keep our windows open till late night. But these mosquitoes do not permit us to do so. They come in a battalion singing their war cry. We pick up all our weapons to fight against them. Our house becomes a battle ground. We hear the sound of slaps and shrieks of victory. Our house is filled with herbal smoke. Some electrical devices are used to kill them. Children run here and there with electric battery operated ‘mosquito bats’ made in China. It is fighting and killing. After an hour or more our house returns to peace. No treaties signed, but the war is won by killing and chasing away the enemy. Calm of mind, all passions spent.

Our victory has a span of 18 or more hours only. After that another battalion of mosquitoes start a fresh attack. The war continues ….

None ever claim sole victory over the enemy. So we too do not claim sole victory. Even after every war done during the dusk of everyday, some mosquitoes survive by hiding behind the window curtain, under the bed, or by simply sitting on the wall innocently. We know it. But we do not go on to them and slap them. After all they are not a threat to us now. They are not singing the war cry, they are not attacking us, rather they plead for peace with us. We let them live. Until they start the next war against us!

Have mosquitoes something to teach us? Yes.

1.    Mosquitoes are passionate about their work. They are born and bred in the rubber plantation. As they realize their work to be done, at the appropriate time of dusk, they start moving to their work place. They must work. It is their life.

2.    They are ready to take risks to fulfill their task. They know what is waiting for them. The battle ground is occupied by human beings and weapons. But attack they must. A fearful laziness is death for them. War offers either life or death. To live is success, all other is death. So take risk.

3.    They attack their enemy to their last breath. Many of their friends are falling in the war on their left and right. But they go on attacking and attacking till they fall. No giving up the task in the midway.
4.    For all of them knew that "even a mosquito doesn't get slapped until it goes to work". Hide behind the curtain, stay in a safe place or withdraw under the bed are safe retreat from the war. No work, no slaps. But a mosquito cannot remain long under a hiding. It starts to work again and get slapped.

We are born with the freedom of choice to select either an idle life or an active life. Active life is risk. Even to drive a car out of its garage is risk.
Business is risk; industry is risk; profession is risk; studies are risk; vocations are risk …. every deed of man is a risk.
Risk is life, all else are death.

Professor Jacob Abraham

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