ATITHI TUM KAB JAOGAY?(When are you leaving Mr.Guest?)


These holidays we had a very peculiar, most unwanted guest. It was a mouse ! Staying on the ground floor, we were quite proud of keeping a house which did not have any major pests. So, the arrival of this mouse unsettled us no end. After making a recce of the house and damaging a comforter, the mouse chose to settle down inside the back cushion of the laz-y-boy recliner. Not knowing where the insistent, energetic noise was coming from in the drawing room, we upended the divan and the sofas, gave the mattresses and pillows a thorough shake and found nothing, not even a loose shred. When the maid came to sweep, she discovered some shredded foam under the recliner which gave us an indication of his preferred region of settlement.. So, every day it went on, some sessions of vigorous, noisy bitings and a mound of shredded foam and the droppings to clear. I stopped sitting on the recliner. But my husband did not mind a peaceful co existence with the guest. He would continue his afternoon siesta on the recliner regardless of the irritating sound in the back. In fact, he said he felt like Lord Ganesha with a mouse for company!
We kept the doors wide open expecting that the guest would want to go out sometime. No, he was very comfortably settled there. I was wondering how he would survive there without food. But one day, I detected a big chunk of the pitted dates packet bitten off. So, before his sojourn into the recliner, he must have fortified himself well.
My husband’s first thought was to arrange for a mousetrap. But we heard that the mice of modern day were too smart to be caught in the traditional trap. The only alternative left was to put some rat poison inside the recliner and hope for him to take the fatal bite.
The rat poison cake from a well advertised company was introduced inside the recliner. Though the literature with the cake told us that the rat would take 4-5 days to die, we expected that the death throes would weaken the rat from the day of the first bite itself. No such luck. The manufacturer and we knew that the five days were coming to an end. But the mouse didn’t know it! Our expensive laz-y-boy kept losing its foam like a patient under chemo- therapy as the sessions of the vigorous biting continued. Since we had not checked on the sex of the mouse before its entering the recliner, my husband even suspected that it might be a pregnant mouse which had chosen the shelter for its delivery. A daunting prospect indeed! Let one in, get 4-6 little mice free!
Since the recliner had a vibrator in the back for massaging, we thought we would get it going to give him a scare. But, the vibrator would not start, as the first thing he had chewed off in the recliner was the connecting wire!
Finally on the sixth day, the noises stopped and the shavings too. The rat poison literature had promised us that the rodent would not die inside the house but would go out and die. We kept our eyes peeled to catch the grand departure, ready to sing Auld Lang Syne. My daughter quipped, “Poor fellow, must have exited singing his own Funeral March” As opposed to his stay of which there was solid proof, we could only surmise his departure. Till then we would have to keep our fingers crossed and our noses plugged.
When there were some tell tale foam shreddings on the seventh day and some vague noises, my maid suggested that we introduce a decoy. “Keep a newspaper in the recliner. If he is there still, there would be shredded pieces of newspaper too along with the foam. Otherwise, there will be only foam shreddings fallen down due to the pressure put on the chair”. When I was about to put some old Bengali newspaper from my Writers Workshop carton, my husband advised, “Don’t keep the Bengali paper. This mouse belongs to Karnataka. He might prefer a Kannada daily”. Later in the day, the vigorous gnawing and biting went on in full force. The newspaper was also shredded giving solid proof of the mouse’s continued stay.
On the eighth morning, when we were planning to get someone to dismantle the recliner (another option was to sell it along with the mouse), our friend-philosopher and guide aka our opposite house owner suggested a mat in the form of a CD box with a special glue on it which when the rat comes in contact totally immobilizes it. So, it would be only a question of getting rid of the carcass.
The reusable box was kept open inside the recliner and hurrah, the three inch marauder was indeed stuck on it the next morning and was disposed off by my hero Ramu! Thus ended the 9 day ordeal.

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20 thoughts on “ATITHI TUM KAB JAOGAY?(When are you leaving Mr.Guest?)

  1. A ratty start to 2011 ! May be this figures in Chinese calender but we should take it as a good omen as its the vehicle of Lord Ganesha , the lord of wisdom and education too.

    Wish you and the Wg. Cmdr. Ramu, the very best in 2011. Good Luck.

    • You are so right , Kanthi. Is this one of your insomniac comments that Chandrika told me about.?You are really missing the lot of aunties and uncles who used to pat you to sleep.

      • Kanthi Narayanan says:

        The comment was made while I was wide awake despite the time at that point ! Yes I miss the cosy “1411” where I was pampered by you all – if I could travel backwards in time ……….

  2. Sonal says:

    A mouse as your ‘atithi’! It must have had a nice stay inside the cosy confines of the sofa. Selling recliner with mouse, ha,ha.
    Happy new year. May your year be free of such encounters.

    • My daughter was asking whether I threw away the computer mouse also along with it. While the mechanical one has opened my mind to limitless extent, the real one had me so tense for 8 full days !

    • vimalaramu says:

      I am happy the blogs are reaching you Seetharam. Yes, it was a miserable state of affairs till we saw the mouse out, no matter what naturelovers might think.

      • Seetharam says:

        Being a nature lover myself I am not surprised by the misery a little mouse gave you. A woman will face a pride of lions without fear but when it comes to a mouse it is total surrender!

  3. Nuggehalli Pankaja says:

    Vimala,you have made the mouse immortal! Lord Ganesha must have sent it to you in response to your prayer for a wonderful creative power to celebrate New year. Indeed,he has blessed you with the gift of finding humour even in the most tricky situation ! I enjoyed the blog;My thanks to the late’Mr(or Mrs?) Mouse’-may its soul rest in peace!

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