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How To Work Towards Laziness

 

Sloth

The ciliate, moth, beetle, fungus and algae held on to dear life. They were moving again. This was too much. When they had found a warm sloth slumped on a tree they quickly assumed his body would be their immovable planet for the rest of their lives. Dream on creatures.

Bradypod didn’t know it but he was mirroring the exact irritation the lifeforms snuggled in his fur were feeling. When he was a baby he was on a sprawling Cercopia tree in the National Park of Paraguay. There, he turned a year old and was getting used to a life of sloth, eating little, defecating once a week and generally not moving much when they put him in a cage and shifted him 3552 kilometres away to the National Park of Columbia.

Though it was highly uncomfortable and caused him a great deal of inconvenience, he found another umbrella-shaped Cercopia tree and settled down thinking he would live out his years here in relative inactivity. Hah! At the end of the year, he heard the leaf picker at the park tell the rock polisher, the sloth was now going to be shifted 1534 kilometres away to the National Park of Peru.

Deeply resenting this constant movement he entered Peru determined to stay here for the rest of his life. He knew his natural laziness couldn’t accommodate another journey. The trouble in each place, which turned his life upside down seemed to be the same – a lack of funds. Logically, he came to the conclusion once the funds moved in, he could stay put.

He wondered how to be a part of the booming Peruvian economy. He had to have something that sells. One evening from the elevated perch of his branch he saw some school kids laughing at the antics of a monkey. Eureka! When a monkey perfroms monkey tricks, it’s entertaining but what happens when a sloth does the same?

The next day Bradypod waited for the first visitors to arrive at the park. Once he made sure they spotted him he began his show. He scratched his armpit with his three-toed, four-inch claws, peeled a banana delicately, scratched his nose, made monkey faces, pulled out a beetle from his fur and ate it with slurping nosies.

The visitors were thrilled, charmed and blown away by his range of unslothful activities. Phones were flashed and recordings were made. Youtube, Twitter, Facebook celebrated the birth of a new star. The citizens of the world poured into the National Park of Peru to see with their own eyes a sloth who behaved like a monkey.

In three months he was called a national treasure. In six he was the highest earning entertainer in the entire country. After a year, when he stopped his antics, impulsively overnight, nobody minded. They claimed he had grown old and let him retire with the full honours of a national hero. Needless to say, he spent the rest of his life setting new standards to being slothful.

Moral: You have to do some monkey tricks to get a good retirement

Bradypod is drawn by the fabulous Bijoy Venugopal. You can find more of his wonderful stuff here bijoyvenugopal.com

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Surviving Humans

Mosquitoooo

Bzzzzzzzzzz, bzzzzzzz, bzzzzzz, Mansonia did a few somersaults near a brown, rather dirty ear before piercing her proboscis into the nearby neck. Blood, sweet blood. Delicious mouthfuls of never ending blood. Life was glorious till a shadow of the hand loomed over her, threatening to swat away her existence,

She flew off leaving behind only an itch. The human cursed. He had tried everything to rid his house of these ectoparasites. Nothing seemed to have worked.

The coil he burnt had choked off a sizeable population of the mosquitoes (and his grand aunt who suffered from asthma) but the next generation had evolved to be coil resistant.

He tried installing a bizzing frequency, which was supposed to irritate all six parts of a mosquito’s mouth simultaneously. It worked for two weeks. In that time they learnt to love the sound and probably even created operas with the zzings.

He sprayed the dreaded DDT, a lethal nerve poison all over the house. In the process he killed his beloved butterflies, earthworms and moths. The end result? His little creatures died and the mosquito became the first living thing in the world to develop a resistance to DDT.

Someone had told him that keeping a lemon grass plant at home prevented these bloodsuckers from inviting themselves in. He gave it a shot. The pesky creatures danced with the lemongrass leaves, waiting for him to sleep.

He had almost given up hope and was looking at a life of constant bites, itches and impotent slaps, when the still-grieving granduncle as an early birthday present gifted him a bright yellow mosquito killer racquet. Charged with electricity, all he had to do was wave it in the general direction of the mosquis and they’d get electrocuted to death. The frying noise, which the racquet emitted, when it hit a mosqui was perhaps the sweetest sound he had ever heard. And that beautiful, crisp fried aroma of mosquito bodies charred to death promised him a night of uninterrupted sleep.

The mosquitoes were puzzled. They tried changing their DNA, their partners, their timings but no matter what they did, they couldn’t be immune to electricity. There was now a serious threat of them being wiped out forever. After 210 million years were they finally going to be history?

Mansonia saw how troubled her elders looked and she wondered what she could do. She thought she may get some serious science clues closer to the human. She flew up to him boldly and noticed the dreaded yellow bat lying next to him. He sensed her presence, lifted the weapon and waved it around. Instinctively, she ducked a bit too low and hit the floor.

His razor sharp eyes began to hunt for her all over the room. He finally spotted her on the ground. He laughed aloud and sang, ‘dead, deadd, deaddd’. Then, he placed the bat next to him and continued to read.

When she heard his stuttered snores she rushed back to the other mosquitoes (but first she took a quick nip of some blood) and shared her secret. To avoid the racquet they didn’t need to evolve by mutating their DNA. All they had to do was ‘play dead’. He would never realise the mosquitoes, which lay inert on the ground were alive.

Moral: When sophistication doesn’t work try dumbness.

Mansonia is drawn by the fabulous Bijoy Venugopal. You can find more of his wonderful stuff here bijoyvenugopal.com

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Burn Baby Burn

IMG_0414 moth The sun had set and it was time for Tineidae to wake-up. She looked around for a light, unappreciative of the world, which was stunningly beautiful in its cloak of darkness. She was a positively phototactic moth and any light, read bulbs, fire, candles, torches could charm the wings off her. If the source of light was hot enough, this would happen quite literally.

Nobody seemed to know why these moths were so keen on being kamakazie, why they flew towards the certain death of a hot light, unwaveringly. To be fair, Tineidae wasn’t thinking of suicide. She had other things to do like moon at that beautiful porch light staring at her, begging her to come closer.

It was almost like she was under a hypnotic spell. Some would even call it love. She looked at the light for a long time, resisting the pull. But the more she stared at it, the more its power grew. She tried looking away, into the darkness. It didn’t help, her head was full of the light, calling out to her, pleading with her to come, just once, so that they could be together.

Poor Tineidae. She had never been in love before and didn’t know how it wreacks havoc with your logic, reason and self-esteem. She wondered if she dared to make that flight, would the light think her brown wings were pretty.

All this love sickness hadn’t made Tineidae hungry. She was one of those breeding moths. Her purpose in the universe was to be alive for a week, mate and lay eggs. She didn’t even have a mouth but now, there was a spanner in her dharma. She was in love with a light.

Ignoring all the rules of survival that were screaming in her, Tineidae beat her wings and began flying swiftly and purposefully towards that bright light. A million warning sensors went off in her head. Like a true lover, she ignored each one of them. She reached the light and placed her feet on its shiny, glass surface. A passing rat almost somersaulted. What? Why didn’t that silly little moth fry to a crisp and fill the air with that amazing burnt body smell? There she sat, pretty as a picture, making moth love talk to that dumb light, which was cold, cool and luminous.

The rat, of course, had no idea humans had invented LED bulbs, which generate no heat. In two hours the moth got tired of that stupid, unresponsive light and flew off to find a nice male moth she could mate with. When she found him, she didn’t even remember what that porch light looked like.

Moral: To get over a fatal attraction, submit to it.

Tineidae is drawn by the fabulous Bijoy Venugopal. You can find more of his wonderful stuff here bijoyvenugopal.com