Thing Of Beauty?Ugh!





They say that one man’s food is another man’s poison. Likewise, I feel one man’s poetry is another’s horror. In this particular case what was a thing of beauty to one was horrid to say the least to the other. My daughter who works in the sylvan surroundings of the famed Raman Institute in Bangalore happened to come across a snail. Sure enough she photographed it and put it on FB with the caption, ’A thing of beauty’. Instantly her cousin’s rejoinder came like a shot from California,’ Beauty, my foot! I hate these ugly creatures which infest my lovely garden. I kill them at sight every day-’ or words to that effect.

I for one completely endorse my niece’s view. Used to being greeted by a sweet smile and ‘good morning’ from my late handsome husband, it is horrid to be greeted by these  ugly snails in my kitchen sink  every morning staring at me balefully like some character in Alice in Wonderland. Yes, my kitchen -sink of all the places.

I really regret the fact that we chose to build our house in what used to be agricultural land complete with its subsoil fauna rather than on a strong rock (Bible?)  I was quite used to encountering an occasional centipede or earthworm in the bathroom in the rainy season, but a snail in the kitchen sink every morning, sometimes two or more? Disgusting! I decided to tackle the issue on a war footing.

A few years back, when our ceramic sink in the kitchen broke, my husband put a stainless steel sink as the ceramic drain board was intact. This he placed in the broken ceramic sink and sealed all round. But over the years, the wet and humid space between the new and old sinks proved to be a haven for all sorts of creepies and crawlies of various vintage. Even spraying the insecticide meticulously every night did not help.

So, when I took charge of the family finances after my husband’s demise, I decided to demolish the whole thing and replace it with a single unit of steel drain-board and steel sink. But then again the worker had been careful enough not to damage the ceramic drain board and so to fit in the niche, the old steel sink had to go back into its original  position. But it was now clean,shiny and independent. There were no damp, dark crevices to cozily house the subterranean creatures. I heaved a sigh of relief and looked forward to a kitchen free of those abominable snails.

But no, they still do visit me in the morning without fail. Heaven knows where they manage to get entry. I have been told that sprinkling of salt would bring about their death. But that is only after they come in. But  I WANT TO STOP THEIR VERY ENTRY.

This whole thing was driving me so crazy that my mind wandered and wondered if the soul of my husband was coming to wish me his usual good morning in the body of a snail. But fortunately rationality prevailed.

To ‘bug’ me further, even my cryptic crossword gave me the clue ‘slow travel around the